November 24, 2015
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Rhinoplasty (cont.)

What is the post-operative care for rhinoplasty?

In most situations, packs will have been placed in the nose to control postoperative bleeding. The packing material will be removed at a scheduled postoperative visit. Arrangements should be made for someone else to drive to and from the office for this first visit. Eat a light meal before this visit and avoid taking excessive pain medications. Immediately after the nasal packs are removed, a saline nasal spray such as "Ocean Spray" is used several times per day to prevent crusts from forming in the nose. Several subsequent office visits are necessary to assess healing, remove crusts, and insure a speedy recovery. The nose is usually tender after surgery, so a spray of special numbing medication is used before removing crusts.

After the packing has been removed, breathing through the nose is acceptable, but do not blow or sneeze through it for 7-10 days. Any sneezes should be channeled through the open mouth. Expect some light blood-tinged drainage from the nose for several days. If bleeding becomes excessive, apply ice and rest quietly with head elevated while holding the nose. If bleeding continues, call the doctor.

Rest for the first week following surgery. Avoid excessive talking, smiling, hard chewing, strenuous activities, lifting heavy objects, bumping the nose, and bending over. Try not to rest glasses on the bridge of the nose until soreness and swelling subsides. Contact lenses can be worn once eye swelling and any irritation has resolved. Alcohol and tobacco should be avoided because they may prolong swelling and healing. Smoke, dust, and fumes may irritate the nose and cause an infection. Facial tanning is discouraged for 6 months after surgery. Number 15 or greater sun block is recommended during any sun exposure. Make-up may be worn anytime after surgery.

Lubricate the nostrils, as instructed, with a Q-tip and Vaseline to soften harden crusts. Peroxide helps to loosen crusts. After several days a few of the absorbable sutures may become noticeable. Be gentle while brushing the upper teeth. They will often be tender for several weeks, and there may some numbness of the teeth and palate for several months.

Exercise and swimming may be resumed after 3 weeks if there are no bleeding problems. Diving should be postponed for two months. It is advisable not to schedule travel for three weeks following surgery to allow for proper postoperative recovery and healing.

Notify Your Doctor If You Have:

  1. A sudden increase in the amount of bleeding from the nose unrelieved by pressure, ice, and head elevation.
  2. A fever greater than 101.5 degrees F which persists despite increasing the amount of fluid intake and Tylenol. A person with a fever should try to drink approximately one cup of fluid each waking hour.
  3. Persistent sharp pains or headache that is not relieved by the prescribed pain medication.
  4. Increased swelling or redness of the nose or eyes.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/14/2015


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