Post Op Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty Post-Op Recovery Instructions

  1. You will go home with your nose covered by tapes and a splint dressings. In full rhinoplasty, both tapes and a harder external splint will be in place. For tip rhinoplasties, only flesh-colored tapes will be on the nose. These will stay in place for one week and be removed in the office at your first appointment after surgery.
  2. Nasal packing is rarely used and is not a routine part of the nasal dressings. A gauze pad (drip pad) will be secured on the upper lip to catch any oozing from the nose. Change this as needed. It does not need to be used after the first few days or when the dripping ceases. Nasal dripping generally only occurs if internal nasal surgery is done for breathing improvement at the same time as external rhinoplasty.
  3. The use of an ice pack to your nose and eyes for the first 48 hours will help limit the amount of swelling and bruising that may develop. If the nose is not broken (nasal osteotomies done), then an ice pack is not needed afterwards. You will be told if this was done in the recovery room.
  4. Keeping your head elevated for the first week after surgery is also helpful in reducing swelling and making your breathing easier. This can be done by sleeping in a recliner or on 2 to 3 pillows. Do not bend over as this may cause bleeding.
  5. Difficulty breathing through the nose can be expected immediately after. Surgery if internal reconstruction was done (septoplasty, turbinate reduction). Saline (salt water) nasal sprays may be started after the first week after surgery to moisturize the lining and loosen any crusts.
  6. In certain types of rhinoplasties (open), small dissolvable skin sutures will be placed in the columella (skin between the nostrils). These will not need to be removed. All internal nasal sutures used are dissolvable as well.
  7. Avoiding blowing your nose for 3 weeks after surgery so as not to loosen any clots and cause bleeding.
  8. Eyeglasses should not be worn across the bridge of the nose in full rhinoplasties until three weeks after surgery.
  9. Avoid strenuous exercise such as jogging and other sporting activities for 3 weeks after surgery so as not to disturb nasal healing. Contact sports should really be avoided for 3 months after surgery if not longer.
  10. Once the obvious swelling and bruising are gone within the first few weeks, the nose will still continue to change shape over the next several months. Be patient with the results until the final shape is obtained. Dr. Eppley reserves final judgment for a minimum of three weeks after rhinoplasty surgery.