When sleeping, keep your head elevated on 2 pillows for the first 7 days after surgery. During the day for the first 72 hours after surgery, apply ice packs to the nasal area to minimize swelling and bruising. Do not put pressure on the nasal splint. Use ice packs to the nasal area every 2 hours for 20 minutes while awake. It is easiest to use frozen corn or peas that can be re-frozen. You will probably have a bloody nasal discharge for 3-4 days and may change the moustache dressing under your nose as often as needed. Do not rub or blot your nose, as this will tend to irritate it. You may discard the drip pad and remove the tape on your cheeks when the drainage has stopped.
It is normal to continue to swell after the first 48 hours. Swelling reaches its peak at 48-72 hours.
If you have pain, take the pain medication as directed. It is best to take it with crackers, Jello, etc. If you have no pain, do not take the medication. Alcohol should not be used while taking the pain medication.
Following surgery, begin on that day with a light diet: liquids only. The next day you can begin a soft, regular diet but for 2 weeks avoid foods that require excess lip movement such as apples, corn on the cob, etc.
To prevent bleeding, do not sniff or blow your nose for the first 2 weeks after surgery. Try not to sneeze, but if you do, sneeze through your mouth.
While the nasal splint is on, you may have your hair washed in beauty salon fashion. Take care to prevent the nasal splint from getting wet.
Keep the inside edges of your nostrils and any stitches clean by using a Q-tip saturated with hydrogen peroxide followed by a thin coating of Polysporin ointment. This will help prevent crusts from forming You may advance the Q-tip into the nose as far as the cotton on the Q-tip, but no further. You will not hurt anything inside your nose as long as you are gentle in your actions.
Avoid strenuous activity (INCREASING YOUR HEART RATE ABOVE 100 BEATS PER MINUTE) i.e., aerobics, heavy lifting, and bending over for the first 3 weeks after surgery. After 2 weeks you should slowly increase your activities so you will be back to normal by the end of the 3rd week. Avoid hitting your nose for 4 weeks after surgery. After the splint is removed, do not wear glasses or allow anything else to rest on your nose for 4 weeks. Glasses should be taped to the forehead. Contacts can be worn as soon as the swelling has decreased enough for them to be inserted.
The skin of your nose is sensitive to sunlight after surgery. Protect your nose from excessive exposure for 6 months. Wear a wide brim hat and/or a good sunscreen (SPF-20 or greater) with both UVA and UVB protection if you have to be in the sun for prolonged periods.
The nasal splint will be removed in 6-7 days after surgery.
After the nasal splint is removed, the nose can be washed gently with bland soap and make-up can be applied. Moisturizing creams can be used if the nose is dry.
The tip of the nose sometimes will feel numb after rhinoplasty and occasionally the front teeth will feel “funny.” These feelings will gradually disappear.
Much of the swelling will be gone in 2-3 weeks after surgery. It often takes approximately 1 year for the last 10% of the swelling to disappear. Your nose may feel stiff when you smile and not as flexible as before surgery. This is not noticeable to others and things will gradually return to normal.
Avoid lifting anything heavier than 10 pounds for 3 weeks after surgery. If you must bend down to pick something up, bend at the knees and not at the waist.
All incisions will be extremely sensitive to sunlight during the healing phase. Direct sun contact is to be avoided. Always use sunscreen as directed (SPF 15 or greater).
Take your medications carefully and only as directed.
If you have nausea, vomiting, rash, shortness of breath, or diarrhea after taking your medications, or if you develop a fever (oral temperature greater than 101o), develop redness, or have increased pain at the site of your surgical incisions, call the office immediately.
After your sutures are removed and the internal/external splints are removed it is recommended that you use a saline solution (Ocean or Ayr Nasal Spray) to gently remove crust formation from inside your nose especially if you had internal nasal surgery such as septal reconstruction or inferior turbinate resection.
You can use a nasal spray (Afrin) intermittently ONLY for the first and second week post-op for improved nasal breathing or if you are taking an airplane flight to help prevent your ears/nose from popping.
If you experience increased nasal bleeding with bright red blood (with a need to change the nasal pad every 30-40 minutes) call Dr. Sundine immediately. You should sit up and apply pressure to the end of your nose for 15 minutes and you can use Afrin spray to stop the oozing in the interim. Bleeding usually stops with these maneuvers.
*Call our office if you have any questions if any problems should arise.