Rhinoplasty – Post Op Instructions

The following instructions are based on experience with many similar procedures and are designed to answer any questions that may arise regarding post-operative care. You and your family or caregiver should become familiar with them. Please follow the instructions, those who do generally have the smoothest post-operative recovery. Do not hesitate to call us with any additional questions.

THE DAY OF SURGERY

Wash your hair and face well, brush your teeth and remove all cosmetics. Do not apply lotion to your face or wear contact lenses the day of surgery. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery. Wear a shirt that buttons in the front, comfortable pants, and flat slip-on shoes. Leave valuables at home and arrive on time. Follow the preparation instructions given to you at your pre-op visit. Be sure to bring your prescribed medications with you to the surgery center. Also bring the phone number where you will be staying following surgery as well as the name and phone number of your caregiver.

POST-OPERATIVE CARE

  • Do not participate in any activity that will raise your blood pressure or pulse for two weeks following surgery.
  • Stay upright as much as possible. Avoid bending over or lifting heavy objects for one week. It may be helpful to place a rolled sleeping bag under your mattress to elevate the head of your bed. Put a rolled blanket or pillow under your knees to keep you from sliding down in the bed.
  • Take pain medication as prescribed. It is OK to substitute Tylenol if the pain medication is too strong or causes nausea. Do not take aspirin or ibuprofen.
  • If you become constipated, a common side effect of pain medications, take a mild laxative. Avoid straining with bowel movements.
  • Swelling and discoloration usually peak the second or third day after surgery.
  • Avoid hitting, bumping, or excessive touching of the surgical area.
  • Do not apply ice to the surgical area.
  • Avoid sunburns or tanning for 4 weeks after surgery.
  • You will be given gauze bandages to place under your nose to absorb drainage. You may be changing this dressing every 30 minutes; this is normal. The bleeding and drainage should diminish the following morning.
  • Do not blow or rub your nose for a week following surgery.
  • If you need to sneeze, do so with an open mouth.
  • You may have an external nasal splint. This will remain until your first post-operative appointment. Please keep dry.
  • You may shower the day after surgery. Use only tepid water and do not allow it to spray your face. Your face may be cleansed gently with cotton balls. Avoid getting the splint wet.
  • Avoid contact sports or activities such as skiing for 1 month.
  • If you wear glasses, they can rest on your nasal splint immediately, however, you should avoid contacts for 2-3 days. Once the splint is removed, or if you do not have a nasal splint, do not allow your glasses to rest directly on your nose. This may, over time, change the contour of your nose. You can avoid this by wrapping the bridge of your glasses with tissue or gauze.

POST-OPERATIVE APPOINTMENT

Your first post-operative appointment will be 5-7 days after your surgery. At this time the splint will be removed and we will clean your nasal passages and sinuses.

CALL THE OFFICE

If you have any questions or problems such as persistent nausea, rapid swelling of the operative area, rash/itching, or fever above 102 degrees, call the office immediately. Also call if you are unable to urinate, are experiencing redness, warmth, hardness, or excessive drainage from the surgical area (saturating five gauze pads per hour for a period of at least two hours).

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