After Surgery Instructions: Rhinoplasty

Normal Things: You may have some bloody drainage from your nose for the first couple of days. This is normal. You should not blow your nose for the first two weeks after surgery. Gently dab your nose with a Kleenex. You should also expect to have some stuffiness after the surgery. The Afrin nasal spray will help if it is difficult to breath through your nose. You should also expect to have some swelling of your face and eyelids. The swelling may be worse the next morning after your surgery than the first night. To control swelling, it is helpful to sleep with your head elevated. This is best accomplished by sleeping with your back and head propped on several pillows or to sleep in a recliner chair for a couple nights. You may also use crushed ice or frozen peas over your cheeks and eyes the first night to help with swelling. The swelling and bruising is generally gone in 10 – 14 days.

Medicines: Take the Vicodin for pain every 4 hours if you need it for discomfort. Take it less often if your discomfort is controlled. If you get nausea from the Vicodin, try taking a half a pill at a time. Take the antibiotics (Amoxicillin) and Arnica as directed. The Medrol is to help with swelling and can be stopped once your swelling is decreased. Take it as directed in the pack. The Afrin can be used 2 – 3 times per day to help with stuffiness.

Bleeding: A small amount of bloody drainage is expected. If you do get a nosebleed, it can usually be stopped by first spraying Afrin into both nostrils, and then by pinching the nostrils and lying still for 10 minutes. Do not blow your nose.

The Nasal Splint: The splint is important for the success of your surgery. Try not to knock it loose. If it comes off, place it back on and hold it in place with tape. Do not get the splint wet as this may cause it to become loose.

Other important instructions:

  • Do not wear regular glasses or sunglasses that rest on the bridge of the nose for at least 4 weeks.
  • Glasses should be held on with tape to the forehead.
  • Contact lenses may be worn once the swelling of your eyelids decreases.
  • You may wash your face - carefully avoid the dressing. Take tub baths until the splint is removed.
  • If you get some blood clots in the nose, you can carefully remove them with a Q-tip.
  • Avoid foods that require prolonged chewing. Otherwise, your diet has no restrictions.
  • Avoid extreme physical activity and bending over.
  • Brush teeth gently with a soft toothbrush only. Avoid movement of your upper lip to keep nose at rest.
  • Avoid smiling, grinning, and excess facial movements until the splint is removed.
  • Have someone help you wash your hair so the soap and water does not loosen the splint.
  • Wear clothing that fastens in front or back for 1 wk. Avoid slipover sweaters, T-shirts and turtlenecks.
  • The tip of your nose and upper lip may be numb after the surgery. This will go away in a few weeks.
  • Swelling from the surgery will temporarily make the nose appear broader and the tip more turned up than normal. You will often notice that the swelling on the bridge of your nose will improve more quickly than the swelling on the tip of your nose. This should not be a cause for alarm. All the swelling in your nose will greatly improve in the first few weeks after the surgery.

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