After Your Rhinoplasty Surgery: Common Instructions for Post-Operative CarePublished on February 5, 2015 by David Hecht
After your rhinoplasty surgery, your facial plastic surgeon will provide you with specific postoperative instructions meant to ensure that you recover from your surgery without complications. You must remember that everyone does not heal in exactly the same way, so instructions from your plastic surgeon may vary based on your medical history, pre-op evaluations and follow-ups after your surgery. However, for most of our rhinoplasty surgery patients in Scottsdale, Dr. Hecht usually recommends the following with some individualized adjustments.
Rhinoplasty Surgery Pain Management
Pain is one of the first issues that we want our patients to be able to manage, because your comfort ensures better aftercare, allows you to rest and helps you avoid additional complications. However, pain management in this case is by prescription only. Over the counter remedies, unless directed by your provider, should be avoided. Dr. Hecht specifically recommends that his rhinoplasty patients avoid NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) like ibuprofen (Motrin), aspirin and Aleve. For a complete list of medications to avoid, ask our staff for a copy of our “aspirin sheet.”
Rest to Promote Healing
The time that you are recovering from rhinoplasty surgery is not the time to engage in any strenuous activities. Also, while it may be tempting to engage in normal day-to-day activities, this is not recommended. Instead, rest with your head in an elevated position as much as possible. This is a great time to get caught up on your favorite TV shows or have a movie marathon. If you need to sneeze, do so with your mouth open, and refrain from blowing your nose.
Take Proper Care of the Cast
You may place ice packs around your eyes for pain management and to reduce swelling, but limit this to two days at the most. When you do this, be careful not to apply pressure to the cast, and remember to keep the cast dry. You must not put your glasses on as you normally do because they may place pressure on your nose or the cast. However, you can tape them to your forehead. In the event that the plastic cast falls off early, use tape to re-attach it to your nose.
Change the Bandages
You may change your nasal drip pad whenever you feel that it is necessary. Continue to do this until the drainage stops. You will need a follow-up appointment for the day after your surgery to have the nasal pack removed and to check on your progress.
Continue to Care for Your Nose
After the nasal pack has been removed, you will be instructed to spray each nostril two times a day with nasal saline to flush them out before applying bacitracin antibiotic ointment to the inside of each nostril with a cotton swab to help prevent infections from developing. If there is an incision under your nose, you will also apply bacitracin along this area twice a day to help prevent infections. Nasal saline and bacitracin are both over-the-counter solutions, so you can purchase them at any drug store. It is recommended you stock up on these items before your surgery so you have them on hand. Be sure the nasal saline is a new bottle, and not one you used when you were sick or used by someone else in your household.
Call for a Second Follow-Up Appointment
The day after surgery, you will return to see Dr. Hecht to have your nasal packing removed and to check on your progress. However, a second appointment is also necessary about 5-7 days after your rhinoplasty surgery to have the cast and sutures removed and to verify good healing and answer any questions or concerns you may have.
Good post-operative care is just as important as selecting the right facial plastic surgeon for your rhinoplasty surgery. Not following aftercare instructions can put you at risk for infection, injury, prolonging the healing process and even negatively impacting your long-term functional and cosmetic results. That’s why it’s important to always follow the doctor’s orders and take great care of yourself after your rhinoplasty surgery.