Rhinoplasty Instructions

Print Discharge Instructions (Word doc)

What is a Rhinoplasty?

A rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure to change the shape of the nose. There are two types of rhinoplasty “open” versus “closed” Open rhinoplasty is done for major reshaping of the nose. The incisions are made in the vertical strip of skin separating the nostrils. A closed rhinoplasty is for minor reshaping of the nose. Incisions are made within the nose, which allow for reshaping. Immediately after the incisions have been closed, a soft puffy material may be used inside the nose to maintain the structure along the nasal air passages.

General Anesthesia:

You may feel somewhat dizzy or sleepy even after surgery. For the remainder of the day try to rest as much as possible. Anesthetics agents can remain in one’s body for up to 24 hours. As a result you should not operate heavy machinery, drive a motor vehicle, consume alcohol, or make any important business decisions.

Postoperative care:

Take it easy for at least a week after your procedure. Do not blow your nose or attempt to clean it for the first week. After five days you may blow your nose and sniff in very gently. If you have to sneeze, do so with your mouth open. You may lubricate the inside of the nostrils by very gently applying Bacitracin ointment with a Q-tip.

Pain Control:

Be sure to avoid all products containing aspirin for two weeks post surgery. Your physician may prescribe pain medication for you. However Tylenol is a good recommendation for pain and discomfort. It is normal to have sinus pain or pressure until packing and/or splints are removed. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to prevent a sinus infection.


When the surgery is completed the doctor may have placed an external splint over your nose to help the nose maintain its new shape. The splint provides additional protection for the nose during the healing process. The splint is typically worn for six to eight days. Most swelling and bruising should disappear after seven days.


You may experience limited bleeding the first few days following your surgery. Your head should be elevated with extra pillows (or reclining chair may be used) for one week after discharge home. If your nose was broken you may notice bruising and swelling around the eyes at first, to help decrease these side effects, ice constantly for the first 24 hours and as often as you can after that. For the first 48 hours after surgery occasionally, blood may be present in your tears. This resolves when swelling subsides or when nasal packing is removed.

Eating/ Drinking:

Resume your diet as tolerated. Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. For the first 48 hours, beverages are recommended to be cool or lukewarm, NOT HOT!


Most important do not bump your nose. Do not bend over or perform aerobic activities for at least a week. Exercise raises your pulse and blood pressure, which may result in increase blood flow to the nose and lead to increase in bloody drainage.

Notify your doctor if any of the following occurs:

• You have a moderate amount of bleeding from the nose

• Your packing or splint has fallen off or out of the nose

• You have a fever greater than 101 degrees

• You have severe pain that is not relieved by your pain medication prescription

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