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Discharge Instructions for Rhinoplasty

You had a surgical procedure called rhinoplasty, which changes the structure and shape of the nose. Here’s what you need to know after this procedure.

What to expect

  • Bleeding may occur after surgery. It should stop in about 4 to 7 days.

  • Swelling may occur around your outer nose. It should resolve over the next 1 to 2 weeks.

  • Expect your nose to be blocked during the first week after surgery. This is caused by blood, mucus, and swelling inside the nose. There may be packing in place for a few days after surgery that will make it hard to breathe through the nose.

  • Dark coloration or bruising may appear around the eyes. It should resolve in a few weeks.

Nose care

  • Don't blow your nose for 1 week, or as directed by your surgeon.

  • Don't insert any objects, such as cotton swabs, in your nose, not even for cleaning.

  • Clean the surgical site or outer part of the nostrils as directed by your surgeon.

  • If you have stitches, your surgeon will be give you instructions on how to clean them and when to have them removed.

  • Apply or take medicines to help the healing and lower the risk for infection as directed and prescribed by your surgeon.

  • Don't apply ice to the area unless your healthcare provider says it’s OK.

  • Minimize sun exposure to the nose for at least 12 months. Always use a sunscreen with a high SPF when going out in the sun.

  • Don't let trauma happen to your nose.

  • Don't bend over, bump your nose, or roll onto your face while asleep.

  • Don't wear glasses of any kind or rest anything on your nose for 2 months after surgery, or as directed by your surgeon.

Other home care

  • Take your medicine exactly as directed.

  • Don't take aspirin, certain anti-inflammatory medicines or herbal supplements unless your healthcare provider says it’s OK.

  • Don't smoke. Smoking delays the healing process.

  • Keep your head elevated when you rest or sleep for 7 days after surgery to keep swelling to a minimum.

  • Try to rest quietly for the next 2 to 3 weeks. Avoid any activity that increases your blood pressure or pulse rate, because this could cause bleeding.

  • Your surgeon will tell you when it is OK to shower or bathe after surgery. Always be careful if you have an external cast on your nose. Casts should remain dry. So before taking a shower, make sure that the water flow does not hit your face. Adjust the shower head if necessary.

Follow-up

Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised.

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following:

  • Increasing pain or severe pain that is not relieved by medicine

  • Fever of 100.4° F ( 38°C ) or higher

  • Yellow or green discharge from the wound

  • Increasing redness around the incision lines

  • Nose bleeding that does not slow down in 4 to 7 days

  • Accidental bump of your nose

Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith RN MSN
Online Medical Reviewer: David Lickstein MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Paula Goode RN BSN MSN
Date Last Reviewed: 5/1/2020
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