Instructions Following Rhinoplasty


Because every rhinoplasty in our practice is individualized, it is hard to make sweeping statements about what to expect. On the other hand, some generalizations can be made which can help you to deal with the after-effects of your operation.

Most people will be well enough to return to most of their normal activities by one week following surgery. At that time the nose will look presentable – gradually, the swelling will go down. The nose will look better at one month. The "final" result will be more apparent by about 6 to 9 months. The area around the nasal tip is the last place for this final definition to appear.

Post Rhinoplasty Calendar:

Day of Surgery:

  • Discomfort varies, but usually can be controlled with pain medication which has been prescribed for you. 
  • Keep something cold on your nose and eyes the first night to keep the swelling down – a small bag of frozen peas can work nicely. 
  • If there is no packing, use saline nasal spray (available over the counter) to keep the nose free of clots. Spray and sniff, rather than blowing. Clean the inside of the nose gently with peroxide on a Q-Tip, applying antibiotic ointment in the nostril after cleaning. 
  • If you do have packing, you sould change the drip pad under your nose whenever it gets saturated with mucus and blood, up to every hour if necessary. If changes are required more frequently, call the office. Your packing will be removed ________________. Call for an appointment. 
  • Medicine:
    You will receive prescriptions for: 
    • Vicodin ES - take one tab every 4 hours for pain 
    • Levaquin 500mg - take one tab by mouth once daily 
    • Medrol dose pak - Take as directed 

Days 1-5

  • If you have any external incisions, you will be cleaning them twice daily with peroxide and a Q-Tip. After cleaning, spread antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin® or Bacitracin® on the incision sites. 
  • Once the packing is out, there tends to be a little oozing, and some crusting. This can be kept to a minimum by spraying the nose frequently with salt water nasal spray such as Ocean®. 
  • You will find the discomfort easing daily. If there is any increase in pain, you should call the office. 

Day 5 or 6:

  • Any sutures on the skin will be removed at this time. Continue cleaning and greasing the incisions following suture removal - this aids in healing. 

Day 6, 7 or 8:

  • Your cast will be removed, and you have an opportunity to view your new nose. Don't be alarmed by any swelling you see at this time. The final shape is in there, and it's better than what you are looking at on this day. 
  • You may begin to blow your nose gently at this time. 

Week 3:

  • Most of the swelling around the bridge of the nose will have disappeared. The final appearance of the tip is not apparent. The areas where sutures were may still be a little reddish - this will gradually fade. 

Week 5:

  • You should make an appointment for routine post-op check. We can take a post-op photograph at this time so you will be able to see what has been accomplished.  (Many people have forgotten by this time what their old nose looked like!) 
  • Special sutures placed for positioning of your nasal tip will be removed at this time, if applicable. 

Month 6:

  • By this time, the definition of your nasal tip will be more apparent. I would like to see you again at this time. We can answer any concerns you may have about the result. If a revision is going to be required, we can plan for it at this time (About 5% of patients choose to do this. There is no surgical fee for revisions, though there may still be charges for hospital and anesthesia services.) 
  • Your nose should be looking very nice at this point. It should look natural, as if you were born with it.