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Bergen County Plastic Surgery Office

Post Operative Care: Rhinoplasty

Post Operative Care: Rhinoplasty


NASAL PACKING: We usually are able to avoid nasal packing after surgery. If you have bled slightly more than usual during your operation, or if there is some other reason, we may occasionally use packing. With packing in place, you will have to breathe through your mouth, and you will have somewhat more swelling than usual. We will usually remove such packing in 24-48 hours.

INTERNAL SPLINTS: If you have had surgery on your septum as part of your rhinoplasty, plastic splints will be sutured inside your nose. Although these take up some room, your nasal passages should not be totally obstructed. Dr. Zubowski will usually remove the splints 7 to 14 days after surgery.

CAST: The splint put on your nose at the end of surgery is intended to provide protection, serving as a sort of small external skeleton. It will be removed in 7 to 14 days.

POSITION: Keeping your head (and nose) elevated tends to reduce swelling. If possible, sleep on two or three pillows.

DRIED BLOOD IN THE NOSTRILS: After surgery, some oozing and bleeding usually occurs for a day or two, and crusting dried blood will collect in the nostrils. Use of NASAL or Ocean Spray Saline Nasal Spray for a few days will help clean the area; debris can be removed with an infant aspiration bulb.


ACTIVITY/SPORTS: We want you to avoid straining or any aerobic activity for at least 3 weeks after surgery. This is to avoid bleeding, bruising, and swelling. Do not resume strenuous exercise for 3 to 4 weeks. Dr. Zubowski will give you clearance to increase your activities according to the progress of your recovery.

DRIVING: You may resume driving when you feel you are able, but wait at least 2 days after surgery. Keep in mind that you must have full use of your reflexes. If pain will inhibit them, don’t drive!

SEXUAL ACTIVITY: You may enjoy sexual activity as your body allows with the following restriction: please reread Activity/sports above and apply the same concept to sex.

SUN EXPOSURE: If fresh scars are exposed to the sun, they will tend to become darker and take longer to fade. Sunscreen can help. Take Extra Care and precautions if the area operated on is slightly numb-you might not feel a sunburn developing!

WORK: Follow whatever plan you and Dr. Zubowski have agreed upon.


NUMBNESS AND SWELLING: You may experience some degree of numbness of the tip of your nose for up to one year. You may have some swelling for 12-36 months, and the incision site inside the nose may remain swollen or feel firm for many months after surgery.

INCREASING SWELLING: Intermittent increases in swelling will occur for the first few weeks after surgery.

DRIPPING: You may want to carry some tissues with you for a few weeks after surgery, as your nose may drip.

ACTIVITIES: Nasal surgery usually hurts very little. Many people feel quite “normal” within a day or two. If your work keeps you sedentary, you may return when you are able. Heavy exercise or straining can cause bleeding or swelling during the first 2-3 weeks. Please be careful!