|Home Care Instructions » Rhinoplasty|
Please read these instructions several times and make sure all of your questions are answered prior to surgery. We will give you specific instructions if we make any changes in these directions.
If you should rest or recline, try to keep your head elevated to limit swelling. If you cannot sleep with your head elevated, it is OK to lie down flat. You may experience a little more swelling but it is better to get a good nights sleep than to worry about a little swelling.
A gauze dressing was taped under your nose after surgery to absorb drainage from your nose for the first day or so. Replace it as it becomes soiled. You may remove it when your drainage subsides.
Soft, light, flexible ice packs are available at our office. Or you can make an ice pack by placing a few ice cubes and some water in a zip lock bag. Do not make it too heavy, use just a few ice cubes and a half cup of water. Or, you can use frozen peas or frozen corn.
Place ice packs over your nose and eyes during the first 12 hours. Use the ice no more than 30 minutes on, 30 minutes off. DO NOT put pressure on your nose. DO NOT use ice longer than 12 hours unless you are told to do so. Ice packs will help to keep swelling and bruising to a minimum. When it occurs, bruising often lasts 7-14 days.
You should not try to clean the suture areas. You may very gently clean the nostril openings using Q-tips moistened with water. Apply a small amount of petroleum jelly inside the nostrils and over sutures to avoid scabbing and to help keep the airway open. A gauze dressing was taped under your nose after surgery to absorb drainage from your nose. Replace it as it becomes soiled. You may remove it when your drainage subsides.
Take all medications as prescribed with food or liquids. Take pain medications only if needed.
Soft foods will generally be easier to chew for the first few days. Protein in your diet is very important to help you heal and to prevent swelling. Be sure to eat 60 grams or more of protein per day. Protein supplement drinks like Ensure, Boost and Carnation Instant Breakfast, dairy products, meats and fish are excellent sources of protein. You must drink at least 2 quarts (64 ounces) of fluids each day to prevent dehydration. Start drinking as soon as you get home after surgery and keep a written record of your intake to be sure you are getting enough fluid. If you feel nauseated, it usually means that you are dehydrated. Drinking more fluid will help to eliminate the nausea.
The ice packs are discontinued 12 hours after surgery. Wait 3 days, and then begin heat. Use an electric heating pad. Do not set above medium heat. Do not use heat continuously. Keep it on for 30 minutes, off for 2 hours. The heat is to be used until all your bruising and swelling are gone (approximately 1-2 weeks). Never use a microwave heat pack.
Swimming, gym and strenuous athletic activity should be avoided for about two weeks. No diving or water skiing for two months. NO CONTACT SPORTS for three months. You may return to work or school whenever you feel well enough, which is typically 5-7 days after surgery. You may return earlier if no heavy lifting or bending is required.
You may shower and wash your hair with soap running away from your face. Be careful not to wet the bandages or splint. If the splint gets wet you should dry it with a hair dryer on a cool setting. You may also use a hair dryer to dry your hair. Make-up may be worn to cover bruises.
Eyeglasses may be uncomfortable on the nose after the splint is removed. They may be suspended from the forehead with tape as needed. We can show you how this is accomplished. Contact lenses may be worn after surgery.
Please observe the following cautions:
Please call us if any of the following occur: