How Do I Care For Myself After The Nose Job Surgery?

Make arrangements to have someone drive you to, and from, your surgery.

Having someone stay with you on at least the first night after your surgery is highly recommended.

Be sure to fill your prescriptions before your surgery since it means one less thing for you to worry about afterwards.

You should squirt saline mist spray (e.g. salinex, ocean spray) and then place a small dab of either vaseline or antibiotic ointment (e.g. polytopic or bacitracin) inside your nose 4 to 6 times a day, beginning on the first day after surgery. This will minimize nasal crusting and make you feel more comfortable. Both the saline spray and antibiotic ointment are available at drugstores without a prescription. A Q-tip moistened with hydrogen peroxide may be swabbed in the nose (be careful not to wet the outside of the nose) 2 to 3 times a day to also help reduce nasal crusting.

Arrive for your surgery in loose, comfortable clothing. Your top should button or zip rather than pull over your head.

Take the antibiotics and pain medication only as prescribed by the office.

Do not take any aspirin or any anti-inflammatory compounds for 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after your surgery unless you first discuss it with your surgeon.

If you are a smoker, you should not smoke for at least 2 weeks prior to surgery and 2 weeks after surgery. Smoking and chewing tobacco inhibit your circulation and can significantly compromise your surgical outcome.

To minimize swelling, you may use cool, clean compresses or ice wrapped in a dry cloth. Apply these gently to your closed eyes four to six times a day for the first twenty four hours after surgery.

Sleep with the head elevated for the first week after surgery.

You should not blow your nose for two weeks after surgery as it can disrupt proper healing and cause bleeding. If you have to sneeze, sneeze with your mouth wide open as this will minimize any disturbance within the nose.

If an external nasal dressing is used, do not allow it to become wet at any time. You may shower or bathe the day after surgery, but do not let the spray strike your nose. Do not rub or massage your nose unless instructed to do so by Dr. Ducic.

For the first month after rhinoplasty, you should not rest your glasses on the bridge of your nose. Either wear contact lenses or suspend the glasses with the use of a small tape from your forehead (ask Dr. Ducic to show you how to do this). You should note that your glasses may have to be refitted because changes in the shape of the nose may alter the resting place for your glasses. Patients undergoing only septoplasty may wear their glasses normally on the day following the surgery.

It is important to either avoid the sun or use a sunblock (SPF 15 or higher) for 6 months after rhinoplasty. Failure to do so may result in long term reddish discoloration of the skin of the nose. Patients undergoing only septoplasty have no increased risk of discoloration.

Do not travel by plane for 10 to 14 days after nasal surgery in order to avoid any possibility of sinus blockage.

Usually, your surgeon will use dissolvable sutures inside the nose which will disappear on their own within a few weeks. Any external sutures should be kept clean and dry. If non-dissolvable sutures are used on external incisions, they should be removed within 5 to 7 days after surgery (at the time of splint removal).

You should do no vigorous exercise and should avoid any significant physical exertion, lifting or straining for a minimum of 3 weeks after your surgery, as this activity could disrupt your wound healing and cause bleeding. Plan on taking it easy. Although your nose will not feel painful while healing, it is still susceptible to injury. Be careful not to bump it or squeeze it (Dr. Ducic may on occasion ask you to squeeze your nose in certain areas to help reduce swelling; unless told to do so, do not apply any pressure to your nose for a few months after surgery). Be aware that the most common sources of inadvertent injury to your nose after surgery are children and pets.

Recovery Timetable Rhinoplasty (Nose Job) Surgery:

Approximate recovery after rhinoplasty is as follows:

DAY 1 Return home. Use cool compresses for 24 hours. Some swelling and bruising, mild discomfort. Change mustache dressing as needed (often 10 to 20 times).

DAY 2-3 Maximum bruising and swelling.

DAYS 5-14 External stitches removed or dissolving. Internal and external nasal dressings removed by Dr. Ducic. Bruising going away.

WEEK 2-4
Much of swelling has begun to go away. Breathing better.

1 YEAR Enjoy your final result

Recovery after septoplasty alone is as follows:

DAY 1 Return home. Nasal congestion mild.Change mustache dressing as needed (often 10 to 20 times).

DAY 2-5 Nasal stuffiness is main problem.

DAY 5-7 Internal nasal splints removed by Dr. Ducic. Stuffiness and nasal congestion much better.

DAY 7-10 Slightly worse nasal congestion.

WEEK 3-4 Nasal breathing much improved.

REMEMBER: If you have any concerns or questions, please contact our office any time. Our office should be a source of information and reassurance throughout the entire period from the time of your first consultation and continuing after your surgery.