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Rhinoplasty Recovery

Post Nose Surgery Instruction

1.       You will be drowsy following rhinoplasty surgery—we have given you medications to help make you more comfortable. Expect to wake and doze on and off during the evening, and simply make yourself comfortable when you get home. The drowsiness will disappear in the evening or overnight. The day following surgery you may still feel a bit tired, but go ahead and begin to resume your normal activity immediately. Your energy will return more rapidly if you begin to resume normal activity the day following surgery.
2.       You may be a bit “stiff’ when you first awake in the morning following nose surgery. Go ahead and move about without fear of disrupting anything. Dr Simoni has carefully reinforced all of your incision areas so that anything short of drastic athletic activity will not affect them.
3.       Nausea after rhinboplasty: It’s not unusual to have some nausea following nasal surgery, particularly if you begin to get up and move about too soon. All nausea will be gone 6—8 hours following nose surgery. Simply relax and don’t try to eat any heavy foods—just try some clear liquids.
4.       Please call Dr Simoni's office within 24 hours after you return home. We want to know how you are progressing and will make your follow-up appointment.
5.    Pain After Rhinoplasty: You’ll be given a prescription for pain medication. Take a pain pill before retiring the evening of surgery (preferably after you have kept something in your stomach to avoid stomach irritation). It’s a good idea to take another pain pill the morning following surgery, since you may feel a bit stiff and uncomfortable when you begin to move about. If the pain pills disagree with you in any way, simply try extra-strength Tylenol—most patients find that by the first to second day following surgery Tylenol is quite adequate. Rarely will pain medication be necessary more than 3—4 days following surgery.
6.     Infection after rhinoplasty:  You received antibiotics in your IV prior to rhinoplasty surgery, so no further antibiotics are necessary following surgery (on the surgery day). Infection following any type of plastic surgery is extremely rare. Infection is usually not apparent for several days following surgery. If you notice significantly increased redness or swelling accompanied by tenderness or fever at any time, call so that we may examine you. It’s normal to experience temperature elevations to 101°F following surgery for many patients. If your temperature reaches 102°F, notify our office.
7.       If you are given additional antibiotics or any other type of medication, be sure to take the medication exactly as directed on the label.
8.       Swelling after rhinoplasty: Expect to have more swelling when you awaken the morning following rhinoplasty surgery. If you can comfortably sleep on two pillows, do so as this may reduce your swelling slightly. However, it’s more important that you sleep well, even if on one pillow, since the swelling will subside anyway over the next 48—72 hours.
9.       Try to keep the tape which I have placed on your nose as dry as possible. We will remove it for you in the office in 5—7 days.
10.    Bleeding after rhinoplasty: It’s normal to have drainage from your nose which will be tinged with blood for the first 48—72 hours. Usually the drainage decreases markedly after 24—36 hours and becomes clear. Remember that your nose will feel stuffy for a week or two because of the lining of the nose.
11.    Keep your nostrils clean and free of drainage using Q-tips dipped in Hydrogen Peroxide. You may need to clean frequently the first 2-3 days and then less frequently. Reach inside the nose only as far as the length of the cotton on the Q-tip.
12.    Nose blowing after rhinoplasty: Do not heavily blow your nose for the first 5 days following surgery or for the first 10 days following surgery if we have operated on your septum. Forceful blowing your nose risks significant bleeding. Similarly, do not lift heavy objects for the first 10 days since straining can cause bleeding also.
13.    Glasses after rhinoplasty: If you wear glasses, you may tape them to your forehead with a small loop of tape passed over the nose piece. Do not allow them to rest on the nose for the first 10 days following surgery. Remember that your glasses may require nosepiece adjustments for proper fit since we may have changed the shape of your nasal bones. When you first begin to wear your glasses. you’ll notice indentations where the glasses touch the nose. These indentations are not harmful - as the swelling in the skin of your nose decreases, the indentations will be less noticeable.
14.    Bruising after rhinoplasty: You’ll notice more bruising the morning following surgery than the day of surgery. This bruising will begin to disappear in about three days when the swelling also begins to decrease significantly. Swelling resolves at different rates in different people. Shortly after we remove the tape from your nose in five to seven days, the swelling will have sufficiently decreased that you’ll appear fine in public. Almost all of the more marked swelling will be gone between two to three weeks, but the thicker skin areas such as the nasal tip will begin to improve in definition and appearance for several months. After the first three weeks, the changes are very slight, and very slow, and you may not notice them.
15.    Remember that the degree of swelling will be different on the two sides - even if we have performed exactly the same procedure. Don’t worry about any differences in swelling or bruising which you see for the first three weeks following surgery.
16.    Numbness after rhinoplasty: The tip area of your nose will be quite numb for the first several weeks following surgery. This is normal, and as the skin nerves regrow following surgery, your sensation will return. Totally normal sensory return in the tip may require several months.
17.    Exercise after rhinoplasty: Avoid any type of aerobic exercise (any exercise which elevates your pulse above 90) for a minimum of three weeks following surgery. When your pulse rises, the accompanying rise in blood pressure can cause bleeding. Gradually resume exercise beginning two to three weeks following surgery. Avoid any type of contact sports for a minimum of 4-6 weeks following surgery. During this time, any strong blows to the nose could disrupt the recontoured nasal bone areas (osteotomy). Moderate bumps and blows to the nose usually will not cause disruption.
18.    Breathing after rhinoplasty: As we change the external shape and appearance of your nose, we also change the pattern of air flowing through your nose. Even when these changes are to relieve airway obstruction, and increase air flow through the nose, you may notice a difference in the “feel” of the air flowing through your nose. Due to swelling, the best improvement in air flow will not be noticeable until swelling decreases two to three weeks following surgery. Don’t worry that your breathing feels different through the nose
- you will adapt to the new pattern of air flow very naturally over a period of weeks.
19.    While your nose is swollen and stuffy, try to avoid using nasal sprays such as Afrin or other types of antihistamines, even if your nose seems to be draining a lot. If you dry these secretions inside your nose with antihistamines or sprays, they will clog your nose and be very difficult to remove.

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