Rhinoplasty Surgery Instructions
1. Do not take any aspirin (including any medication containing aspirin) for seven days prior to surgery and two days after surgery because aspirin always interferes with normal blood clotting. Do not take any prescription or over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications for three days before surgery and for two days after surgery for the same reason. These drugs are used primarily to treat inflammation, mild to moderate pain and fever. Examples of these over-the-counter medications are Motrin, Advil, Aleve, etc. Stop any Vitamin E and herbal supplements for three weeks before and one week after surgery. Please check any multi-vitamin you may be taking.
2. Smokers should stop smoking as far in advance of the surgery date as possible to minimize complications from the anesthesia to help minimize scarring. Be sure to inform Dr. Oldham if you smoke.
3. Immediately report any signs of a cold, infection, boils or pustules appearing within two weeks of surgery.
4. Do not eat or drink anything (including water) after midnight before your surgery. Refrain from chewing gum.
5. Arrange for someone to drive you home after the surgery. Someone will also need to stay with you the first night.
AFTER YOUR SURGERY
1. Use several pillows to elevate your head for a few days after the surgery to help minimize bleeding and swelling.
2. Use an ice pack over the eyes for several hours after surgery (crushed ice in a plastic bag covered with one or two layers of a paper towel or a bag of frozen peas works well). DO NOT use warm or hot compresses.
3. You can expect:
a. A nose bleed and drainage from your nose for a few days (change the drip pad gauze under your nose as often as necessary). Do not replace it after the dripping has stopped.
b. Swelling and bruising around your eyes, more on the second or third day than on the first day.
c. Bloodshot whites of your eyes possibly.
d. Mild numbness and firmness of the tip of your nose for several months.
e. Mild irregularities along the sides or top of the nose which can sometimes be felt.
4. Do not blow your nose for one week after the surgery; you can gently clean inside your nostrils with a moist Q-tip.
5. Do not get the splint on your nose wet (you may wash your face around the splint). Do not disturb the splint. This will be removed at your post-operative visit. You may wash your hair on the second day after surgery if you can do so without lowering your head below your heart.
6. Women may wear makeup at any time if you wish.
7. If you have to sneeze, do so with your mouth open.
8. If you have external stitches at the base of your nostrils, from an >alar base excision= clean them with a Q tip and tap water twice daily, and apply Neosporin ointment.
9. Avoid strenuous activity for two weeks. You may, however, do light exercise after one week. Avoid any activity that might endanger your nose being struck for three months.
10. Avoid exposure to the sun for three months to prevent prolonged swelling (you may spend time in the sun if you apply a sunscreen generously).
11. Do not allow glasses or sunglasses to rest on your nose for one month after the surgery. You may tape glasses to your forehead during this time.
12. Make an appointment to return to the office approximately one week after the surgery unless you have external stitches, in which case you will need to return a few days after the surgery. NOTE: When you come to the office, for your privacy and comfort, enter the door to the private waiting room, located to the right just after you enter the suite from the outside hallway.
13. After the bruising subsides, your appearance will be quite acceptable, even though your nose will still be very swollen. The resolution of swelling is very gradual but will take at least 1 to 12 years to completely disappear.
If your pain is mild take extra-strength Tylenol. For more significant pain, take the prescription pain medication given to you by Dr. Oldham, but be sure to take it after eating to minimize nausea which is always a risk after taking any stronger pain medication. Regardless of whether you are taking extra-strength Tylenol, the prescription medication or alternating between the two, it is important to wait four (4) hours between doses in order to avoid potentially harmful over-dose of Tylenol (Acetaminophen).