RHINOPLASTY AND ENT SURGEON | CAPE TOWN

NASAL SURGERY POST-OPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS

Now that your operation is over, you should expect to feel an improvement in your symptoms as the operation area heals, and the swelling goes down. The following instructions are designed to warn you about complications, how to avoid them and how to speed up the healing process. Common complications include:

Congestion

This is a common side-effect and is to be expected. Use a decongestant nose drop, e.g. Drixine or Iliadin three times a day if the congestion is particularly bad. Sleep in a head up position – i.e. use extra pillows. Avoid alcohol, very hot meals or drinks and smoking. Use a nasal douche regularly – see below for instructions.

Bleeding

A minor degree of bleeding is to be expected at intervals, but copious bleeding should be reported either to your GP or to myself, particularly if the bleeding comprises fresh blood and does not stop spontaneously.

  • Avoid blowing your nose forcibly for two weeks
  • Avoid drugs like aspirin, which thin the blood and prevent it clotting
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects and straining
  • Do not do vigorous exercise for two weeks
  • Do not move too far away from medical care for the first two weeks
  • Don’t bungee jump!!!

Scarring

The inside of the nose can scar, causing adhesions. Old blood clots and scabs will promote scarring, cause discomfort, promote infection and encourage bleeding if they are not removed. To avoid this complication use the following solution as a nasal douche:

  • 1 litre of cooled boiled water, but warmed to body temperature before use
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Mix the solution together and keep it in the bathroom with a 20ml syringe handy, or a manufactured bottle as given to you post-operatively. To use the solution you can bend over a basin and syringe the fluid into the nose, aiming at the outer aspect of the eye so that the solution can go into your sinuses due to gravity. After half a minute or so, sit up and let the solution drain into the bowl – you may blow.

Your husband/wife/your partner or your kids will probably find this exercise repulsive and will want to avoid you – but please persevere. You may also try sniffing this solution in the shower. You will find that long hot showers with gentle nose blowing in the shower will also feel good and be beneficial

Sinus Surgery

Be aware that meningitis is a rare complication of sinus surgery. Any high fever, vomiting, severe headache, pain resulting from looking into bright lights, fits or confusion demands immediate attention either personally by me or by your GP. This condition is easily treated when discovered early.

Rhinoplasty Surgery

You can expect bruising around the eyes to last for at least a week. A daily walk will help to open the lymphatics and cut down on bruising and swelling. You can also expect the plaster cast to get a little looser as the swelling reduces over a few days. Do not wear glasses for two weeks after the surgery. Avoid sunlight for the first two weeks and please use factor 30 or stronger sun block over the nose and face for one month after the surgery.

Changes in Smell or Taste Changes

This is due to congestion and should improve as the operation area heals. Please expect to feel tired, irritable and possibly depressed after an operation – it is after all a strenuous experience. Plenty of rest, fluids, healthy food and sleep will rectify the situation. The nose heals rapidly and complications are relatively infrequent.

I would like to see you for a follow up every week until you have healed – the first few consultation fees are included in the fee for the operation. If you experience any other problems at any time, please contact me on 082 425 8369.

Have a speedy recovery!