Rhinoplasty Post-Operative Instructions

Rhinoplasty Post-Operative Instructions

(If you have had additional procedures please refer to those for more detail)

Things to have prior to your surgery:

  1. A tube of over the counter antibiotic ointment (e.g., Neosporin, Bacitracin or store brand)
  2. An over the counter stool softener.
  3. Your favorite non-carbonated beverage.
  4. Multiple bed pillows with old pillowcases
  5. Over the counter saline spray (2 bottles)

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American Medical Association
American Society of Plastic Surgeons
American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery
American Board of Plastic Surgery

What to Expect

There will be swelling in the areas of surgery as well as bruising. Bruising will often extend to the under- eye area if you have had treatment of your nasal bones. This bruising will usually persist for 10 to 14 days but can be variable. Pain and bruising may worsen during the first few days after surgery and this is normal. Swelling will slowly subside but can take a full year to completely resolve! Your nose has small pieces of white material and ointment placed inside the nose. This material may fall out over time and is normal. DO NOT BLOW YOUR NOSE but you may sniffle backwards.


It is best to rest and sleep with pillows under the head and neck to help improve and reduce facial swelling. Sleep with the back of your head on the pillows avowing side sleeping. You must avoid bending, lifting or straining or anything else that might increase the blood pressure in your face.


There is a gauze pad beneath the nose to collect drainage. You may replace this as often as needed. When the drainage stops you no longer need it. If you had your nasal bones treated there will be a splint on the bridge of the nose. It should remain dry and kept in place.


You have incisions inside the nose and sometimes on the skin between the nostrils. Starting the day after your surgery please apply a thin layer of triple antibiotic ointment to that incision, twice a day, by gently rolling the ointment over the sutures with a clean Q-tip. You should also start using an over the counter saline spray twice per day in each nostril.


Showering will be discussed during your first postoperative visit. You may sponge bath if you like in the meantime, keeping the nose dry at all times.


It is very important to stay fully hydrated during the postoperative period. It is best to drink water or dilute non-carbonated beverages and ensure that you are urinating at least a few times per day. You can resume solid food when you feel ready. If you are nauseated, please do not eat anything and call the office.


Read and follow all package inserts, warnings and instructions for any medications or products you use. Any pain medication prescribed can cause constipation and you should consider taking an over-the- counter stool softener at the same time. You may take over-the-counter pain relievers instead of narcotics. Do not take aspirin containing products which will Cause increased bleeding or any additional Tylenol as many narcotic medications already contain Tylenol. Do not use ice or a heating pad. If you are nauseated or vomiting after your surgery, it is often related to narcotics.

Call Dr Reilly if you have nausea or vomiting after surgery!


You are recovering from surgery! Activity should be minimal but slowly increase as the recovery period progresses. You may walk slowly up and down stairs as needed. Bed rest is NOT required and walking slowly throughout the house a few times each day is required and may help reduce blood clots from forming. Remember to stay hydrated.

Chances in your condition

If there is any concerning, worsening or significant change to your condition you should call 911. You should not delay seeking emergency medical help by leaving a phone message for Dr. Reilly or by texting. Dr. Reilly’s cell phone is 203 209 6834 for any routine questions.



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