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Rhinoplasty is surgery to repair or reshape your nose.



  • Medicines help decrease pain or prevent a bacterial infection. Medicines also help decrease swelling or nasal congestion.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

You will need to return to have the stitches, gauze packing, or splint removed. You may also need frequent visits to monitor how well your nose heals. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Do not blow your nose:

The increase in pressure can cause bruising, swelling, and bleeding. Try not to sneeze. If you have to sneeze, keep your mouth open to decrease pressure in your nose.

Elevate your head and upper back:

Keep your head and upper back elevated day and night to decrease swelling and pain. Prop your upper body on 3 to 4 pillows or sit in a recliner.

Apply ice:

Apply ice on your nose for 15 to 20 minutes every hour for 24 hours. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel. Ice helps prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain.

Care for your wound as directed:

Rinse your nose with saline 1 or 2 times a day, or as directed. Mix ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda with 1 cup of warm distilled water. Nose rinses help remove crusts and prevent infection. Apply petroleum jelly to your nostrils after you rinse your nose. You may have gauze taped under your nostril openings. Change the gauze if it gets wet or dirty. If you have a splint, do not get it wet or try to remove it.


  • Use a cool mist humidifier. A cool mist humidifier will increase air moisture in your home. This will help keep your nose and throat moist and prevent irritation.
  • Protect your nose. Do not bump your nose or allow anyone to touch your nose. Avoid heavy activity or exercise.
  • Do not smoke and avoid others who smoke. Smoke can slow healing and irritate your nose. If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Ask for information if you need help quitting.
  • Avoid a lot of sun for 1 year. Sun exposure can discolor your nose or cause a sunburn. Use at least an SPF 30 sunscreen. Wear a hat to limit sun exposure on your nose.
  • Drink liquids as directed. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. Drinking liquids will help prevent dehydration and keep your tissues moist.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • Your splint is loose or comes off.
  • You feel blood draining down your throat.
  • You have a fever above 101°F.
  • Your nose is red, swollen, and draining pus.
  • Your upper teeth, gum, or nose is numb.
  • You have a bad smell or taste in your mouth.
  • You have a change in your vision.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You have trouble breathing.
  • Clear fluid comes out of your nose when you bend your head forward.
  • Your heart is beating fast or has an irregular rhythm.
  • Your nose or the roof of your mouth is pale or starting to turn black.
  • You have severe pain.
  • You have red streaks on the skin around your nose.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Rhinoplasty (Discharge Care)

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