Patients who undergo nasal reconstruction, septoplasty, turbinectomy, or sinus surgery usually have their nose packed at the end of surgery with a special soft sponge that has a string attached to its end. In some ways it is like a feminine tampon. This packing will sooth the raw areas inside the nose, keep it from over-drying, and prevent scarring and bleeding.
After surgery the nasal packing will stay moist or even drip with watery blood, which is normal.
On the second day after your surgery, you are to remove your nasal packing with the help of your family and friends as described below. Don’t be scared, you can do it!
- Take two pain pills about one hour before removing your nasal packing.
- Wet your face and neck with water and stay somewhere cool and next to a sink.
- Wet your nasal packing, firmly hold on to the string of the nasal packing, and pull it out gradually and from side to side. This packing is usually the length of the finger. It is best to pull it out slowly but firmly and continuously. Keep your mouth open when doing this.
- After the nasal packing is removed, it is not unusual to get a little nosebleed. If so, pinch the soft part of your nose for 5 minutes, while keeping your head elevated. The bleeding almost always stops.
- Later on, and usually four times a day for two weeks you need to irrigate your nose with tap water. This will help wash away the blood clots from inside of the nose and to keep nasal discharge and blood to get hard and stuck to the inside of your nose.
- The best tool for irrigation is to use a soft bulb irrigator which is usually used to clean the baby’s nose. Fill it up with tap water, place the tip of it at your nostril, aim it towards the back of your neck and flush forcefully while your mouth is open and your head is over the sink. The water would usually come out from the other nostril as well as your mouth. Repeat this several times a day.
- After irrigation, in order to keep your nose from drying, apply some Vaseline at your nostril and sniff. This will coat the inside lining of the nose and will keep it from drying. Repeat this after your leave the shower.
- After you remove your nasal packing, and irrigate your nose, DO NOT blow your nose forcefully, because this will cause a nosebleed.
What to do if you get NOSEBLEED after Rhinoplasty.
DON’T panic! Excessive excitement will raise your blood pressure and worsen the bleeding.
- Pinch the soft part of your nose between your thumb and index fingers for about 5 minutes.
- Take two pain pills (No aspirin or anti-inflammatory pills).
- Wash your face and neck with cool water. Stay in a cooler place and don’t drink anything warm.
- Don’t lie down or put your head down. In fact, keep your head elevated so that blood doesn’t rush to your head.
- Refrain from coughing, sneezing, retching, or blowing your nose.
- If nasal bleeding continues, or keeps re-occurring, call your doctor immediately.