Surgical Instructions – Rhinoplasty

Two Weeks Before Rhinoplasty Surgery

  • If you live outside the Cincinnati area, arrange for accommodations. We can help you arrange for your postoperative care needs.
  • Assistance after surgery – You must not be alone for the first 24 hours after surgery, unless no anesthetic will be used for your procedure.
    • If no facelift is performed with your rhinoplasty, then you must have someone stay with you for the first 24 hours after surgery, and this person can be a family member or friend.
    • If you have a facelift performed in addition to your rhinoplasty, then you will need professional nursing care for the first 24 hours after surgery.
  • There are many medications and supplements that must be avoided during the two weeks prior to surgery. These include, but are not limited to, aspirin, ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin, Bufferin, Naprosyn, and large doses of vitamin E. A complete list of these medications and supplements is attached, and is also available on our website. If you have minor pains or headaches during the two weeks prior to surgery, then Tylenol (acetaminophen) can be used.
  • There are several medical tests and clearances that need to be completed prior to surgery. These include:
    • Patients younger than 45 years of age: complete blood count, hepatitis B and C antibodies, and HIV test.
    • Patients between 45 and 65 years of age: complete blood count, hepatitis B and C antibodies, HIV test, letter of medical clearance from your personal physician (after complete physical exam), and electrocardiogram (EKG).
    • Patients older than 65 years of age: complete blood count, hepatitis B and C antibodies, HIV test, letter of medical clearance from your personal physician (after complete physical exam), electrocardiogram (EKG), and chest X-ray.

The above blood tests must be completed during the two weeks prior to surgery. The letter of medical clearance, EKG, and chest X-ray must be performed during the three months prior to surgery. If these tests and clearances are not completed and received by our office prior to surgery, then your procedure will not be performed.

  • Surgical fees must be received by our office two weeks prior to surgery.

One week beforeRhinoplasty Surgery

  • Discontinue smoking.
  • Do not expose your face to sun.

24 hours before Rhinoplasty Surgery

  • Confirm your time of surgery with our office
  • Shampoo your hair.
  • Relax and eat well.
  • Do not drink alcoholic beverages.
  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.

The Day of Rhinoplasty Surgery

  • Wash your face well, and do not wear any eye or facial make-up.
  • You must wear loose, comfortable clothes to the office. A buttoned shirt, slacks, and flat shoes are recommended. Tight clothing will likely be uncomfortable, and high heels will make walking after anesthesia dangerous. In addition, do not wear panty-hose, a pull over top, or contact lenses.
  • If you wear reading glasses, bring them with you so that consent forms and other instructions can be read. Also bring a case or bag for your glasses.
  • If you have a prescription card from your insurance company, bring it with you. Also bring a form of payment for your prescriptions (approximately $80 cash, or a credit card).
  • Leave all valuables at home.
  • Be ready to give the nursing staff a phone number where you can be reached during the 24 hours after your procedure.
  • After-care instructions will be given to you and your companion(s) when you are picked up after surgery.

At home after Rhinoplasty Surgery

  • If you experience any sharp pains deep in your eyes (not in your eyelids), or any decrease in visual acuity, call the office immediately.
  • Do not stand quickly from any seated position. Instead, remain sitting for two minutes before standing.
  • Do not hesitate to call for assistance with walking, if needed.
  • Eat small amounts of soft foods, and be sure to keep yourself hydrated by drinking water and juices. Your pain relievers may make you nauseated, and eating large amounts of food, or rich and heavy foods, will make nausea worse.
  • Cold gauze or ice packs should be placed lightly over the eyes and upper cheeks continuously until around 10:00 P.M. This will help reduce swelling and bruising around the eyes.
  • Many patients find it difficult to sleep during the night after surgery. This is often due to lingering effects of anesthesia, or discomfort from nasal obstruction. Do not be alarmed if you find sleeping difficult.
  • A small amount of oozing from the incisions is normal.
  • Do not remove the strips of tape from your eyes. If they start to peel off, call the office during business hours and the tape can be replaced.

Follow-Up Care after Rhinoplasty

  • Keep cold compresses on your eyes as much as possible for the first three days after surgery.
  • The morning of the second or third day after surgery will show the most swelling and bruising. It is not unusual for the appearance of your eyes to be asymmetric – do not be alarmed if one eye is more swollen and/or more bruised than the other.
  • The thin layer of clear tissue that covers your eye (the “conjunctiva”) may become swollen. If this occurs, it will look like a bead of cloudy ointment, but you will not be able to wipe it away. Do not be alarmed by this – it is not uncommon after eyelid surgery, and will resolve in a few days.
  • Another finding after surgery may be a bright red discoloration of your eye. This is also not a cause for alarm, and will resolve.
  • Be very careful with cleaning your eyelids. Occasionally, the incisions may open slightly. If this occurs, call the office during business hours.
  • Sutures are removed between five and seven days after surgery.
  • Application of eyelid make-up can be resumed two weeks after surgery. Putting make-up on earlier than that may block pores in the healing skin.
  • Exercise can be resumed three weeks after surgery.
  • Alcohol will prolong swelling, and should be avoided for at least two weeks after surgery.
  • You may feel bumps along the incision lines for many weeks following surgery. This is normal, and will resolve once healing is complete.
  • You may also notice redness, puffiness, tightness, burning, or tearing of your eyes. These are normal, and will resolve with full healing.
  • Full healing takes several months, and a final check-up is advisable 3-6 months after surgery.