Getting ready for your procedure
- If possible, avoid medications and supplements that may thin your blood. This includes aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, Vitamin E, and fish oil for 2 weeks before surgery.
- Do not smoke for 2 weeks prior to and 2 weeks after surgery. Nicotine and tobacco smoke delay healing and can result in scarring or infection.
- Plan to take 10-14 days off work and 2 weeks before any major social events; after 2 weeks the bruising may be covered with makeup and the swelling will have improved.
- Arrange to have someone drive you home from surgery and stay with you for at least 24 hours after the procedure.
- Sinus rinse system/bottle (Neil Med System Preferred)
- Nasal saline gel and nasal saline spray
- Vaseline or Aquaphor ointment
- Tylenol (acetaminophen) 325mg tablets
- Stool softener (docusate)
- Prescriptions medications
- Easy to prepare, easy to chew meals and snacks
- Optional-makeup to cover any bruising
The Day of Surgery
- Do not have anything to eat or drink (even water) after midnight the night before your surgery.
- Bring your prescription medications to the surgery center.
- Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes that button or zip. Avoid slipover clothing.
- Leave your valuables at home; do not wear jewelry or piercings.
- Avoid all make-up, hairspray, and nail polish.
- Do not wear contacts to the surgery center.
- Bring your ID and insurance card with you.
- Change out the dressing under nose (if present) until drainage stops.
- The external nasal cast will be removed at your follow up appointment (6-7 days after surgery). Try not to disturb it, but if it comes off, do not replace.
- You will follow up in the office 1 week after surgery. At that time your external cast and internal splints (if you have them) will be removed.
- After your splints are removed, you can begin using the nasal rinse system you purchased prior to surgery.
- Use a Q-tip to apply Vaseline or Aquaphor ointment to the stitches just inside your nostril and to the skin stitches. Avoid touching the areas with your fingers. It is always good practice to wash your hands before doing any care to your incisions to ensure cleanliness.
- Do not insert anything into the nose to try and clear the nasal passage, including a Q-tip or finger.
- Keep your head elevated for the first 48 hours. A recliner is best. Sleeping with extra pillows works as well. This will minimize swelling and help avoid rolling during sleep.
- Small icepacks should be used over the eyes only. NO PRESSURE should be placed on the nose.
- Do not blow your nose for 2 weeks. If you need to sneeze, do so with your mouth open.
- Keep the inside of your nose moist with nasal saline spray; 2 sprays around the bottom of the nostrils every 2 hours while awake.
- Avoid any food that requires tall bites (ie- Big Mac) or excessive chewing (ie-steak) for the first week.
- You may wash your face with a washcloth, do not get the cast wet. You may shower and wash your hair but avoid placing your face directly in the stream of water.
- It is OK to wear contacts the day after surgery, and OK to wear glasses if a cast is in place. After your cast is removed you should avoid wearing your glasses or sunglasses for 4 weeks unless instructed otherwise by Dr. Harbison.
- Most of the swelling will reduce within 2 weeks; however, you will continue to have swelling mostly in the tip of the nose for 6-12 months after surgery.
- After surgery, it is important to have a bowel movement within a day or two. If you do not, you may take over-the-counter stool softener to encourage your bowels to move.
- All patients are placed on antibiotics for a short time after surgery to prevent an infection. Please complete the entire course of medication as written on the bottle.
- Sunscreen should be applied to the external scars starting 2-3 weeks after surgery. It is important to protect your scars for AT LEAST 1 year to prevent discoloration from the sun. Sunscreen with SPF 30 and above is always recommended to prevent skin cancer and signs of aging/sun damage.
- Resuming physical activities:
- Light activity (preparing meals, walking around the house) is encouraged immediately to prevent blood clots but no heavy lifting greater than 10 pounds, bending over, or straining until cleared by Dr. Harbison.
- Driving: once you are no longer taking pain medications
- Sports: 6 weeks
- Swimming, sauna, hot tub: 3-4 weeks or as directed by Dr. Harbison
- Scuba diving: 12 weeks
Please call our office at 402.739.8144 at any time with questions or concerns. After hours, you may call our office and follow the prompts to speak to the on call nurse. If you are experiencing a life-threating emergency, please go to the nearest emergency department.