The post-operative period can be divided into three main sectors:
- The immediate post-operative period covers the first two weeks, approximately.
- The short-term post-operative: in my opinion, it would cover the following weeks until the 3rd - 4th month.
- The post-operative period to late: it covers from the 3rd - 4th month until at least the first year, and in some cases, it can extend up to two years.
Immediate post-operative. Once the surgery is complete, you will first go through a recovery room before being taken back to your room. Hospital discharge may take place that same afternoon or the following morning, basically depending on the complexity of the rhinoplasty, the type of tamponade, etc. In any case, before discharge, your report will be delivered to you, and you will be reminded of the most important instructions and home care. It is recommended that you rest relatively (you can move freely without exerting effort) for the next 48 hours after discharge from the hospital.
You will have been given three or four prescriptions for a pain reliever, an anti-inflammatory, and a stomach protector. We usually only recommend an antibiotic in the event that rib grafts have been performed. The painkillers that are recommended will control the discomfort that may arise; they are usually mild and last about forty-eight hours. During the following 24 hours after the operation, it is recommended to be at rest to better control the discomfort and avoid annoying bleeding as well as applying cold to the eyelids. You will notice the appearance of bruising and inflammation around the eyes. This is normal and may increase in the following days; you should not be alarmed. From the forty-eight hours, these phenomena usually improve gradually until disappearing in about seven to ten days.
Removal of plugs and splint after rhinoplasty
The nose plugs are removed after a variable time that will depend, fundamentally, on the type of rhinoplasty that has been performed. Using ear swabs dipped in hydrogen peroxide will help prevent scabs from building up in your nostrils and clean your columella wound. Using saline or seawater to clean the nostrils will prevent clogging of mucus or blood that prevents breathing. Never blow your nose to perform or complement hygiene, as this could cause complications.
The plaster is removed after seven or eight days, later plaster strips or other splinting will be used if the case requires it. In most cases, the patient can perform sedentary work after 48 hours but should avoid any type of effort or sudden movement. You should not wear glasses, do sports exercises, or blow your nose in about a month; these measurements are very important. You should avoid the sun or UVA rays for a minimum period of three months and use the appropriate sunscreens that you can get at any pharmacy.