Pre- and postoperative instructions for surgery

Please read these instructions before and after your surgery. Careful following of these guidelines will help you to obtain the best possible result.

PREPARING FOR SURGERY

  • Avoid aspirin, aspirin containing products, ibuprofen, vitamin E, Ginkgo Biloba and other blood thinning herbal products for two weeks before the surgery.
  • Refrain from smoking two weeks before and two weeks after the surgery. Smoking reduces blood flow in the skin, delays healing and can result in scarring.
  • Avoid sun damage two weeks before the surgery.
  • Do not eat or drink anything, including water, at least 6 hours prior to the surgery. An exception can be made for some prescription medications – please consult with your primary care physician and surgeon about this. Your surgery will be cancelled if you fail to follow these instructions.
  • You must have a friend or family member drive you to the hospital, as well as drive you home afterward. You are expected to make these arrangements in advance. You are not allowed to drive alone after your operation.

THE DAY OF SURGERY

You will meet the anesthesiologist and nursing staff as well as your physician and any additional team members in the morning.

Rhinoplasty is usually performed under general anesthesia. Otoplasty is performed under general anesthesia in children and either under local or general anesthesia in adults.

Keep in mind:

  • Leave all valuables at home; do not wear jewellery.
  • Do not wear any facial or eye make-up.
  • You may wear glasses but do not wear contact lenses.

AFTER THE OPERATION

Apply cold compresses to the eye and facial area after the operation until you go to sleep in the evening. You may use crushed ice, unopened bags of frozen peas, or commercial cold compress packs. Use them for 20 minutes each hour the first day and evening while you are awake. Then resume the cold compresses the next day until the evening.

Following this regimen the first 48 hours after the surgery will help to reduce the swelling. Keep your head elevated (the height of 2 pillows is appropriate) for 3 days to minimize swelling.

If there are incisions on the nose, begin cleaning those twice a day and additionally as needed with 3% peroxide and antibiotic ointment (e.g. Ficidin). The most favourable wound healing occurs when wounds are kept clean of crusts and moistened with ointment. It is helpful to use a cotton swab to apply the ointment. Do not rub, but gently dab the incisions to clean them with 3% peroxide and apply the antibiotic ointment.

During postoperative period:

  • It is advisable not to blow too strongly your nose for the first 2 weeks after surgery to avoid nose bleeds. You could instead use saline irrigation solutions (Humer, Quixx). You may have blocked nose for a few weeks following surgery due to the swelling, and until the swelling settles, it is possible to use decongestants (in tablets form preferably).
  • Take the antibiotics and the pain medicine prescribed for you. Do not take aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications for 5 to 7 days after the surgery. Resume vitamins, herbal supplements and minerals the first day after the surgery.
  • It is okay to shower the day after the surgery. However, make sure that the nose cast or ear dressing remains dry.
  • You may resume normal activities such as walking after the procedure when you feel able. Avoid strenuous exercise for three weeks. During the second week it is okay to perform non-impact exercise like walking or stationary biking. It is okay to resume low-straining abdominal exercises during the third week, and return to your pre-surgical exercise levels during the fourth week.
  • You should not wear glasses for at least one month. If glasses must be worn, taping the central bridge of the glasses to the forehead will allow as little pressure as possible on the nasal bones.
  • It is wise not to sunbathe for the first 6 months after the surgery. Sunburn will cause the nose to swell and delay the final result. It is always best to apply a waterproof factor 25 sunblock with both UVA and UVB protection. Direct sun exposure can cause darkening of the scar.
  • You will return to your surgeon’s office 7 days after the surgery. Sutures that have not dissolved on their own will be removed. If there is a dressing on the outside of the nose or ear, it will also be removed. When we remove your nasal cast, your nose will be swollen and will remain so for several weeks. Initially, the nose will commonly appear larger and wider than you would prefer. This is normal. While most patients have a very good appearance even 2-3 weeks after the operation, you will likely have some swelling persist for a year.
  • Additional follow-up appointments will be made for one, six, and twelve months after the surgery so that we can follow your healing process. Please keep in mind that although much of the swelling resolves over the first several weeks after the surgery, it takes a full year for all of the swelling of the nose to resolve.

Call your surgeon promptly if:

  • Your temperature is over 38 degrees
  • You experience an unusual amount of bleeding
  • You have a skin rash or a visual disturbance
  • the operative site is reinjured

If any of the above occurs or if you have any questions, please call +372 5567 2730