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POST-OPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS

MOBILITY

During the first week, you will sleep on your back. Get out of bed every 2-3hrs and walk a little bit, then back to resting. Avoid any strenuous movements and heavy lifting. Heavy exercise or straining can cause bleeding or swelling during the first few weeks. Return to normal activity should be a gradual process and should never cause discomfort. Stop if you are uncomfortable!

  • First 3 weeks: You may take a gentle walk within a few days, “short Sunday stroll”. You may drive when you are comfortable and have discontinued all medications, typically 10 days post operatively.
  • Weeks 4-6: Legs & light cardiovascular exercise only (lower body movement, no arms)
  • Week 7-12: Gradual increase in cardio exercise & light upper body training ( abdomen, biceps - no peck exercises for first 3 months )

COLD COMPRESS & BRUISING:

You may use cold compresses around your eyes for 24 hours. You may still develop bruising around your eyes (lower or upper and lower) and around your cheeks.

NASAL PACKING:

If nasal packing is in place it will usually be removed in 24 – 48 hours.

SPLINT:

The splint put on your nose at the end of surgery is intended to provide protection, serving as a sort of small external skeleton. It will be removed in 5-10 days.

POSITION:

Keeping your head (and nose) elevated tends to reduce swelling. If possible, sleep on two or three pillows.

CLEANSING:

After surgery, some oozing and bleeding usually occurs for a day or two, and dried blood will collect in the nostrils. Keep the nostrils clear using wet cotton buds to gently wipe away any crusts. You may want to carry some tissues with you for a few weeks after surgery, as your nose may “drip.” Do not blow your nose, softly dab your nose clean.

BATHING & SHOWERING

Bathing until your dressings are removed after which you may shower. If you prefer to bath, do not allow the incisions to soak for more than a few minutes. After your stitches have been removed you may shower normally.

ICE PACKS

Significant amount of swelling & bruising accompanies rhinoplasty. Ice packs can be helpful with both swelling and discomfort. The swelling and bruises will go away within several weeks.

SUN

Scars take at least one year to fade completely. During this time, you must protect them from the sun. Even through a bathing suit, a good deal of UV radiation can reach the skin and cause damage. Wear a sunscreen with a skin-protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 at all times when in the outdoors.

SCAR MANAGEMENT

The incisions will be covered with Bactroban ointment for about 2-3 weeks after surgery, then topical Vit A or Silicone for 8-12 weeks. ( this will be explained to you after surgery )

MEDICATION - Take medications as directed

Contact Dr Geldenhuys if you develop nausea, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation or bloating. If pain persists despite pain medications please contact Dr Geldenhuys.

DIET

Have 3 meals a day with plenty of fiber, protein & carbohydrates. Hydrate yourself with plenty of noncarbonated drinks: water & freshly squeezed juices.

HEALING

Requires time. Swelling depends on the extent of the surgery, surgical technique and your physical condition. Healing continues over a long period of time, up to 18 months. Most of the swelling develops in the first 48 hours. As healing progresses, swelling and bruising decreases. About sixty to eighty percent of your swelling will disappear in the first two months and the remainder gradually thereafter until a year later.

CALL ROOMS (021) 424 5218 IF YOU HAVE:

  1. A temperature greater than 37’C.
  2. Bleeding from the NOSE or back of throat - some oozing is to be expected in the first 2-3 days.
  3. A sudden increase in pain, or swelling.
  4. Any questions regarding your care.
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