Rhinoplasty Surgery Postop Checklist

  1. ___ Have your significant other, parent or good friend there to take care of you for the first 48-72 hours. Although a week is even better.

  2. ___ Take your pain medications - there is simply no reason to suffer. Studies have proven that lack of pain and stress can significantly decrease healing time.

  3. ___ Take your antibiotics - you do not want an infection

  4. ___ Keep changing out the bags of berries, peas (or whatever) - keep the area cold, it really helps the swelling and discomfort - especially in the first 48 hours. Do not place ice or extremely cold compresses directly on skin for long periods of time. Of course if your surgeon says no icing - no icing. Abide by your surgeon's rules.

  5. ___ Try to eat something - you need your energy, your body is working over time to heal itself. At least some Ritz crackers, vanilla wafers or Goldfish crackers until you can keep other foods down. These snacks are good to take with your meds to stave off nausea until you can eat a full meal. 

  6. ___ Drink lots of fluids - this is imperative. Your body needs it to help flush out the residual anesthesia and pain meds - especially after you cease taking them. Plus you will retain more fluid resulting in more bloated-ness if you do not.

  7. ___ Speaking of being bloated - it's going to be a fact of life. Don't be upset, it will subside.

  8. ___ Some patients recommend Daikon (root vegetable) to help with constipation which is brought on by pain medications. It also helps flush out the system. This may be best after you are finished with your medications. Mild stool softeners like Colace are really effective - again, ask your surgeon.

  9. ___ Have pillows along side of you as well as in back of you, this can either support your arms or assist you in trying to roll over on your stomach or sides. Stay sleeping on your back and keep your torso elevated for at least 10 days.

  10. ___ Take your temperature regularly! An elevated temperature could mean an infection.

  11. ___ Take those antibiotics ON TIME. And don't forget if you are taking birth control that some antibiotics can interfere so in the event that you do have relations, use another form of protection as well.

  12. ___ When you get tired, sleep - it gives your body more time and energy to direct towards healing.

  13. ___ Get up and walk around when you are able but don't over do it - too much too soon spells disaster and problems

  14. ___ If you had to quit smoking - please do not start again. Smoking decreases vascularity and can result in wound closure problems and necrosis (death) of skin cells and tissue.

  15. ___ Keep moist towelettes near the bed - it will help you freshen up without much effort. It is a good way to freshen up without getting your cast wet.

  16. ___ Keep the ringer turned off in your room, sleep is a good thing (I like sleeping - can you tell?)

  17. ___ Have a whistle on hand, a walkie-talkie or an intercom system so that you may alert your caregiver in case of his/her need.

  18. ___ Ask your surgeon about silicone sheeting, Cimeosil, Kelocote, Mederma, Arnica Montana, Bromelain, Vitamedica, etc. (CosmeticSurgeryShop.com) or whatever else your surgeon may recommend for helping scars after your cast is removed IF you had an open rhinoplasty. *Recent studies have shown that topical Vitamin E can actually cause contact dermatitis in some patients as well as make scars worse.

  19. ___ Take your after photos or day by day photos if you are keeping track. 

  20. ___ If you are keeping a journal, write in it daily because you will forget later due to the amnesiac properties of the anesthesia.

  21. ___ Have someone post or email your online friends after your surgery or they are going to be upset and worry about you.

  22. ___ Make sure you don't take any aspirin containing products or drink alcohol for several weeks after - at least 3 weeks. 

  23. ___ Again, we stress, take your temperature.

  24. ___ Have your friends stop by or when you are able - get some fresh air, it will do you good. Just don't overdo it.

  25. ___ Don't start getting depressed and thinking that your nose is ugly because swelling, especially with cartilage work, takes a long time to subside. Besides, depression and stressing out over anything is NOT good for proper recovery.

  26. ___ If you have topical arnica you really should try not to get it on your actual incisions, if you had any. It could irritate your wounds.

  27. ___ Continue taking vitamin C during your recovery - but ask your surgeon if he approves! Sometimes taking Vitamin C post-operatively can cause excess collagen formation increasing scar tissue.

  28. ___ No picking things up, they usually say, over 5-7 pounds. But no heavy lifting in general.

  29. ___ No bending over! This is important. You know how when you bend over and your heartbeat is heard in your ears. Well bending over can increase your blood pressure on your wounds and cause hemorrhaging. This means no bending over and blow-drying your hair.

  30. ___ Go to your post-operative appointments. These are important. You don't want to void any revision "warranties" between you and your surgeon nor do you want to compromise your chances of a great result.

  31. ___ Be careful with your significant other and children, and tell them to be careful.

  32. ___ If your back hurts ask your surgeon what muscle relaxers or medications you can use for alleviating this. 

  33. ___ Try hot water bottles or heating pads for your back - but no sleeping on them, this could cause burns.

  34. ___ Watch for suspicious swelling and discolorations that could be hematoma. This is important! Know the difference between a hematoma and a bruise.

  35. ___ Make a chart of when to take your meds. Some are taken 1 every four hours, some are taken four a day...don't confuse the instructions.

  36. ___ After you bathe, place a towel on the closed toilet seat and sit down to dry yourself. If you are dizzy from pain meds this is a blessing.

  37. ___ If you are a woman and you are searching or expecting your period and it does not come - do not freak out. The medications, trauma and anesthesia love to mess with your menstrual cycle. This goes for it coming at an "inopportune" time as well. Such as SURGERY DAY. So just have your feminine supplies on hand and expect it when you least expect it - or not at all.

  38. ___ You are probably going to be depressed a few days after your surgery, somehow or another during your recovery. This is very normal. Just warn your loved ones beforehand and keep your chin up. Your body has been put through a trauma, albeit a planned trauma, and will make you pay for it in its own subtle ways.  This may rear its ugly head with crying sessions, feelings of unattractiveness and general sadness. This too will pass.

  39. ___ Most importantly - relax. Don't stress. Take care. Contact your surgeon if you feel there is anything wrong.