Stanford Sleep Surgery

Nasal Surgery Postoperative Instructions

Nasal splints: Splints are two pieces of plastic held in place with a stitch inside your nose. Although they are used to provide the best long-term results, they can produce temporary discomfort, and difficulty to breathe through the nose if this happens. These are temporary changes that should resolve once the splints and the stitch are removed, usually a week after surgery.

Pain control: You will be prescribed pain medication after nasal surgery. Take as you need for pain control. If you prefer to avoid narcotics, you should feel free to use acetaminophen (Tylenol®).

Bleeding: It is normal to experience small bleeding for a couple of days after surgery. You may dab your nose gently with tissue, but do not blow your nose. Avoid aspirin, NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen, Advil®, Motrin®, naproxen, or Aleve®), for at least two weeks because they can increase the risk of bleeding after surgery.

Nasal saline two sprays each nostril four to five times a day for two weeks: Nasal saline washes away all crusts and dried blood to keep the nose clean during the healing process, and accelerates healing by maintaining a moist environment in the nose. You may use nasal topical decongestants (such as Afrin® spray) two sprays each nostril twice daily for three days and then as needed to control small bleedings, for a maximum period of time of one or two days. The decongestant decreases the amount of swelling in the nose and can keep the nasal passages open during the healing phase.

Minimize physical activity for two weeks: Patients can resume normal daytime activities if they have undergone isolated nasal surgery. Walking and spending more time out of bed rather than in bed are helpful to reduce risks of developing pneumonia or blood clots in the legs. However, patients should avoid strenuous activity, it can increase swelling or cause bleeding.

PLEASE, NOTIFY YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY IF SIGNIFICANT BLEEDING OCCURS!