What Is The Proper Way For Me To Clean The Dried Mucus Out Of My Nose 3 Weeks Post-Op?

I had a revision rhinoplasty 18 days ago. I had a lot of dried mucus in my nose and had been trying not to pick or blow my nose. However, this morning I couldn't take it anymore and I picked my nose with a Qtip. I am now very worried that I could have interferred with the healing. Could I have done something to harm my nose? My nose does seem more swollen and tender today than it was yesterday. What is the proper way to clean the nose?

Doctor Answers (6)

Cleaning your nose after rhinoplasty

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After a rhinoplasty, mucus can be rinsed from the nose using nasal saline mist or saline irrigations (Neti pot or sinus rinse bottle).  Dried mucus or bloody crusts within the nostrils can be gently broken up and removed with a cotton swab soaked in hydrogen peroxide.  It is important not to blow the nose the first week after a rhinoplasty to minimize the risk of a nosebleed.

After the first postoperative week, patients can begin blowing their nose gently and can continue using nasal saline as needed. Patients that had internal work to improve their breathing such as a septoplasty or turbinate reduction may develop more dry crusts during the first month as the nose adjusts to the increased airflow. Nasal saline rinses are often helpful in keeping the nose moist and minimizing crusting.  


Westchester Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Cleaning nostrils after revision rhinoplasty

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It is common to have dried blood and mucous in the nostrils following rhinoplasty. In most cases there are incisions placed just inside the nose for rhinoplasty and sutures to close these. Blood can tend to dry in this area. If you removed some of this dry mucous in this area 18 days after surgery, it is unlikely that you damaged anything deep such as the cartilage. The skin incisions heal very quickly after rhinoplasty. If there is still some dried blood and mucous, make a solution of half hydrogen peroxide with half saline and using a Q-tip moistened in this solution to dab onto the crusted blood. This will help to dissolve and remove the crusted blood. If you have thick mucous inside your nose, saline nasal spray can be used to help soften this mucous so that it can drain. You will find that you feel less congested and breathe better after doing so.

Jamil Ahmad, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Proper way to clean dried mucus out of your nose after a rhinoplasty

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 Since it has been 3 weeks after the rhinoplasty, it is acceptable to  blow your nose. Saline irrigations can also help. For resistant crusts, hydrogen peroxide mixed with saline can also help.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

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Cleaning the nose after rhinoplasty

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I always recommend saline nasal spray after rhinoplasty. This loosens dried mucous and blood and is soothing to the mucous membranes.  Heavy crusts early after surgery should be gently cleaned in the doctor's office.

Daniel Greenwald, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
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Best way for me to clean inside of nose 3 weeks after Rhinoplasty?

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The best way for you to clean the inside of your nose 3 weeks after Rhinoplasty is to let the staff at your Rhinoplasty surgeon's office do it for you.  They have the experience of where the internal suture lines are as well as the proper light and mechanism to clean the dried crusts from the inside of your nose after your Rhinoplasty.  However, that's what we do with our Rhinoplasty patients and as always, you should contact your Rhinoplasty surgeon and follow his/her instructions during your post op course.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Cleaning your nose after rhinoplasty

+1

Many individuals can collect dry mucous and dried blood in the nostrils after closed or open rhinoplasty.  Using nasal saline early on helps minimize the crusting and mucous at the opening to the nose.  As time goes on, more may accumulate.  I allow my patients to use 1/2 strength peroxide on a q-tip after the first week to soften the crusts at the nostril opening over a few days.  This will usually loosen things so that you can gently remove it.  Caution is definitely warranted as there are stitches on the inside of the nostril and mucous and blood can 'catch' on these sutures.  If it doesn't come easily, leave it alone.  Of course, going to see your surgeon for this when you're having problems is the best course of action to minimize problems.

Mike Majmundar, MD
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.