I had rhinoplasty done almost 3 months ago (in december 08). Everything is fine, just that my doctor tells me I should still be careful with blowing my nose (I've had very little spot bleeding after blowing). He says I should not blow too hard. I was thinking that maybe I should use a nasal rinse like afrin pure sea, something gentle that would help me breath easier and keep my nasal pasages clean without any blowing.
Is It Safe to Use a Nasal Rinse After a Rhinoplasty Surgery?
Doctor Answers 8
Nasal Sprays After Rhinoplasty
Many patients experience transient bleeding or crusting in the first several weeks to months after rhinoplasty. Topical nasal saline spray is a safe and an effective way to clean the nasal passages and to provide moisture. Over the counter decongestant sprays such as Afrin (oxymetazoline) should be avoided - they can cause constriction of the blood vessels to the lining of the nose and potentially result in a septal perforation.
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Safe and encouraged to use nasal rinses
It is very safe, and also encouraged, to use nasal rinses starting one week after the surgery. Normal saline is the best nasal irrigation to be used and should be used at body temperature. After two weeks from the time of your surgery, it is okay to blow your nose as often and as hard as you wish. Spot bleeding in the nose is nothing to be concerned about unless there is a true hemorrhage.
Nasal Irrigation after Rhinoplasty
After rhinoplasty, activity restrictions are generally made to prevent bleeding and swelling. Bleeding is generally a risk for the first 2 weeks after surgery. If turbinate surgery is also done, then there may be additional risk for up to 3-4 weeks after a procedure.
Many patients that have rhinoplasty also have concurrent functional nasal problems, including a deviated septum, turbinate enlargement, chronic sinusitis, or nasal allergy. Specifically, those patients with sinus or allergy conditions tend to benefit from nasal irrigation in order to improve their baseline nasal hygeine and decrease nasal irritation symptoms.
I allow patients to go back to regular saline irrigation and nose blowing by 2-3 weeks after surgery. By 3 months you should be able to blow your nose and irrigate without significant concern for problems. Remember that even in a non-operated nose, blowing hard enough and frequent enough can cause some bleeding.
I suppose the more important question is this: Why do you feel the need to blow your nose so much right now? Is your breathing obstructed? Is your nose running?
Perhaps nasal allergy testing and treatment or a steroid containing nose spray would benefit you significantly. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms to see if things in addition to saline irrigation would help you.
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Saline spray is safe after Rhinoplasty
It is usually safe and even recommended to use saline spray after rhinoplasty. If the spray has Afrin (oxymetazoline) in it, it should not be used for more than 4 - 5 days. I would discuss this with your surgeon, since he knows exactly what was done and how it affected your nasal passages.
Nasal Rinse after Rhinoplasty
If you had a Rhinoplasty 3 months ago, I have no problems allowing patients to blow their noses. Nasal rinse with ocean or afrin are also fine.
Nasal Rinse After Rhinoplasty
I recommend nasal rinses to most of my patients after rhinoplasty or septoplasty, and even to many non-nasal surgery patients.
Alkalol is mucus cleaner and expectorant. We ask patients to get plain nasal saline spray (45cc, Ocean, Ayr, etc.), take off the cap and add the Alkalol to the saline. Recap the spray bottle and then spray into the nostril multiple times until the solution is felt in the back of the throat. At that point, the solution is spit out and the spray is continued on the other side.
Patients should go back and forth between nostrils a few times two to three times per day. When they run out of solution, we ask that they refill the spray bottle with 1/2 Alkalol plus 1/2 water, it is not necessary to re-buy new saline each time.
Good luck and enjoy your new nose.
Safety of Nasal Rinse
It is important to use saline nasal spray for 4-6 weeks or longer. I do not advise the use of Afrin spray as this is only recommended for very short term use.