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Different Splints Used in Nasal Packing?

I had open septo-rhino on Mon, and the packing/splints removed Tues. I looked up there today (had felt it the rest of the week), and noticed there is another piece of plastic in each nostril, tied with a suture. Are there different types of splints, with different purposes? My appt on Monday to have the cast/sutures removed is almost here, and I was trying to figure out if it's going to be an easy appt, or if having these things removed will make for a painful afternoon! Thx

Doctor Answers (2)

Different Types of Nasal Splints

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There are different types of nasal splints used depending on the function needed in the post operative period. These splints perform different functions such as helping to immobilize the nasal bones, absorb blood, and minimize swelling. Your surgeon will choose the splints according to the post operative needs of the procedure performed.

External splints are placed, as their name implies, on the outside of the nose and are usually employed to help keep the nasal bones in place after they have been fractured, whether surgically or accidentally, as well as minimize external swelling of the nose. These types of splints are typically made from plastics, aluminum, or plaster material.

Internal splints are positioned within the nostrils. What it is being used for will determine what is made out of. The most common material for an internal nasal splint is silicone. This type of splint will help provide support for the septum and minimize the adhesion risk between the septum and the nasal side wall. These splints can be sewn in and can also contain an integrated hollow tube to maintain the nasal airway open. They are also typically trimmed by the surgeon to custom fit the patient. 

The other type of internal nasal splints are comprised of a spongy material which come compressed. These type of splints are used for general nasal packing to absorb blood and/or drainage in the post operative period. As they absorb the fluid material, they expand and contour to the nostril. This action also gently compresses the intranasal incision sites helping to curtail bleeding.

From the information you have provided, it sounds as if you still have a silicone splint in place which will most likely be removed at your next visit, which can be uncomfortable.

I hope this helps.


Tampa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Different splints in rhinoplasty

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There are many differing splints and types of packing for surgeons that use it after rhinoplasty. What you describe sounds like a septal silicone splint, and internal one. Removal might not be confortable for many, however you probably will not have pain afterward.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 26 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.