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 19

Clean up your nose!

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Wound care after rhinoplasty is an important part of the procedure and important to prevent issues.  
I recommend cleaning all the incisions with a q-tip dipped in peroxide to dissolve and remove the crusts. This includes the nostril incisions.  Then apply a coat of any ointment the incisions, I generally recommend Aquaphor.  
I also recommend 2-3x daily rinsing with a Neilmed irrigation bottle.  One key is to keep the noise moist as it is generally very dry after any septoplasty or septorhinoplasty.  For that I recommend Nasogel squirt bottle (nasal saline gel) which softens the crust so you can wash it out.  I also recommend a cool mist humidifier.
Nose blowing is a surgeon specific guideline.  I personally allow sniffing during the first week and then gentle blowing after that, but absolutely n o compressing the nostrils.  Absolutely no hard blowing for a few months.  

Often times even these measures will not clear the nose and the crusts needs to be removed by the doctor.  I would call and ask your doctor.   

Care for rhinoplasty

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You are doing just fine. I ask the patients to cleanse the inside of the nose with Q-tips and peroxide. This seems to get rid of the mucous. Then I ask them to apply a coat of bacitracin for lubrication

Norman Bakshandeh, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon

Cleaning the nose following rhinoplasty

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Thanks for your question. It's common to have dried blood and mucous building up in your nasal cavities and nasal vestibules following nasal surgery of any kind. The best ways of dealing with this are to clean your nostrils with diluted hydrogen peroxide on a q-tip then applying antibiotic ointment or vaseline. For further up in the nose, using saline nasal spray helps clear out any debris. Sometimes your doctor will need to remove some of the build up for you. Good luck!

Saline rinses and hydrogen peroxide

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Saline rinse is the best way to clean the nose starting at day 1 post op. If you can see the scabbing and crusting, hydrogen peroxide is very good for removing these stuck hard crusts.

Jeffrey Jumaily, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Post Op Rhinoplasty - How To Clean Nose?

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This is an excellent question.  The answer varies from surgeon to surgeon, so be sure to check with yours. In my practice, we have an excellent technique that we teach post-operative patients that does not interfere with any healing, nor does it disturb any tissue. The best way to guarantee a great result is to ensure that patients take the best care of themselves postoperatively, since fresh rhinoplasties are fragile and need careful attention!

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

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Hi Sunny2011,

After rhinoplasty it is not unusual for crusting to develop inside the nose. Picking, of course, is not recommended as the healing incisions may open and bleed. In my experience, a thin layer of antibiotic ointment placed just inside the nostril rim with a finger will soften the crsut in this area. Also, using saline nose spray four to six times a day will soften and flush out any crusting that is further back in the nose.

Best of luck,

Dr. Kaniff

Cleansing the nose after rhinoplasty

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Nasal obstruction from dried mucus, blood and crusts following rhinoplasty is a universal complaint for the first few days and is somewhat unavoidable. The best way yo cleanse your nose soon after surgery depends totally on the technique your surgeon uses and you should ask your physician what he or she suggests you do. After your first post op visit and your surgeon has evaluated your nose, removed any splints, casts or bandages from your nose you should use over the counter salt water nasal spray to GENTLY moisturize and cleanse the mucus from your nose. Use only a hand held squeeze bottle and squeeze with your fingers to spray a mist into your nose. You can then gently blow or "snuffle" air through your nose to clear the blockage. if the obstruction is severe or painful call your doctor for his or her advice.

Eugene L. Alford, MD
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Nose care after rhinoplasty

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Proper care of your nose is an important part of recovery after rhinoplasty.  I generally instruct my patients to keep the nose moist which generally helps the tissues heal. The build up of crusts is a normal part of the recovery.  These crusts can be gently cleansed with a q-tip dipped in full strength hydrogen peroxide.  I also recommend using a nasal saline spray or mist that can be used 3-4 times daily to keep the tissue moist.  

It is also very important to make all of your follow up visits, as your surgeon will also do some cleaning as well.  


Hope that helps and good luck.

Robert Deeb, MD
Grosse Pointe Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Nose cleaning post-op

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Hello! After nasal surgery the best way to keep the nose clean is to keep it moist - you should be using saline spray 2-3x/day and also can gently clean the inside with a qtip coated in bacitracin ointment by this time after your surgery. Please discuss this with your Doctor but this is a very common complaint. Good luck!

Kapil Saigal, MD, FACS
Winter Park Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Nasal cleaning after rhinoplasty

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Nasal cleaning after rhinoplasty is quite important. Diluted hydrogen peroxide on qtips followed by Bacitracin or Vaseline is imperative. Also the nose loses its ability to humidify and moisturize after rhinoplasty, especially if a septoplasty was done as well. It is important to use nasal saline at least for the first 4-6 weeks after surgery to help the feeling of dryness and to prevent obstructive crusts. Hope this helps!

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.