Concerns Regarding the First Week of Recovery After Primary Rhinoplasty?

In the first week of recovery after primary rhinoplasty, how can you tell if post-operative skin issues such as severe inflammation or necrosis is occurring while the nose is covered by the splint?

Doctor Answers 3


As stated below that would be unusual to have necrosis from the splint and you would present with other warning signs such as severe pain, fever, and possible drainage as well.  Be sure to address all your concerns with your doctor.   

Kansas City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Question about wound healing problems after a rhinoplasty

It would be extremely unusual for there to be any skin healing problems related to lack of blood supply to occur with a properly performed rhinoplasty.  You are correct that the skin of the nose is covered by tape and a splint for the first week.  If you were to experience a problem such as necrosis you would most likely have other symptoms such as drainage, fever and pain.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

If your Rhinoplasty Splint is causing pain, get it checked out

Your question about how to detect skin issues under a rhinoplasty splint is a good one.

In general, a properly applied splint is unlikely to cause skin issues such as necrosis or severe inflammation. That said, there can be circumstances where a splint causes pressure against the skin and this could lead to pressure necrosis of the skin.

I have seen occasional circumstances where swelling around the eyelids was significant enough to cause pain where it pushes against the splint, and if this went unrecognized it could potentially cause skin issues.

Warning signs to look for:

  • Pain caused by the splint, particularly if swelling is causing loose skin by the inner angle of the eyes to be pushed against the splint.
  • Any area of the splint that seems to be "digging into" the skin. The tip of the nose is an area that is especially likely to have decreased sensation right after surgery and it is possible that the skin could be compromised even though you aren't feeling any pain.

In my experience, particularly with heat-molded plastic splints, skin issues are rare with nasal splints after rhinoplasty. But if you have any questions or signs or symptoms as noted above, contact your surgeon immediately.

Hope this helps,

Nick Slenkovich, MD FACS

Nick Slenkovich, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 101 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.