Why Do Some Doctors Advise Patients to Continue Taping the Nose After Splint Removal?

Why do some doctors advise the patients to continue taping the nose after splint removal while others do not? What is causing the difference in opinion? Also, how long after splint removal should one tape the nose nightly? Thanks! :)

Doctor Answers 11

Taping after Rhinoplasty

I do not have patient's tape after rhinoplasty.  It is my opinion that some surgeons have the patients do this in order to alleviate concerns about swelling.  The fact is that swelling is a physiologic process that tape cannot affect and must resolve through normal healing.  Taping actually poses a risk as the process of placing, removing and replacing the tape can trigger an inflammatory reaction to the adhesive or just the process of peeling the tape off.  This will actually only serve to prolong your swelling and could even cause a secondary skin reaction that you do not want.

The splint itself can be used for protection during sleep or worn in a modified form under glasses/sunglasses for several weeks after surgery in order to protect the bones while they heal.

Phoenix Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Taping or not taping?

why do some people say tomato and others say tomah toe. i have no idea. just follow your surgeons instructions. he/she probably (not definitely though) has their reasons. 
I do ask my pts to tape after the splint comes off to remind them to protect their nose for at least 3 weeks. good luck

Rafael C. Cabrera, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Rhinoplasty Recovery and Swelling

When your splint first comes off, you should see some nice differences right away, but it takes time for all the swelling to resolve.

It can take even more time for the skin to contract around the new cartilage-bone framework underneath.  That's why in some patients it can be helpful to use a light compressive tape after splint removal. It can help hold and mold the skin with gentle pressure. 

It is not something I do for every patient, but would consider it if the splint came off a day or two early or in cases where the patient is quite swollen.

Michael Suzman, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Taping the nose after splint removal

My personal practice is not to tape the nose after splint removal. Once the splint is removed and the original tape is taken off I prefer to have my patients just do nasal exercises where they apply some pressure to each side of the nose evenly three times a day. I think placing and removing tape frequently is just aggravating the tissues and promotes swelling. I have been performing rhinoplasty surgeries for thirty years and have performed thousands upon thousands and I am very confident in my procedures and my post operative care plans as I am sure many other surgeons are. It may just be to each it's own!

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 208 reviews

Taping after rhinoplasty

Taping of the nose after rhinoplasty is optional but it does serve a few purposes:

  1. It is a reminder that the nose is still healing and to avoid excessive activity or trauma
  2. It reminds others to be mindful of your nose
  3. It reduces pressure by eyeglasses

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Taping the nose after splint removed following Rhinoplasty

 I have performed Rhinoplasty for over 20 years and I'm not sure why surgeons have patients tape their noses after the cast (splint) is removed following a Rhinoplasty.  In theory, tape application would push the swelling out of the nose, however since the tape has no inherent spring or strength to place continued pressure on the nasal tissues...most patients, IMHO are more likely to just lay the tape on the skin...which logically does nothing to push out swelling from the nasal tissues.

This is why, many years ago I started to instruct all of my Rhinoplasty patients on manual lymphatic drainage techniques to perform daily beginning one month after their Rhinoplasty.  Gentle, sustained pressure, in the appropriate location, does effectively remove excess swelling in the nasal tissues.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Taping the nose aftr rhinoplasty

We will at times have the patient tape the nose after rhinoplasty, as it can help modulate the post operative swelling in certain cases.  It can also act as a reminder in some patients to take it easy, and not to have their nose in a dependent, (below their heart), position that would also increase swelling, (e.g.; yoga class etc).

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Taping the Nose After Rhinoplasty

I can only assume that the purpose of taping the nose after splint removal is to control the swelling. A certain amount of swelling is inevitable and some of it, especially around the tip will take months, even up to one year, to fully resolve. I personally do not tape the nose after rhinoplasty but the only downside I can see is if it causes irritation and inflammation of the nasal skin, which may in turn increase the amount of swelling. Talk about the pros and cons with your surgeon.

Joseph Fata, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Taping after rhinoplasty

I am not aware of any scientific information that taping, or not taping after rhinoplasty has any effects on the final results of surgery. This is more of a personal choice of your surgeon. Michel Siegel, MD

Michel Siegel, MD
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 112 reviews

Taping the nose after splint removal

My practice is to routinely remove the splint at 7 days following surgery.  I do not have patient's retape the nose following this for the express reason that taping changes nothing about the healing process.  I do request that patient's wear the cast at night only for a further 2 weeks to avoid injury when rolling over in bed at night.  Nasal exercises are recommended but not specifically necessary as your final result is due to the actions that occur in surgery and not what you do after leaving the operating room.  Just be delicate with your nose and good luck with your healing process! Dr. Shep

Shepherd G. Pryor, MD
Scottsdale Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 23 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.