How Much Dryness is Normal in the Months Following Nose Surgery?

Hi, I had septo-rhinoplasty with inferior turbinate reduction about a month and a half ago. Some days my nose is bone dry. Is this within the bounds of normal? How long does it take for the turbinates/etc. to recover? Thank you!

Doctor Answers 4

How to relieve dryness inside the nose after rhinoplasty surgery

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It is not uncommon for the nose to be dry after nasal surgery, particularly if your surgery entailed inferior turbinate reduction. This dryness may last for several months following your surgery. For your comfort, simple solutions include: using saline nasal spray whenever the dryness is unpleasant, applying topical vaseline ointment 2-3 times per day on the inside of your nose, hot steamy showers or spending time in a steam room. Finally, a simple thing that helps many of my patients in the early post-operative healing period as well as ongoing, if desired, is to use a cold air humidifier at the bedside with the spout directed toward your head so that you breathe in the steam from the humidifier throughout the night. This lubricates the lining of your nose and the oral airway to help with more rapid healing and also to help with any discomfort associated with dryness. Alternatively, some patients find their nose to be too moist following nasal surgery, with production of clear secretions for several months afterward. While this is certainly a nuisance, the good news is this will usually be temporary and subside within several months after the surgery.

Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Dryness is common post septorhinoplasty

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While some patients have no complaints of dryness post surgery it is common for a percentage of patients to have this complaint and totally normal for the post operative stage you are in. Discuss this with your surgeon and I am sure he/she will place you on some saline nasal spray to help retain moisture and make you more comfortable. The dryness may be further aggravated with climatic change in high elevation or desert regions as well as increased athletic activities. I do a lot of nasal fracture repairs and septorhinoplasty on athletes and my cyclists and runners typically use a saline solution for the first few months and then the dryness dissipates and they return to their normal activities without aggravation. Best regards!

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 218 reviews

Dryness after nasal surgery

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Sometimes nasal surgery changes airflow patterns leading to dryness.  This is more a problem in winter.  Nasal saline rinses and a humidifier are helpful to decrease symptoms.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon.

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Dryness is common after nose surgery

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Depending on how your inferior turbinate was modified by the surgery, dryness is very common sometimes for up to 2 months or longer. You should discuss this issue with your surgeron at your post operative appointments. In the meantime most rhinoplasty surgeons recommend frequent use of saline nasal sprays to retain moisture in the nasal cavity.


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