Can a septo-rhinoplasty with turbinate reduction be done without opioid medication?

For medical reasons I can't take opioids incl. weaker ones like tramadol, codeine, etc (has nothing to do with addiction. I've never been an addict). Is it possible/have you heard of effective, non-opioid pain management for a septorhinoplasty w/ turbinate reduction? Are there things like nerve blocks, local numbing medications or injections (lidocaine-like things?) or high doses of NSAIDs that could provide enough pain control post-op? Would this work even if nasal bones were broken in surgery?

Doctor Answers 10

Septorhinoplasty and opioid medication

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Thanks for your inquiry.  A septoplasty with turbinate reduction can be done without opioid medication.  There are other medications that we can give to make you comfortable after the procedure.  I would not recommend NSAIDS because they can lead to bleeding, but there are definitely other medications available for this.  Local anesthesia can also be provided to keep you comfortable in the immediate postoperative period.  This would be a great question to ask your plastic surgeon during your consultation.  I hope this helps. 

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Rhinoplasty without opioids?

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The use of long-acting numbing medication combined with a light general anesthesia makes the rhinoplasty/septoplasty experience pleasant and very tolerable.  Meet with a board-certified plastic surgeon or facial plastic surgeon experienced in rhinoplasty to discuss your specific needs.  Good luck and best wishes.
Jon A Perlman M.D., FACS
Diplomate, American Board of Plastic Surgery
Member, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)
Beverly Hills, California

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Septo-rhinoplasty done without opioid medication

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The answer is yes to all of your questions relative to performing your rhinoplasty without opioid medication. Discuss all this with your plastic surgeon.

Fred Suess, MD (retired)
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon


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Septorhinoplasty can be done without opiate medications. Tramadol is a non-opiate medication that we prescribe for patients who do have difficulty with opiate meds.

Arian Mowlavi, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

Rhinoplasty without opioid medication

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A rhinoplasty can be done with local anesthesia with lidocaine and Marcaine and nothing more then extra strength Tylenol would be needed after See a very experienced rhinoplasty surgeon who is familiar with these techniques and does natural noses 

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Can septorhinoplasty with Turbinate Reduction be Done without Opiod Medication?

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There are many different drugs and combinations of drugs to use in treating and controlling pain. I've always been able to keep post-operative patients comfortable regardless of their addictions, allergies, or need to avoid specific narcotics.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Rhinoplasty without opiods

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I agree with the other experts that non opiod medications can be successful to treat post operative pain. In addition to the drugs mentioned, I find the injecting a long acting local anesthetic at the end of the procedure, along with a steroid such as Decadron, allows the patient to awaken totally pain free from the operation. I find Ultracet and Celebrex to be the best supplemental oral meds post op.

Harrison C. Putman III, MD
Peoria Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 reviews


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Dear 0username0, Septorhinoplasty with turbinate reduction is not a painful procedure for most of my patients and I have many patients who do not use opioid medications due to either past addiction or history of nausea. Tylenol intravenous drip  is very effective in the recovery room and pain management can be taken care of with other medications. For patients like yourself I set up a consultation with my anesthesiologist so that a full history of your past problems can be reviewed as well as a proper post operative pain management plan can be discussed. I do not use typical packing or splints which many surgeons use and this can be a cause of discomfort for some patients. See the video above for an example of a typical  patient response. See the link below for examples of septorhinoplasty before and afters. Best regards, Michael V. Elam, M.D.

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

Rhinoplasty, septoplasty, and turbinate reduction without pain medication

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First of all, it is important to find a surgeon who does not put any packing inside the nose.  Packing is painful and unnecessary.  In our practice, most patients take a few medium strength Vicodin pain pills for the first few days after the surgical procedures.  Most NSAID's can cause a nose bleed except Celebrex, so that might be an option.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Opioid Aversion

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Hello,You'd be the first person in history who can't take any opioids, since your body makes them all the time. I would consult with a doctor regarding exactly what you believe the problem is with them, and have a thorough discussion. Tramadol is not an opioid, its an NSAID. Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 100 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.