Rhinoplasty Splint Removal

I had a open rhinoplasty four days ago and the surgeon told me to remove the splint myself. I have to do it in three days.

I read on many boards that this is very dangerous to be done even by qualified nurses and can alter the nose greatly if it's done incorrectly. Could you please tell me if I can do it myself and if so advice on the procedure? Thanks.

Doctor Answers 8

Rhinoplasty splints

I agree that it's very unusual for a surgeon to advise you to remove the splint yourself. It's not dangerous in terms of creating any bleeding or a surgical emergency, but we do like to remove it gently to maintain the alignment of the bones. In addition, many patients find this a little uncomfortable, so it's easier to have someone else do it for you who has experience. If your surgeon is unable to remove the splint, go to a board-certified plastic surgeon or an ENT with facial cosmetic surgery training for assistance. Good luck.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Nasal splint removal after rhinoplasty

Hi Ann,

Your nasal splint may be very adherent because of the tape and adhesive that is holding it in place. You certainly should not force it off.

In my practice I remove all nasal splints myself. This is generally done 5 to 7 days after surgery. The process can be anxiety provoking for even the bravest patient. Over all, it is not really a big deal to get the splint off. As Dr. Slupchynskyj suggested, getting it wet in the shower will help it to peel right off. However, the swelling, and changes you will see in the first few minutes after splint removal should be observed, and examined by your surgeon. This is a time during which sutures, healing, and internal nasal crusting are addressed. At the very least, I would be sure to have an appointment with your surgeon within a few days of the splint removal.

Good luck.

Dr. T

Behrooz Torkian, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Nasal splint Removal

I agree with Dr. Mayer. We tape and splint a nose after surgery ; to reduce long-lasting nose swelling, protect the nose from mild, accidental trauma and allow the initial bone healing to start. The splint removal technique would depend on the splint and how it was applied. I like to personally remove my splints to make sure as they are being lifted they do not pull the skin off the nose and cause swelling. Your surgeon or his nurse should be taking the splint off in my opinion.

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Nasal dressing following Rhinoplasty

Seems like a little brief to be wearing the nasal splint following rhinoplasty. The bones are certainly not stable and the splint can help with keeping some of the swelling down following the surgery. There really is no magic to removing the splint. Steam or water will loosen the adhesive the splint is applied with on your nose and it is unlikely that you will do any harm to your nose.

Philip S. Schoenfeld, MD, FACS
Chevy Chase Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Nasal Splint

Usually a nasal splint is removed after the 7th postoperative day. You can remove your splint by getting it very wet in the shower. This will moisten the tape and adhesive that is holding the splint in place. Once it's loose enough it should just fall off. You should not force it off.

Oleh Slupchynskyj, MD, FACS
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 272 reviews

Removing rhinoplasty splint

It is certainly acceptable to remove the cast from your nose after rhinoplasty yourself, when instructed by your surgeon. Castings can be removed on day 6 or 7 after the nasal surgery has been performed. It is very simple. All one has to do is to jump in the shower, get the cast wet, peel it off in a vertical direction. At some point, you can still follow up with your surgeon within the first two weeks after the surgery to make sure healing is going in the right direction.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews

Splint removal following nose job

Some of the details are missing here. Is there a reason why you cannot see the surgeon or his assistant to have the splint removed? Was this performed out of the country? IF you are hesitant at all, contact the surgeon's office for an appointment to have it removed. 

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Splint removal after rhinoplasty.

 You should have received instructions from your surgeon, You should call the office and ask him or his nurse how they want you to do this. We remove all of our splints in the office.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 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.