Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Rhinoplasty and Packing the Nose

A common question from rhinoplasty patients is if I pack the nose. Historically, rhinoplasty surgeons would pack the nose with yards of gauze after nose surgery to prevent bleeding. Removing this packing 2-7 days later was extremely uncomfortable and unpleasant. Later surgeons moved to lighter packing which could be removed the following day. Packing is typically placed in order to stop bleeding to catch any of the blood. The packing places internal pressure on the nose and can lead to significant congestion and pain.

I believe that with proper surgical technique, gentle handling of the nose, and appropriate patient counseling, packing is not necessary after rhinoplasty. I explain to patients that after surgery, they will bleed onto the gauze drip pad underneath their nose and should expect to change this every 5-60 minutes the first day and night. Patients are counseled to relax and rest after rhinoplasty and remain in bed unless going to the bathroom. This will minimize bleeding and therefore make packing unnecessary. Patients then describe the recovery after rhinoplasty as painless with slight discomfort from the surgery.

Dr. Funk is a top rhinoplasty surgeon in Houston.