The Importance of Splints after a Rhinoplasty Procedure

By The Landings Surgical Centre on February 26, 2019


Woman laying on white blanket with a bandage being placed on her noseRhinoplasty reshapes the nose for cosmetic purposes, or to correct breathing problems, such as a deviated septum. Our skilled surgeons have decades of experience performing the procedure at our clinic in Halifax, NS.

Following the cosmetic procedure, a rhinoplasty splint will be placed to prevent the nose bone from shifting during recovery. The device also reduces post-surgery swelling. Here, we discuss rhinoplasty splints, including how long they are in place.

What Are Rhinoplasty Splints?

Rhinoplasty splints are devices that either wrap around the outside of the nose or are placed inside the nasal cavity immediately following rhinoplasty. They are typically made of metal, plastic, or silicone.

After the nose has been surgically adjusted, any incisions will be closed with sutures. Then, a plastic splint may be taped over the nose, and packing may be inserted into the nose to ensure the nose retains its new shape. Gauze packing is typically removed within 48 hours after placement.

Splints can be either external or internal. External splints are more common and provide reinforcement to the nose while offering protection against inadvertent bumping. These splints minimize damage if and when accidents do occur.

Though less commonly used, internal splints can be used for procedures such as a septoplasty or correction of a deviated septum.

Why Do I Have to Wear a Splint after Rhinoplasty?

Splints protect the bridge of the nose and support the nasal septum (bone and cartilage that divides the nasal cavity in half). A securely fastened splint ensures that any bones that were repositioned during surgery remain stable while they heal.

The devices also aid in the healing process and mitigate post-surgical swelling.

Left unchecked, swelling can potentially lead to hematomas, pockets of blood between the cartilage of the nose and skin. Rhinoplasty splints lower the risk of hematomas.

Tips for Recovery While Wearing a Rhinoplasty Splint

Rhinoplasty splints are typically left in place for one week after surgery. During that time, patients should:

  • Apply a cold compress to minimize swelling
  • Follow your doctor’s recovery advice closely
  • Limit physical activity
  • Avoid heavy lifting
  • Avoid exercise
  • Avoid bending
  • Not touch or attempt to adjust your splint

During this time, patients may experience temporary numbness near the surgical site, as well as moderate bleeding. Such discomfort is usually minimal and can be controlled using medication if needed. Our doctors recommend keeping your head elevated when resting.

Around one week after rhinoplasty, one of our doctors will remove your splint. Some patients experience anxiety about this step of recovery, but the splint removal is quick and painless. Patients are more likely to experience a feeling of relief knowing that they are one step closer to full recovery.

After the splint is removed, patients should still refrain from activities that could damage the nose. Final results from rhinoplasty can take several months.

Call Our Office Today

Rather than seeing rhinoplasty splints as an inconvenience, patients should appreciate the benefits the devices afford. Rhinoplasty can deliver drastic results, and rhinoplasty splints can help us achieve the desired cosmetic results. If you are ready to learn more about the splint removal process or rhinoplasty in general, contact our clinic online or call (902) 492-2007.

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JoAnne Reid, Nursing Director, The Landings Surgical Centre

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