Nose Packing Removal Following Septoplasty
Following a septoplasty, patients will be outfitted with soft nose packing material. This is used to help soothe the newly exposed skin inside of the nose. It also helps prevent over-drying, bleeding, and scarring. However, the packing may drip with some watery blood, which is completely normal.
The nose packing can be removed approximately two days after surgery. This can be performed at home with the help of friends or family. The packing is shaped like a cylinder about the length of one’s finger and it has a string on the end to aid in removal. Please adhere to the following steps when removing the nose packing material.
- For your comfort, take two pain pills one hour prior to removing the packing. You may be provided with pain medication by Dr. Hamawy or you can take an over-the-counter medicine. However, avoid anti-inflammatory medications, including aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen, since they can cause excessive bleeding. Tylenol is okay.
- We recommend removing the nose packing in the bathroom or in a cool room with a sink. We also recommend that you wear old clothing that it will be okay if blood gets on it. Rinse your face and neck with cool water prior to removal.
- Wet the nasal packing with cool water and begin to remove the packing by pulling on the string. Do not yank on the string. Remove it slowly, but surely. It may help if you pull the string gently side to side during removal. Keep your mouth open as this is performed.
- It is not unusual to get a nosebleed during this process. To combat bleeding, gently pinch the top of the nose for five minutes. Also, keep your head elevated and avoid warm liquids. Avoid coughing, sneezing, itching, or blowing your nose.
After the nose packing has been removed and the bleeding has stopped, you should be sure to irrigate your nostrils. This helps clean the nose of any blood clots or discharge that can accumulate. This process should be performed approximately four times a day for two weeks.
- Fill a sterile bulb irrigation syringe with tap water.
- Bend over the sink and place the syringe at the tip of one nostril, aiming towards the back of the neck.
- Flush your nose forcefully by squeezing on the soft end of the syringe. Keep your mouth open as you do this. The water should come out the other nostril and/or your mouth.
- Repeat on the other nostril.
- When you’re done irrigating the nose, apply Vaseline to the base of the nose. This will help keep the nose from becoming irritated or drying out.
Nosebleeds may occur during this phase of recovery. If your nose begins bleeding, repeat the same process as following removal of nose packing.
- Gently pinch the top of the nose for five minutes
- Keep your head elevated
- Avoid warm liquids
- Do not cough, sneeze, itch, or blow your nose
- If the nosebleed does not stop or if you are getting nosebleeds frequently, please contact your doctor.
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