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Do You Pack The Nose After Rhinoplasty or Septoplasty?

One of the most common fears following rhinoplasty and/or septoplasty is the possibility that the surgeon is going to pack the nose. This means the surgeon places gauze or similar material inside the nasal passages to put internal pressure on the tissues. This is done to minimize chances of bleeding as well as to promote stable healing of the internal lining (called the mucosa). Unfortunately, nasal packing after rhinoplasty/septoplasty is extremely uncomfortable. Not only is packing painful, it also inhibits patients from breathing thru the nose during the early recovery period. Because these issues can be so anxiety provoking for some patients, I stopped packing noses on a regular basis nearly 6 years ago. Instead, I use an absorbable suture to stabilize the internal tissues that also helps minimize bleeding. Doing this also allows patients to have at least some degree of breathing thru their nose in the early recovery period. If I do place anything in the nose after surgery, it might be a small piece of absorbable gel-like material that dissolves with use of salt water spray in the nose. Either way, I avoid having to pack the nose in the traditional manner, leaving my patients with a much more comfortable recovery.

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