Everything about Nose Splints
- January 14, 2023
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Nose splints are small cast-like devices that stabilize and protect the nose and maintain the new contour of the nose during the recovery phase. They also prevent excessive swelling. Overall, nose splints guarantee better results after your surgery.
Nasal splints are sometimes put outside and sometimes inside the nose and are made of plastic, aluminum, or silicone. The type of nose surgery that you undergo determines what kind of nose splints you will need.
Your surgeon will place the nose splints in the right position after surgery and instruct you on how to take care of them until you no longer need them.
Nose Job Surgeries That Need Nose Splints
There are various types of nose job surgeries with different aims and procedures. Some nose job surgeries serve cosmetic purposes, while some correct a functional problem (e.g., breathing), injury, or deformity. They mostly require nose splints.
Rhinoplasty is one of the most common types of surgery performed on the nose. It is usually done for cosmetic reasons, but rhinoplasty can have medical reasons, such as breathing impairment, as well. Rhinoplasty typically aims to reshape the nose to achieve a more symmetric, proportionate appearance.
Septoplasty is a nose surgery performed to correct nasal septum deviation in order to improve breathing problems.
If the bone or the cartilage of the nose is fractured, you may need to undergo surgery. Albeit, surgery is not always necessary, it will be necessary in case of a severe injury.
Rhinoseptoplasty is a combination of rhinoplasty and septoplasty. When there is extreme septum deviation, the nose has to be reshaped and the deviation needs to be corrected. Therefore, the patient may have no choice but to undergo a rhinoseptoplasty.
Why nose splints are used
- First and foremost, nose splints protect the new shape of the nose
- Nose splints reduce swelling and stop bleeding.
- Nose splints prevent hematomas. A hematoma is a clot of blood formed under the skin tissue.
- Improve breathing.
- Nose splints are not painful and will eventually be removed.
Two Types of Nose Splints
External splints: After the nose job surgery, the surgeon covers the nose with tape and places the external splints over the tape. Sometimes the doctor wraps another tape over the splints to keep them in place. These types of splints reduce swelling and prevent the chances of hematoma development. They also maintain the shape of the nose and protect the nose itself.
The tapes and the splints will be removed at the same time, usually after 7-14 days. Patients have to use external splints after most nasal surgeries, especially after rhinoplasty.
Internal splints: These splints are stitched inside the nostrils to support the septum. Internal splints promote internal healing and reduce bleeding. Contrary to external splints, internal splints are not as commonly used. Internal splints are typically used for patients who receive a septoplasty. Internal splints are often removed after a week.
A common question about the removal procedure is whether it is painful or not? External splints are very easy to remove, while internal splints may cause a little bit of discomfort. Nonetheless, the removal procedure happens swiftly and will be over before you know it.
Nose splints: dos and don’ts
- Closely follow your surgeon’s instructions on how to change the tape over the splints.
- If you are on medication, talk to your doctor before surgery and provide them with the list of the medications you take. After you receive nasal surgery, your surgeon will likely prescribe pain killers and NSAIDs to decrease pain and inflammation.
- While splints do not easily fall off, if anything (e.g., sneezing) causes the splints to fall off or become loose, contact your doctor immediately.
- Try to keep the splints dry.
- Do not touch the splints.
- Wearing glasses can put excess pressure on the nose after surgery. If you wear glasses, talk to your doctor before surgery to find a solution.
- Avoid running or any other strenuous activities. Bending down also puts pressure on the nose.
- Cold packs, if applied correctly, help reduce inflammation and pain. Be careful not to put pressure on the nose while applying the packs. Ask your doctor how to apply them.
- A saline nasal spray can moisturize the nose and prevent the secretion of too much mucus.
- Keep your head elevated while sleeping.
Call your doctor if:
- you experience a fever.
- you have excess bleeding.
- there is pain.
- the shape of the nose has become crooked.
- excess swelling or bruising.
Splints are not always necessary, but they usually speed up the healing process and produce better results after the surgery. You do not need to buy new splints as the ones your doctor places will be enough. Take good care of the splints and do not reposition them. Your doctor will finally remove them when the time is right.
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