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Nasal surgery

What can I expect after surgery?

The major discomfort after nose surgery is trouble breathing through the nose for a week or more after surgery. This is due to swelling, and to the nasal packing, if used.

It is normal for the nose to have drainage and crusting for a couple of weeks. There may also be some numbness in the tip of the nose, upper front teeth, gums, or roof of the mouth. Pain level is variable.

How should I care for my child?

To control bleeding and assist in healing, nasal packing is sometimes used. A nasal sling (dressing or gauze) is placed under the nose to absorb any drainage that leaks through the packing. This dressing may be changed when needed and removed when it is not needed anymore.

Do not let your child lie down flat. Keep the head raised at all times. A pillow should be placed under the mattress, plus one or two under the head with the back of head elevated 30-45°.

Avoid nose-blowing for a week after surgery. Instead have your child sniff any drainage back into the throat and then spit.

When sneezing, encourage your child to open the mouth and make a sound to prevent pressure buildup.

Follow your Discharge Instruction sheet for instructions about diet, activity, pain control, and when to see the surgeon again.

When should I call the surgeon?

  • temperature higher than 101° F (38.4° C) orally or 100° F under the arm and not responding to Tylenol and cool compresses
  • increased pain
  • continued vomiting the day after surgery
  • pus-like drainage
  • bleeding from the nose that does not stop


This sheet is not specific to your child, but provides general information. If you have any questions, please call the clinic.

Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
Patient/Family Education
2525 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Last reviewed 8/2015 ©Copyright

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

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