Your child will have intravenous (IV) fluids until time of discharge. Clear liquids for your child to drink are available in the recovery room. Most children are fussy the first few hours after this procedure. Your child may complain of a sore nose, not being able to breathe through the nose and difficulty swallowing. A pain reliever may be given for pain. An antibiotic is occasionally prescribed to prevent infection.
The head of the bed will be raised in the recovery room to help with swelling, breathing and drainage. At home, you should have pillows or a recliner chair available to help your child stay comfortable with their head elevated above the level of the chest.
There may be packing in the nose to prevent bleeding. The physician may remove this packing in one or two weeks or it may dissolve on its own. If the packing needs to be removed, it may be done in the physician's office for older, cooperative children, or may be done in the operation room under anesthesia. If packing is used, your child may be able to feel it in their nose. Your child should be told before surgery that they may feel like they have something in their nose when they wake up. If packing is not used, swelling may cause this feeling. Your child should know that they will not be allowed to forcefully blow their nose for a week or two.
If a septoplasty (straightening of the bone and cartilage in the center of the nose) is performed, then splints will be placed inside the nose at the end of the operation. These will be removed at the physician's office in one to two weeks and may cause some discomfort while they are in place.
At first, there may be some drainage from the nose. You may see a small piece of gauze taped under your child's nose, called a drip pad. This is usually only necessary for the first day, if at all. Drainage from the nose will likely be tinged with blood. Your child may cough or spit up some pink or brown mucus.
Your child may begin normal play after several days, but may need to stay home from school until the discomfort improves. Your child's physician may recommend the use of nasal ointment, salt water spray, or nasal steroid spray after surgery. If this is the case, please follow instructions carefully.