What does a rhinoplasty cast look like and what purpose does it serve?

Many patients are curious to know what the nasal cast will look like after their rhinoplasty surgery. I routinely place steristrip tape on the skin to help keep the skin swelling down. It also allows me to ensure that the skin is properly seated to the underlying nasal framework.

If controlled nasal bone fractures are also done then I will place an aquaplast cast over the tape. Aquaplast is a plastic-like material that becomes flexible when placed in hot water. The material is then molded over the nose which acts to maintain the nasal bones in their new position. I like to think of the cast as more of a helmet; it serves to protect the now mobile nasal bones

The patient pictured above is shown one week after rhinoplasty surgery. She is just about to have her cast removed. You can also see that she has some bruising under her eyes, which is common if nasal bone fractures are performed, but she is able to cover most of the bruising with makeup. In addition to removing her cast, we will also remove her columellar sutures during the same visit.

Is rhinoplasty cast removal painful?

Fortunately, removing the nasal cast is quite straightforward and not painful. Unlike trying to remove a bandaid, the nasal cast is not just ripped off. Rather, it is gently peeled off. To assist with cast removal and to prevent lifting the nasal bridge skin off of the underling cartilage and bone I lay a strip of telfa non-stick dressing (the same material that makes up the white part of a bandaid) on the bridge skin under the steristrip tape.

More rhinoplasty questions?

Find the answers to more frequently asked rhinoplasty questions here.

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