People undergo rhinoplasties, or a nose job, for a variety of reasons. For some patients, it’s medically necessary whereas for others, it’s more about aesthetics. Regardless of reason, once you have the procedure, it’s all about the recovery. What you do, or don’t do for that matter, can have a huge impact on both duration and final result.
Here are a few tips for recovering from a rhinoplasty.
Apply Cool Compresses
Immediately following surgery, you need to minimize swelling as much as possible. Especially within the first three days following your rhinoplasty, it’s important to apply cool compresses and ice packs as directed.
Use the 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off rule over the course of the day to keep swelling to a minimum. Applying cool compresses and ice can also alleviate any post-surgical discomfort that accompanies rhinoplasty procedures. Bruising is also reduced with proper application of cool compreses and ice. However, it’s important not to overuse as well. Make sure you are following your surgeon’s orders for ice or cool compress applicaton.
The most important tip of recovery is to be patient. The length of recovery will vary, depending on the type of rhinoplasty that was performed. Your plastic surgeon will give you an estimated time of recovery as well as possible situations that could extend your recovery period.
Some types of rhinoplasties can take as long as three hours to complete, so most likely take six weeks to recover and resume normal activities. Note, that it could several months of any residual swelling to subside as well.
However, it can take longer depending on the circumstances. It’s recommended by most plastic surgeons that patients refrain from doing any kind of strenuous activity. Things like bending and stretching can worsen the swelling, so it’s important to follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions.
Immediately after the procedure, your surgeon will probably recommend that you sleep with your head elevated. This can prevent excessive swelling and also prevents any post-surgical drainage from running down your throat. Not sleeping with your head elevated can also cause nasal displacement, so it’s best to sleep with your head elevated with two to three pillows for at least four weeks after your rhinoplasty.
Refrain From Blowing Your Nose
Most patients do experience nasal congestion after surgery. In fact, nasal congestion can last up to two months after the rhinoplasty procedure. And while it may be to tempting to blow your nose, doing so can do more harm than good. Talk to a rhinoplasty expert of NJ about ways to clear your nasal passages that do not require forceful blowing, like saline rinses.
You also need to be careful when sneezing. If you do need to sneeze, try to sneeze through your mouth, not your nose. As unpleasant as that seems, it’s better to cover your mouth and sneeze than to possibly cause damage to delicate nasal tissues.
Avoid Vigorous Exercise
Since it can take upwards of six weeks to completely recover, you will also need to avoid vigorous forms of exercise for as long as your rhinoplasty expert recommends. Particularly during the first weeks of recovery, running, jumping and other types of exercise that involve impact should be avoided. Once given medical clearance, you can then resume low-impact forms of exercise such as walking or using cardiovascular equipment.
Avoid Wearing Contacts and Glasses
Patients will experience swelling in the first few weeks after surgery. As such, wearing glasses and contacts should be avoided. Even light-weight eyewewar can leave indentations on your nose and cause discomfort. Your surgeon will advise when it is safe to resume wearing your glasses, and they may also offer your a splint to wear at that time as well.
If you are a smoker, your surgeon probably asked you to quit at least 30 days prior to having a rhinoplasty. Smoking thins your blood, so resuming the habit can prolong the recovery period and also make you more prone to bleeding.
If you need help stopping, talk to your surgeon or family physician about medications that can reduce withdraw symptoms. There are several oral medications that may make kicking the habit easier.
You should avoid sun exposure during the recovery period. When cleared by your surgeon, make sure to apply sunscreen regularly to skin discoloration and sunburn. Sun exposure can also cause scarring and healing irregularities, so always apply sunscreen to your surgical area.
Final Thoughts on Rhinoplasties
Deciding to undergo a rhinoplasty is personal, so if you do decide it is the right choice for you, always enlist the help of a rhinoplasty expert in NJ. Together, you can review all of the possible options to help you reach your aesthetic goals.