Many people consider rhinoplasty surgery an effective way to harmonize facial characteristics and make the nose more proportionate to the rest of the face. It can make a real impact on your appearance and your sense of confidence while still leaving you with a natural look. On the other hand, the average rhinoplasty recovery time is one year, but how can we improve our nose surgery recovery?
Before having this surgical procedure, you need to be aware of what kind of postoperative care you need to follow after the operation. You want to ensure that you’re taking all the proper steps to ensure a successful, painless, and fast healing experience.
During your pre-op visit, you’ll receive specific advice regarding post-surgery recovery. Meanwhile, here are 11 tips we’d recommend for everyone planning nose surgery.
Tips to improve your rhinoplasty recovery
1. Keep the Swelling Down
After having rhinoplasty, using a plastic bag filled with ice or an inflatable pillow to keep the nasal opening open and relieve swelling and pain may be helpful. You may want to do this for the first few days following surgery. It will limit blood circulation to the affected part which reduces inflammation and speeds up the recovery process.
2. Avoid Anti-Inflammatory Medication during the rhinoplasty healing process
Anti-inflammatory meds can increase nasal swelling and blood circulation which may result in bruising or slower healing. We recommend discussing the use of anti-inflammatories with your doctor before using them during the recovery period.
3. Get Plenty of Rest
The postoperative pain you experience might prevent you from sleeping soundly, but rest is an important component of the healing process. Your body needs to recover its strength, so giving yourself enough time to rest is essential. Sleep helps your body repair damaged tissue, and if you get too little sleep, your body can’t perform these repairs properly.
4. Do Not Smoke
It would be best if you avoid smoking for at least four months or until you’re medically cleared to resume. If nicotine remains in your body after smoking, it could restrict blood vessels and block some nutrients from reaching the wound, which would result in a poor healing process. Smoking can also significantly delay the healing process by increasing the risk of complications.
5. During your rhinoplasty recovery, you should go for a walk
By taking walks, you’re able to gently increase blood flow throughout your entire system, allowing fluids to circulate and preventing any buildup of fluids within your nose. Additionally, by increasing your breathing and slightly increasing your heart rate, you’re able to provide yourself with additional amounts of fresh air, which aids in reducing stress levels and prevents any sort of congestion from forming inside your sinuses.
6. Maintain a Healthy Diet
What does eating your veggies have to do with rhinoplasty recovery? A LOT! Having a balanced diet after nose surgery helps to speed up your healing process by giving your body the nutrition it needs to recover quickly.
Protein is one of the three main nutrients needed by our bodies (along with carbohydrates and fats). Nuts, meats, dairy products, eggs, beans, and other high-protein foods provide us with these vital nutrients. These foods can also help repair damage done to our noses due to injury or surgery.
You’ll also need to ensure that you are consuming enough vitamin A and vitamin C. Vitamin A, often referred to as retinol, is essential for healthy vision and good night vision. It helps boost immunity and fights infection. Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is vital for bone health and wound healing. It also boosts energy levels. Some foods rich in vitamin C include oranges, strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, and bell peppers.
7. Avoid Blowing Your Nose
After nose job surgery, you’ll likely feel some congestion for a few weeks after surgery, maybe even a month or two. This feeling is due to swollen nasal tissue. Don’t try to blow your own nose during those times; instead, call your facial plastic surgeon immediately if you start having trouble breathing through your nostrils. He may prescribe you a saline nasal rinse to help keep your sinuses moist until they heal. You should be able to breathe normally again within six weeks.
What about sneezes? Instead of trying to avoid sneezing altogether, try to do it by blowing out air through your mouth rather than your nasal passages. It may be gross, but it’s a better option than damaging your fragile nostrils and delaying your healing process.
8. Stay Away from Spicy Foods
During the first few days after surgery, any irritation in your nose or nasal passage may lead to postoperative bleeding, infection, or swelling. That’s why you’ll be urged to avoid spicy and salty foods for this period. Spices such as chili powder irritate the sinuses and can cause your blood vessels to dilate and will increase swelling and bruising in the early stages of healing. If you don’t eat spicy food, you can avoid your nose from swelling or causing irritation in general, so your healing time won’t be extended.
9. Too much sun exposure affects your rhinoplasty recovery
During your rhinoplasty recovery, it’s always a good idea for you to take extra care to avoid getting too much sunlight. Your nose is even more susceptible to burning than usual because of the surgery itself, and too much sunlight can actually worsen any bruising or swelling you might have.
10. Don’t wear glasses during rhinoplasty recovery
Since the nasal bones are repositioned, as is the case with 90% of rhinoplasty procedures, glasses should be avoided for at least five weeks or so during your healing period. Rhinoplasty patients are told to suspend them with tiny pieces of transparent tape so they can easily be seen that the glasses are hanging just above the bridge so that there is no pressure. People who wear contacts can put them in the day following surgery.
11. Rhinoplasty Recovery Post-Op Appointments are Important
You’ll be told when you need to return for another appointment; this could be just one or two days after the surgery.
Make sure you keep all scheduled follow-up visits. And there are good reasons why. One, your facial plastic surgeon may need to remove packing materials or stitching from your nose. (This depends on the type of rhinoplasty that’s performed, and it may be different from one patient to the next.) Additionally, your surgeon will be able to keep an eye out for possible signs of swelling, and also to ensure that you’re healing just the way you’re supposed to.
Schedule your New Jersey Rhinoplasty surgery
If you have additional questions or are interested in scheduling a rhinoplasty consultation with Dr. Nicole Schrader (our New Jersey nose job specialist), please call or email us today.