After rhinoplasty, your routine and habits will usually need to change for at least a week or two. While it’s easy to think that you’ll have plenty of time after the surgery to worry about the details of the recovery period, odds are you won’t be feeling up to snuff afterwards to deal with all the small details. It’s usually a good idea to get your home ready for your recovery before rhinoplasty, so that you can just worry about healing and recuperating, instead of about getting the right foods or medicines immediately after getting home.
Stock the Fridge
Head to the grocery store a day or two before your procedure and fill your refrigerator and pantry with foods and beverages that are good to eat or drink afterwards. If you’re the person who regularly does the shopping and cooking for your family, it’s a good idea to stock the fridge for them too, so that your spouse and children don’t have to live on take-out while you recover.
Stock up on mild foods to eat the first day or two after your surgery. Plain cookies or crackers are ideal, as are soft foods such as pudding, oatmeal or Jello. It’s usually a good idea to avoid eating hot foods for the first few days or to avoid hot beverages. Make sure you have enough water at home to stay hydrated, if you don’t drink from the tap. Try to prep some meals before the surgery, so that you don’t have to put much effort into feeding yourself afterwards.
Stock Up on Pillows
If you are used to sleeping flat on your back, stomach or side, and only use a single pillow on your bed, you’ll need to change your sleeping position after surgery. Surgeons typically advise sleeping with your head elevated after rhinoplasty. Keeping the head upright helps keep swelling down and minimizes bruising. Before your procedure, head to the store and purchase a few extra pillows to put on your bed. It’s really difficult to go overboard when it comes to pillows. The more you have around the bed, the more comfortable it will be to sleep in a more upright position. If you have a recliner chair at home, that can be a perfect place to sleep for the first few nights.
Create a Hangout Space
Where will you spend most of your time during your recovery? Some people prefer to stay in their bedroom, watching television or catching up on their reading. Please realize however that for the first two days, you will be keeping ice over your eyes. Other people would rather spend much of their time in the living room. No matter your preference, pick a spot and set it up as your hangout space.
Put a few books in the area, as well as any of your gadgets, such as your laptop, phone or tablet. Set your medications nearby, as well as a glass of water or water bottle. Ideally, the area will be near your television, so that you can see the screen clearly without needing glasses. Typically, surgeons recommend not wearing glasses for the first six weeks as you recover from rhinoplasty, since the weight of the glasses can affect healing. However, for the first week when the splint is in place, glasses are permitted.
Although you have set up a hangout area, don’t feel confined to the area. Getting up and walking around your house can help you feel back to normal more quickly.
Fill Your Medicine Cabinet
Your surgeon might prescribe pain medication to take after your surgery and an antibiotic as well as antibiotic ointment called Bactroban. To reduce hassle after your procedure, take the time to head to the pharmacy in advance to pick up and fill your prescriptions. When putting the prescription medicine in your cabinet at home, take the time to move out any medicines that are off-limits after your surgery or any medicines that you might have forgotten about or that have expired.
Pick Out Appropriate Clothing
While you probably won’t be dressing to impress after your surgery, some clothes are more appropriate to wear in the first weeks than others. Dig through your closet to find shirts that zip up or button and bring them to the front and center. Pullover tops can bump your nose while it’s healing, negatively affecting the results. Pick clothes that are comfortable, such as soft cardigans or zip-up hoodies.
How well you prepare for your recovery period after rhinoplasty affects your comfort during it and the results you get from surgery. If you have any other questions about what you can do to prepare for your post-surgery downtime, Dr. Jeffrey Epstein, a double board certified facial plastic surgeon, can answer them. Dr. Epstein has practices in New York City and in Miami. To see Dr. Epstein in New York, call (212) 759-3484 for an appointment. Call (305) 666-1774 to schedule an appointment in Miami.