Recovering from rhinoplasty means more than simply waiting for the incisions to heal and the swelling to go down.
It also means treating your entire body with care to make sure you don’t accidentally damage the results of the procedure.
While you’ll be able to get back to work and most day-to-day activities within 10 days of the surgery, your surgeon will typically give you a list of instructions to follow to ensure the best results and the most comfort after rhinoplasty.
Be Careful Not to Blow
Typically, patients are told not to blow their noses in the first few weeks after the surgery. The force of blowing your nose can interfere with the sutures or move the nose slightly, meaning you might not get the results you were hoping for as your nose heals.
When you blow your nose, you also risk introducing bacteria into the nasal passages, which can lead to infection. If you’re usually a very congested person, talk to your surgeon about what you can do to relieve the feeling of build up and pressure in your nose after the surgery.
Also resist the urge to put anything solid in your nose to try to clear it out. Don’t push tissues or Q-tips up your nostrils, as you can cause damage. Your surgeon can offer you advice on ways to relieve pressure, such as using a saline solution to rinse out the nose.
Watch What You Wear
While you might want to pull on your most comfortable T-shirts and sweatshirts as you recover, wearing tops that you need to pull on over your head isn’t usually recommended for the first few weeks. You risk bumping your nose when you wear a pullover shirt. Opt for tops that button up so that you can put them on without risking injury to your nose.
If you regularly wear glasses, either to improve your vision or to protect your eyes from the sun, you’ll need to take a break for six weeks after rhinoplasty.
The weight of the glasses on the bridge of your nose can impact the results of your surgery. Switch to contacts during your recovery or carefully hold your glasses in front of your eyes, without putting them on the bridge of your nose, when you need to use them. Some patients also elect to tape their glasses to their forehead so that they don’t rest on the bridge of the nose.
Eat a Healthy, Fiber-Full Diet
Since excessive chewing can also negatively affect your surgery results, it’s a good idea for the first week or so to stick with foods that don’t require you to move your mouth a lot as you eat them. Go for foods such as fish instead of chewy red meat or chicken, for example. Also stear clear of sticky foods, such as caramels and other other sweets during recovery.
What you drink matters, too. Take a break from drinking alcoholic beverages for the first few weeks of your recovery. Alcohol thins your blood and can slow down your healing time. If your surgeon prescribed any medications, alcohol can react with them in a dangerous way. Wait for your doctor’s OK before you start imbibing again.
Be Careful About Exercise
You’re going to have to hold off on strenuous exercise for typically two weeks following the nose shaping surgery. Exercise and activity can impact your healing and the results of your surgery in a few ways.
Strenuous activity raises your blood pressure, which can lead to more bruising, for one thing, and cause swelling.. In many cases, even exercises that don’t seem particularly strenuous, such as yoga and swimming, should be avoided until your doctor tells you it’s OK to resume them.
In addition, any activities in which you are at risk for hitting your nose e.g. basketball, volleyball, karate, should be avoided for the first six weeks.
Clean Up Carefully
Since the top part of your mouth is connected to your nose, brushing your teeth can be tricky after the surgery. Be gentle when you brush, especially when brushing the upper teeth. Try to move your top lip as little as possible when you brush your teeth for the first few weeks.
Dr. Jeffrey Epstein, a double board certified facial plastic surgeon, has ample experience performing rhinoplasty procedures. To learn more about the recovery process and ways to protect your nose after surgery, contact his office for a consultation. In Miami, call (305) 666-5884.