To ensure the most successful outcome for your rhinoplasty surgery, patients should be well-prepared to rest and recover following their procedure.
The recovery and aftercare process is incredibly important and can have an impact on everything from your pain levels to complications that can affect your long-term health.
Before your rhinoplasty, your surgeon will walk you through what you should expect, and how you can set yourself up for a successful recovery.
How to Prepare for Your Rhinoplasty Recovery
The most important preparations for your rhinoplasty recovery can be done before the procedure. Immediately after the procedure, you will be recovering from anesthesia. You should arrange for someone to drive you both to and from the surgery.
You should also take care of important rhinoplasty aftercare tasks before your procedure, to ensure you don’t have to think about them afterwards. These tasks may include filling prescriptions and stocking your kitchen with high-protein foods that will help speed up recovery time.
Once you’ve arrived home, you should be kept under the watchful eye of an adult for at least the first day and night. This person can ensure you’re taking pain-relieving medication and will be able to help you with physical tasks that you may feel too unsteady to do alone.
The first 24 hours after your rhinoplasty surgery is often the most taxing. Within the first day, you may experience bruising, puffiness, and swelling around your nose. This is normal.
To manage nasal crusting, use a saline mist spray or an antibiotic ointment 4-6 times a day, beginning 24 hours post-surgery. This helps lubricate any sutures and avoid uncomfortable crusting.
If any nasal crusting does occur, you can use a bit of hydrogen peroxide to remove it. Put the hydrogen peroxide on a cotton swab or Q-Tip, and swab the inside of the nose up to 2-3 times a day, or as needed.
Properly Manage Swelling
While swelling, bruising, and puffiness are normal, it’s essential to control it to ensure it resolves quickly. To do this, apply a cool compress or ice pack wrapped in a towel to the nose 4-6 times a day. If done gently within the first 24 hours, it can help minimize swelling.
Another great way to manage swelling and puffiness is to keep your head elevated while sleeping for the first week post-surgery. Use several pillows or a large body pillow to prop yourself up, and avoid sleeping on your side or back.
The First Two Weeks
In the first two weeks post-surgery, your nose and surrounding skin will be extremely sensitive and delicate. Even after the dressing is removed, you may feel numbness.
Do not blow your nose, and avoid sneezing as much as possible. Both of these can be potentially traumatic to a healing nose by causing bleeding that will disrupt healing. If you feel a sneeze coming and can’t get it to dissipate, keep your mouth open as you sneeze to minimize trauma to the nose.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to avoid situations where your nose or sinuses may become blocked. Do not travel on airplanes, and avoid situations where you may be exposed to allergens.
The First Month
Even after your nose is less swollen and your bruising has gone down, it’s still a good idea to avoid physical exertion for at least two weeks post-surgery.
During the first month, the nose is more vulnerable to injury. Avoid any physical activity that could put pressure on or cause injury to the nose. This includes sports with a racket or ball. Be careful around small children and pets. Try to avoid wearing glasses for the first month. Although they can be taped so they don’t rest on the nasal bridge.
After the First Month
One month into your rhinoplasty recovery, you should start to feel almost normal again. You can back to normal activities and life. Most of the facial swelling is gone at this point. The nose however will have swelling, and this tends to fluctuate throughout the day. A taping routine at night may help to control swelling.
You should also be wary of sun exposure. In the first 6 months after surgery, the newly healed skin on the nose is more susceptible to sunburn and discoloration.
Monitor Yourself for Symptoms
In the days and weeks after your rhinoplasty, monitor yourself carefully for symptoms that may indicate you aren’t healing properly, including:
· An elevated temperature (over 100°F)
· Unusual bleeding
· Pain that gets worse, and isn’t relieved by medication
Please contact us if you experience any of these symptoms. If it’s after hours or we’re unavailable, visit emergency services immediately.
Dr. Rival has conducted thousands of rhinoplasties, having the experience to work with many different face shapes to achieve the patients’ ideal results.
Get in touch today to book your initial consultation.