Some people decide to get a nose job, technically called a rhinoplasty, for medical reasons, such as breathing difficulties or to fix deformities caused by birth defects, while others choose to have the surgery for cosmetic reasons. While rhinoplasty is typically an outpatient procedure, it will take several months for you to fully recover from the surgery. Following these tips will help ensure that your recovery goes as smoothly as it can.
Immediately Following Surgery
You’ll be monitored in the recovery room for some time following surgery. If all goes well, you’ll be able to go home the same day. You’ll need to plan for someone to drive you home; you won’t be allowed to drive yourself home after receiving anesthesia. Impaired judgment, memory lapses, and slowed reaction times are common after undergoing anesthesia, so you may want to have a friend or family member stay with you for a night or two following your rhinoplasty.
Dressings inside your nose will remain in place from one to seven days after surgery. Additionally, the surgeon will put a splint on your nose to help support and protect it. The splint will stay on your nose for one week. It’s normal for mucus and blood to drain from your nose for the first few days after rhinoplasty. For this reason, your surgeon may place a drip pad under your nose. You should change the gauze as directed by your surgeon. Do not affix the drainage pad tightly to your nose.
As with any surgery, you’ll need to rest as much as you can during your recovery period. It’s important that you elevate your head above the chest-level. Elevating your head will reduce post-surgery bleeding and swelling. Use some pillows to prop yourself up when you’re watching television, laying down, or sleeping.
According to Mayo Clinic, some swelling and black and blue discoloration of your eyelids may occur after surgery. This typically lasts two to three weeks. Nasal swelling usually lasts longer. Reducing the amount of sodium in your diet may help swelling go down more quickly.
You can use an ice pack or bag of peas to reduce swelling to your eyelids and cheeks. It’s essential that you keep these things away from your nose, though. Any pressure on your nose could shift your nasal tissues, which could result in scarring. Swelling is often most prominent in the morning after you’ve spent the night laying on your back sleeping.
Don’t expose your nose to the sun after surgery. Doing so may lead to permanent discoloration, according to Healthline. Protect your nose with sunscreen containing SPF 30 any time you go outdoors.
If you wear eyeglasses or sunglasses, avoid resting them on your nose for at least four weeks after surgery. You can use cheek rests instead. Alternatively, you can tape your glasses to your forehead.
Wear clothes that fasten in the front for several days following your surgery. Pulling shirts, sweaters, or turtlenecks over your head places pressure on your nose, which can shift your nasal tissues while you heal.
Try to avoid smiling and laughing during the healing process. Additionally, gently brush your teeth to minimize the movement of your upper lip.
Constipation can cause you to strain, putting unnecessary pressure on your nose. To avoid constipation, eat foods rich in fiber, such as pears, apples, avocados, strawberries, bananas, broccoli, carrots, lentils, Brussels Sprouts, chickpeas, popcorn, oats, chia seeds, almonds, and dark chocolate. Alternatively, you can add a fiber supplement to your diet. Consult your surgeon for recommendations on fiber supplements.
You should avoid vigorous exercise and physical activity for at least one month following surgery. Activities you should avoid include running, swimming, head-down yoga poses, weight lifting, aerobic exercise, and any other activities that get your heart racing and push blood flow into the head and face. You should avoid lifting anything weighing more than 10 pounds for at least one week after surgery, including children and pets. Pressure caused by lifting or bending can result in the stitches popping out, slowing down the healing process. Contact sports and heavy lifting should be avoided for at least six months post-surgery.
You will be permitted to walk the day after surgery. Walking is encouraged to help prevent the formation of blood clots during rhinoplasty recovery.
Avoid Blowing Your Nose
You’ll feel congested for at least a few weeks following surgery because your nasal passages will be swollen. You may want to blow your nose, but it’s important that you resist the urge to do so. Talk to your surgeon about using a saline solution to keep your nose moisturized while you heal. You can resume blowing your nose after six weeks. If you need to sneeze, try sneezing through your mouth rather than through your nose.
Rhinoplasty recovery is a lengthy process. Following these tips and your surgeon’s instructions will help you heal from your surgery as smoothly as possible. Once you’re healed, you’ll be able to enjoy the new shape of your nose.