Hundreds of thousands of Americans turn to nose reshaping surgery every year, either for medical or cosmetic benefits. For these patients, post-operative recovery is one of the biggest concerns. The goal for each patient is to recover speedily and fully without the occurrence of complications such as scarring and infections. If you are planning to undergo nose reshaping surgery, this article highlights some excellent tips to ensure a smooth and uninterrupted recovery following your rhinoplasty surgery.
Control the swelling
Swelling is a common side effect following nose reshaping surgery. Plastic surgeons recommend that you alleviate this either using a cooling pad or a flexible ice pack. This essentially helps relieve pressure and puffiness around the treatment areas and is crucial over the first few days post-surgery. Controlling swelling this way helps restrict blood flow to the treatment area and allows the nose to recover more quickly.
Avoid anti-inflammatory medication
It is important you avoid anti-inflammatory medication because they trigger swelling and raise blood flow to the treatment area, which in turn can increase bleeding and slow down recovery. Only ensure that you take medication that is specifically prescribed by your plastic surgeon. Typically, plastic surgeons will prescribe appropriate painkillers to alleviate the discomfort and antibiotics to prevent infection.
Get enough rest
Any surgery takes its toll on the body and you need to take it easy and get enough rest. Your plastic surgeon will recommend that you avoid any strenuous activities such as sports or anything that could bump your nose. The idea is to prevent any form of stress that can hamper proper healing of the treatment areas.
Take a walk
You may be asked to get outside and take light walks as often as you can. This is important because it gently increases circulation throughout the body and helps your nose to heal. Taking a walk is also a great way to reduce stress levels and build-up of excess fluid throughout the body. The increased heart rate and elevated breathing help pump oxygen throughout the body, thus supporting the healing process.
Avoid the shower
Splints, bandages, and other supports placed around your nose for support should be kept dry at all times. This is why it is important to avoid the shower and instead focus on bathing. Consider cleaning your face using a damp cloth so you can avoid the bandaged areas. Usually, your plastic surgeon should be able to remove these bandages after a week, after which you should be allowed to shower.
Focus on a healthy diet
Focusing on a healthy diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole foods, and lean meat can help equip your body with important nutrients that are needed for recovery. It is also important to stay hydrated because water helps flush out toxins and thus reduces the risk of infections and speeds up recovery.
Don’t blow your nose
Plastic surgeons use splints and other structures to support your nose after rhinoplasty surgery. For this reason, blowing your nose could cause these items to dislodge or shift inappropriately. This could, in turn, injure your nose or negatively impact the healing process. Doctors recommend that you focus on dabbing or wiping your nose if there’s any drainage coming out.
Avoid spicy foods
Spicy and peppery food could cause nasal or sinus irritations, which could, in turn, dilate blood vessels and escalate bruising and swelling during the early days of recovery. Doctors recommend that you avoid these foods until after your nose is fully recovered.
Minimize salt intake
Consuming foods that have lots of salt can raise your blood pressure and increase pressure and swelling around the treatment areas. Keep away from these until after you have fully recovered from the procedure.
Attend follow-up visits
Many patients think it is okay to avoid post-operative visits as long as they are feeling great and everything seems to be going according to plan. This is far from the truth. Post-operative appointments allow your doctor to gauge your progress and rule out dangerous complications.
Keep your head elevated
Make sure to keep your head elevated and supported when you are sleeping or resting. This is important to prevent fluid build-up around the treatment areas.
Plastic surgeons require that you quit smoking throughout your rhinoplasty recovery. This is important because nicotine and other tobacco products have been known to hamper blood flow and slow down healing, which can interfere with the outcome of your nose reshaping surgery.
Stay out of the sun
It is a good idea to protect your skin from excessive sun exposure following your nose reshaping procedure. This is important because your nose is prone to sunburn particularly in the weeks or months following your nose reshaping surgery. Keep in mind that excessive sun exposure may also increase swelling and cause scars to darken.