Beyond the Obvious: 5 Rhinoplasty Recovery Secrets
If you’re planning to have a nose job and you’ve done your research, you already know that recovery will be a mixed bag. On the positive side, the procedure only impacts a small area of the body and it isn’t generally painful. Most of our New York rhinoplasty patients report mild discomfort and many do not take prescription pain medication at all. On the other hand, your nose will be packed with absorbent material for a few days and splinted for about a week. You can also expect facial bruising and swelling.
Naturally, you’ll want to get through the initial post-op period as quickly and smoothly as possible. When we perform nose jobs for New York men and women, we take care to talk them through recovery instructions and hand out a hard copy too, and we make other small suggestions that can help the first few days after surgery fly by.
We’d like to help you too! Let’s see if you’ve thought beyond the obvious:
• Get worry-free rest: You should certainly be aware of the need to keep your head elevated and rest on your back when you’re sleeping or just relaxing on the bed or couch. Your doctor will have told you that doing this keeps swelling at a minimum and protects your tissues from being displaced.
Helpful tip: If you tend to be restless, roll up a couple of towels or get extra pillows to surround your head. You’ll toss and turn less, and if you do try to move onto your side when sleeping, the extra bedding will alert you to the need to return to your back.
• Use cool compresses: Immediately after surgery, cool compresses can help reduce swelling and bruising. They can also feel soothing.
Helpful tip: Apply compresses to your cheeks, forehead and eyes—make sure they don’t actually touch your nose. Bones and cartilage need time to settle firmly back in place without any disturbance.
• Give your nose a break: Due to packing material in the initial days after surgery and congestion afterward, you may have the urge to blow your nose. Resist until your doctor gives you the green light! Also do your best not to let a giant sneeze travel through your nose or cough violently.
Helpful tip: Ask your doctor what you can do to keep your nose quiet for a few weeks. Many suggest a saline spray to soothe and moisturize nasal tissues. Some lightly scented cream on your upper lip may help as well.
• Give your mouth a break: Your mouth will do extra duty while your nose heals. It will be eating, drinking, talking and breathing for you and you will want to have water at hand to keep hydrated.
Helpful tip: Find out if it’s ok to sleep with a humidifier on, especially if you live in a dry climate. You might be surprised how quickly you’ll come down with a case of “dry mouth,” and moist air circulating in your room can make a difference.
• Keep yourself cool: We instruct our New York rhinoplasty patients not to take hot showers and avoid hot tubs and saunas for a while after surgery—your surgeon will undoubtedly give you the same advice. Warmth and steamy air can actually cause more swelling.
Helpful tip: Extend this thinking to the food you eat after surgery. A hot bowl of soup may sound comforting, but having that warm air just under your nostrils is best avoided for several days. Also, bypass spicy food for the time being—it can affect nasal tissues too. Cool, easy to consume choices are best.
Know What to Expect
Obviously, your nose is front and center on your face. During the first few days after surgery, it may feel absolutely huge to you. It will be somewhat swollen to be sure, but dressings and congestion will make it feel much worse than it looks. This will also be the case as it heals—others will likely think you look fine to go out in public before you do.
Be patient! Because your nose is so central to your entire appearance, the subtle changes an experienced plastic surgeon can bring about should make a world of difference. Millimeters removed or added will transform your appearance, and though final healing will take several months, your new look will have you sporting a big smile within a short time.
If you’d like us to perform your nose job in New York, we would be pleased. We have many years of experience—with men and women, people of various ethnicities, older people and teens—just about every kind of nose you can imagine. We know how to sculpt a nose that’s just right for you. Send us an email today!