There are many variables involved with rhinoplasty surgery. It is a complex procedure involving functional and aesthetic considerations, a variety of techniques, cartilage grafting, and working with several types of tissue. Because of this, it is important to maximize the chances for a good outcome in every way possible, both before and after surgery. Before surgery, there are a surprising number of substances that should be avoided for safety. While some of these tips might seem limiting or irritating, keep in mind that a well-performed rhinoplasty lasts a lifetime, and a few weeks of inconvenience are worth enduring for an optimal outcome.
The most important thing to avoid before rhinoplasty is nicotine. While smoking is the most destructive way to ingest nicotine, anti-smoking aids can also prove harmful for rhinoplasty patients. Most surgeons will insist on cessation of smoking and nicotine products several months before surgery. This is because nicotine constricts the blood vessels, inhibiting proper oxygen circulation which can lead to a myriad of surgical and post-op complications. If you are a smoker considering rhinoplasty, using the procedure as the impetus to quit can be highly motivational. Remember, for your safety and results, abstaining from nicotine is essential.
Alcohol can interfere with medications, widen blood vessels and cause other problems. Most plastic surgeons advise not drinking alcohol one week before and two weeks after surgery.
Natural and herbal supplements may seem harmless, but these substances can have surprisingly powerful effects on surgical patients. Blood thinning effects, clotting problems, and changes in heart rate and blood pressure can occur from taking certain supplements, which can be dangerous during and after surgery. Supplements like fish oil, vitamin E, ginkgo, garlic, and ginger must not be used within two weeks prior to surgery. These will also need to be avoided during the initial healing period to help prevent bleeding and other problems.
Common painkillers, antacids, and other over-the-counter medications can have an adverse affect on blood clotting if taken prior to surgery. Your surgeon will advise you on which painkillers are safe to use. Other than approved medications, no over-the-counter drugs should be used within two weeks prior to the procedure. Following the operation, you will be using prescription painkillers according to your surgeon’s instructions.
Blood Thinners and Other Prescriptions
Blood thinners should be stopped if at all possible before rhinoplasty surgery. With any prescription medication, it is important to check with both your plastic surgeon and the prescribing doctor about your plans and whether or not it is safe to continue taking the medication before your surgery. Be honest with all of your doctors about what you are taking–your safety could depend on your honesty.
The sun can dry out your skin and damage it, making the delicate nasal skin more fragile during and after surgery. Use sunscreen and hats to avoid sunburn, particularly in the first few weeks before and after surgery.
While it is fine to stick to your normal diet before rhinoplasty, there are a few ways you can aid in your recovery process by controlling what you eat in the weeks leading up to the surgery. The first, of course, is to eat a healthful, nutrient-rich diet that will aid your overall health and assist in the healing process. Another way to improve your post-surgical outlook is to reduce your salt intake in the days prior to surgery. By reducing your sodium, you can help keep swelling down, which will help you heal faster and see your results sooner.
Talk to Your Doctor
Your rhinoplasty surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, and it is important to discuss your habits, medications, and usual supplements well in advance of the surgery so you can get answers that pertain to you. When in doubt, do not take any unapproved medications or supplements. Always ask first for the sake of your safety and potential results.
If you are unsure of where to start your search for an experienced rhinoplasty specialist, first consider qualifications such as board certification, before and after pictures, and years of experience. Accomplished facial plastic surgeons like Dr. Stuart Bentkover of Bentkover Facial Plastic Surgery in the Boston area have spent years honing rhinoplasty skills to give each patient the great results he or she desires. If you would like to speak with Dr. Bentkover about your goals for rhinoplasty and assess your candidacy, contact Bentkover Facial Plastic Surgery in Worcester (508-363-6500) or Stoneham(617-247-0033), MA today to schedule your consultation.