Rhinoplasty is a complicated and expensive procedure, requiring a great deal of care and planning. If you are thinking about undergoing nasal surgery, you should set yourself up for success by choosing a highly skilled and experienced facial plastic surgeon, and carefully following his or her instructions for pre- and post-operative care. The main things you need to focus on during recovery are rest and protection of your nose. Your nose will be weaker than usual during the healing phase and should be treated with great care. Make the most of your rhinoplasty and increase your chances for a good outcome by avoiding the following activities. You will feel better overall and heal more quickly.
- Do Not Exercise Vigorously. As with any surgery, you should avoid strenuous activity for several weeks following your surgery. Your doctor will advise you on when you may resume specific sports and activities. Taking a break from vigorous exercise following surgery will allow your nose to heal more quickly, give your body more time to recover, and help prevent nasal injuries.
- Do Not Swim or Dive. Avoid swimming for at least six weeks following your surgery. The main reason for this is because it is easy to damage the nose while swimming, and you could easily be hit by someone’s elbow or head. Swimming goggles can cause damage to a healing nose and should be avoided as well.
- Do Not Blow Your Nose. While it may be tempting to blow your nose after rhinoplasty, you should avoid doing so for at least three weeks following surgery due to swelling, buildup and dried blood. Blowing your nose during recovery can cause bleeding.
- Do Not Sniff. You should avoid sniffing for a week or two (and sneezing), as it can aggravate swelling. If you need to, you may gently dab at your nose with a soft tissue. If sneezing is unavoidable, do it as gently as possible with your mouth open.
- Do Not Wear Glasses. Normal glasses rest on the bridge of the nose and should be avoided for at least 3 weeks after surgery. You may begin wearing contacts very soon after surgery, but the only other options during recovery are bridgeless glasses, cheek rests, or taping your glasses to your face to keep them off your nose.
- Do Not Expose Your Nose to the Sun. Nasal skin is very sensitive following rhinoplasty, and it should be kept protected. Sun exposure without sunscreen can lead to hyperpigmentation. In addition, you should not wear sunglasses for about 6 weeks following surgery.
- Do Not Bump Your Nose. Though this tip is a no-brainer, there are more ways your nose can be potentially harmed than you may realize. Take care that nothing bumps or hits your nose during this time. If an accident should happen, call your surgeon as soon as possible.
- Minimize Movement of Your Upper Lip. Because it is important to keep the area around your nose as still as possible during recovery, you should avoid moving your upper lip when possible. Be gentle when chewing and brushing your teeth.
- Do Not Lie Flat. You should keep your head elevated as much as possible during recovery. Be sure to sleep on at least two pillows. This will help keep swelling and bruising to a minimum.
- Do Not Bend or Lift Heavy Objects. Bending and lifting can make an already swollen nose swell more and increase the risk of bleeding. Avoid lifting anything heavier than 10 pounds for at least the first two weeks.
- Do Not Take Unapproved Painkillers. Always inform your doctor of any medications you are taking, including vitamins and supplements. Do not take any type of medication before or after surgery that your surgeon does not know about or has not approved.
- Do Not Wear Pull-Over Garments. T-shirts and pullover sweaters can cause damage to the nose when dressing and undressing. To avoid disturbing the nose, wear mostly button-down shirts during the first few weeks following surgery.
- Do Not Wear Makeup. Cosmetics can inhibit healing and clog pores. Since you probably won’t feel like going out much during the first 10-14 days after surgery anyway, give your skin and nose a break from makeup to allow your nose to heal.
- Do Not Smoke or Drink. If you are a smoker, you will need to quit well before your scheduled surgery, and you must continue abstaining from cigarettes for several weeks or months following surgery. Cigarettes inhibit circulation and healing and make it more difficult for the body to recover from surgery. Likewise, alcohol should be avoided before and after surgery to prevent interference with healing and reduce the risk of complications.
Follow the Advice of Your Surgeon
Rhinoplasty specialist Dr. Stuart Bentkover of Bentkover Facial Plastic Surgery in the Boston area provides specific instructions to each patient to help ensure a good outcome. Be sure to follow your surgeon’s advice in order to avoid poor or improper healing. Remember, though rhinoplasty recovery is inconvenient, it only lasts for a few weeks. The results of a well-performed rhinoplasty last forever, so a little patience during your recovery will pay off in the long run.
To learn more about expert rhinoplasty services at Bentkover Facial Plastic surgery, contact Dr. Bentkover at his Worcester (508-363-6500) or Stoneham (617-247-0033), Massachusetts locations to set up a consultation.