Surgeons have a tendency to talk about surgical procedures like they’re nothing. Seasoned surgeons aren’t fazed by standard procedures; they know exactly what needs to be done and will assure the patient that everything will be fine within a few hours.
While it’s true that most surgical procedures only last a few hours, it’s the aftercare that takes time. Rhinoplasty isn’t any different; the procedure takes 2–3 hours but complete recovery can take more than 3 weeks.
After the surgery, patients experience severe swelling, which takes a few weeks to heal. Patients who haven’t been under the knife don’t typically ask about recovery time, they usually just focus on the surgery itself.
Before you decide to go for rhinoplasty, it’s important to understand post-op care and the possible problems you may face.
Check out our list of do’s and don’ts for rhinoplasty aftercare:
Protect the Wound:
All wounds are susceptible to infections, so patients will be required to keep them clean and protected. When patients go through rhinoplasty, they usually have stitches at the bottom of the nose, which will need to be cleaned with chlorhexidine and treated with antibiotic ointment.
Regardless of the kind of surgery you go through, you should always expect some swelling. Patients that have had rhinoplasty will experience swelling around the nose and the surrounding areas on the face for at least 48 hours. To relieve themselves from some of the discomfort and swelling, doctors suggest they use a cold compress and gently press it against the swollen areas.
Sleep on Your Back:
Trying to rest and get a full night’s sleep can be difficult for those who’ve just had rhinoplasty. Doctors will advise you to sleep on a recliner chair if possible. Lying on your back with your head raised with the help of two pillows should also suffice.
The nasal lining is susceptible to over-drying post-surgery so you would be asked to use a saline mist spray 4 or more times a day. These can easily be purchased over-the-counter and you’ll just need two squirts for each nostril.
Protect Your Nose
Your nose is going to be soft and weak after the surgery. To prevent injuries and unnecessary bleeding, wear loose clothes or button-down clothes that can be put on and removed without rubbing against your nose.
After any sort of nasal surgery, patients often feel congested and have the urge to sniff. Sniffing post nasal surgery is NOT an option. Trying to force air into your weak nasal passage will worsen swelling.
Don’t Blow Your Nose
It may be tempting to clear out some of the congestion by blowing your nose but for the sake of your well-being, resist the urge for a few days.
Avoid Physical Activity
Your bones will take time to stabilize, and doing any sort of physical activity will put you at risk of injury. Post-rhinoplasty, you should avoid any activities that increase blood pressure and the risk of hemorrhage.
Avoid Salty and Spicy Foods
Salty and spicy foods should be completely avoided post-rhinoplasty since they dilate blood vessels and increase the chances of bleeding.
Avoid Air Travel
Air travel should be avoided for at least a week.
If you have any questions and concerns about post-op care, be sure to consult your plastic surgeon. A good facial plastic surgeon will tell you the best aftercare practices to ensure you get the most from your surgery.
Looking to get rhinoplasty or other facial plastic surgical procedures in Greenville, SC? Contact Dr. Paul Drago! He has extensive knowledge and experience in the field of cosmetic and facial plastic surgery.