Secret Tips for Recovery from Rhinoplasty
Summertime is a popular time in which younger adults on break from school have rhinoplasty surgery. It is a perfect time to undergo surgery because there is sufficient time for healing to take place. Although initial recovery time from a rhinoplasty is about 1 to 2 weeks, the swelling, especially on the tip of the nose can linger (minimally) for up to six months.
Although every surgeon gives instructions on how to care for your nose for the first few weeks postoperatively, here are some tips that patients are always glad to learn:
Always keep your head elevated, no bending forward as this increases the pressure inside the nose. Don’t bend over to tie your shoes.
Don’t blow your nose or sniffle. Don’t smoke.
Don’t drink alcohol.
Don’t play beach volleyball.
Don’t go in a sauna or steam room.
Don’t use any blood thinning products such as Advil, Aleve, aspirin.
The list you received from your doctor of things to avoid prior to surgery is the same list of things to avoid 2 weeks after your surgery.
The use of frozen peas lightly placed over each eye in a baggie every 20 minutes with the head elevated slightly helps diminish bruising and swelling quickly. It is important that no weight be on the bridge of the nose, or on the nose itself.
Bruising and swelling typically is the worst on day 3 after surgery, with day one being the actual day of surgery. Be patient.
When you wake in the morning, it is normal to have more swelling. For the first 2 weeks, apply cold compresses or frozen peas around the nose and eyes to bring down overnight swelling.
Because temperature is outside can be warm, it is best to stay in a cool environment with air conditioning as heat will make tissue swell. Also, soft cool foods are advised. Even soup at a warmer temperature will cause swelling internally inside the nose so remember, the cooler the better. Fruit sorbet, scrambled eggs, oatmeal, mashed potatoes, and smoothies are some examples of soft, cool foods.
I found a product called Cearna gel pads. These are great because they can be refrigerated and placed around the eyes. There is no adhesive and they are FDA approved. The gel pads contain 50 times the amount of arnica that usually come in the oral pills. http://www.cearna.com/
Patients always ask when they can go back to performing activities such as yoga, running, swimming, etc.
It is best to wait until your doctor tells you when it is safe to resume physical activity. Generally, that is considered to be anything that will raise your heart rate and blood pressure. Also some of the positions in Yoga such as inversions with your head down below your heart can cause increased pressure inside the nose and can lead to bleeding.
Your nasal splint will be on your nose for up to one week. It is important to remember that when the cast is removed by your doctor, your nose will still be very swollen! It is not what the final outcome will be.
If you do experience bruising around the eyes which can either be very minimal or up to dark purple in color, the best concealer is made by Dermablend. It can be purchased at any beauty supply and works very well in covering up any discoloration from purple to greenish-yellow.
Remember any cosmetic surgery is also considered surgery and it takes your body time to heal.
Follow the instructions given to you by your surgeon and don’t try to speed up the healing process or do things before you are supposed to. This will help in achieving the perfect nose and the outcome that you desire.