Posted November 30, 2023 in Rhinoplasty
Now that you’ve undergone a rhinoplasty, it’s time to get on the road to recovery and healthy healing. A well-thought-out rhinoplasty aftercare plan is equally as important as the surgery itself. Failing to follow the proper protocol can potentially jeopardize your results. So, if you’re wondering where to start on your rhinoplasty road to recovery, consider this the ultimate guide for everything you need to know.
The First Days of Rhinoplasty Aftercare
The first few days after surgery are crucial. You’ll want to follow your plastic surgeon’s rhinoplasty aftercare instructions to a T. As the beginning stages of healing occur, there will be significant swelling, bruising, and discomfort around your nose and eyes. Typical symptoms of rhinoplasty include nasal stuffiness, post-nasal drip, and headaches. There may also be numbness or swelling in the nose, lips, and cheeks, which are all normal and to be expected.
After a rhinoplasty, you’ll want to be cautious with your nose and face. To alleviate discomfort and reduce swelling, gently apply a soft, cool compress over your eyes and nose, but never ice directly on the skin. Showering after surgery is okay if you don’t get your face yet. The nose and splint must be kept dry at all times.
It’s also critical to take it easy for the first few weeks after surgery when healthy healing is essential. Make sure you get plenty of rest, yet take time to walk every few hours for just a few minutes. When resting and relaxing, recline rather than lie down, which will be more comfortable and help reduce swelling. Keeping the head elevated is helpful.
When the urge to sneeze comes on strong, only sneeze through your mouth and not your nose, no matter how strange it may feel. It’s also important not to blow your nose under any circumstances.
Managing Dressings and Splints
Your nose will be covered with a split and packing after your surgery. Following all your surgeon’s rhinoplasty aftercare tips is important when managing your dressings. Splints can be placed either inside or outside of the nose, depending on the details of your surgery. The purpose of a splint is to help secure just-operated tissue, so it doesn’t shift or move and to protect the nose overall as it heals.
As your nose heals, you’ll likely need to change the dressing over the splint, which your surgeon will explain in your rhinoplasty aftercare instructions in detail. It’s important to know that even though a splint may be incommutable, it will only stay on for a few days.
Minimizing Swelling and Bruising
Swelling and bruising are typical and to be expected after rhinoplasty. They also signal that the nose is healing healthily and normally. But still, there’s plenty to know about how to minimize swelling and bruising.
Swelling can take several weeks to months to subside. While the swelling will be the worst right after surgery, there’s no need to be concerned if it makes your nose appear bigger than it is. Over the first week, the swelling will start to subside gradually. Ice packs can help reduce swelling, as can keeping your head elevated and avoiding any activities that could raise your blood pressure.
Bruising around the eyes, cheeks, and nose is also typical—every rhinoplasty patient bruises to a different extent. The majority of bruising is visible within the first few days after a rhinoplasty and improves over the next 7 to 10 days. As part of your rhinoplasty aftercare treatment plan, make sure to apply ice packs to the bruised areas and avoid any activities that could result in trauma to the face.
To help limit bruising and swelling, keep your head elevated for the first few days after surgery, which prevents fluid from pooling around the nose and eyes. You can prop up your head with pillows or sit in a recliner while you sleep. Cold compresses can also help with swelling and inflammation when used for 10-15 minutes several times daily. Only briefly leave an ice pack on the skin or apply them too frequently since they can cause skin damage when overused.
Avoiding heat and sun exposure is also important, which can increase swelling and prolong the healing process. That means no hot showers or baths, saunas, and steam rooms.
Drink plenty of fluids to help flush out excess fluids and toxins from the body. Also, eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean protein can help reduce inflammation and promote healing. Avoid anything salty, processed, and fried, which can contribute to water retention.
Hygiene and Grooming Practices During Rhinoplasty Aftercare
Rhinoplasty aftercare instructions will likely have you skipping your regular skincare routine for a period. You’ll want to avoid traditional washing at first when it comes to keeping your skin clean. Facial cleansing towels are best. Or, soak a cotton pad in micellar water and sweep it on the skin while avoiding the bandages.
Following Medication and Pain Management Instructions
Following your surgeon’s recommendations for medications and pain management is paramount when navigating rhinoplasty aftercare. While most patients can resume their regular medications the day of or after surgery, it’s important not to take aspirin for one week after surgery. If you were prescribed a prescription for pain medication, take it as needed. If you don’t need it, don’t take it. However, you must complete any antibiotics given. Over-the-counter nasal saline spray used a few times a day may also be recommended.