Recovery is the most daunting part of a rhinoplasty. No matter how well-performed, a nose surgery is associated with swelling, bruising, discomfort, and some degree of pain, which take some time to go down. Quick recovery after rhinoplasty is highly important for patients not just for the pain and discomfort but also because patients are counting the days to see the final results, which only appear after the swelling subsides. While there is no immediate solution to get rid of all these post-op side effects overnight, there are still things you can do to speed up the recovery process after rhinoplasty. Here are a few simple tips for a quick recovery after nose surgery:
1- Take plenty of rest
Surgery drains a lot of energy from your body. To restore the lost energy, you need to take sufficient rest during the recovery period. Feeling of tiredness or fatigue in the first weeks after nose surgery is very common. One of the reasons for fatigue after rhinoplasty is the sleep deprivation that you might have had before surgery due to the feeling of anxiety you had as you approached the surgery day, which probably made you unable to sleep well. The effects of medications on your body, loss of blood, and depression are other causes of tiredness after nose surgery. Hence, an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon will suggest that you need to take plenty of rest. Give your body much time to relax and help it heal faster.
2- Keep your head elevated
While sleeping is a big part of recovery after rhinoplasty, sleeping in the wrong way can do more harm than good. Sleeping on your stomach or sides is not recommended at all because it increases swelling and puts pressure on your nose. The best sleeping position after rhinoplasty is to lie on your back while your head is elevated using 2 or more pillows so that your head and nose are above the heart. This reduces swelling and helps the nose to heal faster. Most surgeons recommend rhinoplasty patients to sleep with their heads elevated for a few weeks after surgery. Sleeping in a reclining chair in the first week after the surgery is also a good idea.
3- Stay away from cigarettes and alcohol
The surgical site needs plenty of oxygen-rich blood to heal properly. Nicotine and alcohol both impede blood circulation, meaning not enough oxygen and nutrients reach the wounds, which prolongs the healing process. Try to avoid smoking and alcohol consumption for a while after rhinoplasty if you wish to quickly recover from your rhinoplasty.
4- Avoid exposure to sunlight
Direct sunlight is highly detrimental to your nose while it is healing after rhinoplasty, especially in the first week following the surgery. Staying out of the sun after your nose job is crucial in order to get rid of the swelling and bruising more quickly. Since the skin is more sensitive after surgery, excessive sun exposure after rhinoplasty may also lead to complications such as scarring, excessive swelling, and unsatisfactory results.
5- Follow a healthy diet
It is very important to maintain a nutritional diet after nose surgery because your body needs different nutrients in order to heal quickly. Make sure to ask your doctor about the best diet after rhinoplasty and stick to it during the recovery period. Your diet should be rich in protein, a building block of skin, muscle, and cartilage. Include meat, nuts, eggs, fish, and other foods containing large amounts of protein in your diet to help your body reconstruct the damaged tissue, including the skin wounds and broken cartilage. Your diet for the rhinoplasty recovery should also contain vitamins, including vitamins A and C. Vitamin A boosts your immune system and helps your body combat infections after surgery and vitamin C contributes to collagen regeneration, which is essential in wound healing.
6- Don’t blow your nose
You should refrain from blowing your nose after rhinoplasty for two weeks as it can cause bleeding and prevent proper healing. Also, try to avoid sneezing and open your mouth when having the urge to sneeze. This will reduce pressure inside your healing nose.
7- Don’t take follow-ups lightly
Do not miss follow-up appointments with your doctor, even if you feel everything is going well. Rhinoplasty Surgeons usually set up a follow-up appointment for rhinoplasty patients for 5-7 days after the surgery for splint removal and changing of the bandage. Other appointments can be arranged at the request of the patient to ensure that there is no problem with the recovery process and to provide the patient with complementary instructions.
8- Follow your doctor’s advice
There are a ton of articles about recovery after nose surgery out there, but none of them can replace your surgeon’s instructions. Your surgeon gives you expert advice based on your individual needs and condition. Make sure to follow it to the letter and ask him/her any questions you have or come across later at any point during the recovery period.