Making the decision to get rhinoplasty can be both exciting and a bit nerve-wracking. Many of the rhinoplasty patients at our Denver, CO, practice say they’re more concerned about the recovery than the actual surgery. The good news is that when a facial plastic surgeon who specializes in rhinoplasty performs the procedure, the recovery is more comfortable and faster than expected.
That’s especially true if patients use the tips listed below and understand that while the initial healing is generally fairly quick, it takes about a year for the nose to recover completely.
Use ice or cold compresses: You can expect swelling and bruising, especially during the first several days after surgery. Gently icing your nose or applying a cold compress can help minimize those side effects. Ice for 20 minutes each hour during the first 2 days, but stop icing after 48 hours.
Use nasal saline solution: The nasal dryness that often occurs after rhinoplasty surgery can be bothersome. Using an over-the-counter nasal saline solution throughout the day helps keep nostrils moist and alleviates stuffiness.
Keep your head elevated: Sleeping with your head slightly elevated is another way to reduce swelling because lying flat causes additional fluid to accumulate around your nose. Use extra pillows or sleep in a reclining chair, if necessary. Plan to sleep in this position for at least a week after the procedure. You should also avoid bending over during the day.
Do not blow your nose: This can be more difficult than patients imagine. Blowing your nose could rupture your stitches, so it’s important to refrain from blowing your nose even when it feels clogged. Follow this rule for at least 24 hours after surgery. If you feel like you’re about to sneeze, do it with your mouth open.
Maintain your personal space: Keep in mind that a single accidental bump on the nose during the initial healing process can cause complications or even the need for revision surgery. Be particularly cautious around toddlers and dogs, whose sudden movements are among the most common reasons that rhinoplasty patients need post-surgical care.
Keep your hands away from your nose: The urge to pick at scabs can be quite strong, but reopening wounds inside the nose could lead to additional bleeding and a return trip to the surgeon.
Take walks, skip exercise: Lifting anything heavy or increasing your heart rate too much can cause bleeding, increased swelling, and bruising. Short walks help keep blood circulating, which is important for healing. Plan on taking about 5 days off from work and wait at least 2 to 3 weeks before resuming light workouts.
If you’re still looking for a surgeon to perform your nose job in the Denver area, Dr. Ladner is a double board-certified and fellowship-trained facial plastic surgeon. His rhinoplasty expertise can be seen in before-and-after photos featuring his actual patients. You can request a consultation with Dr. Ladner using the online form or call our office at (303) 253-7686 to schedule an appointment.