On the eve of a plastic surgery procedure, most patients are understandably excited. The prospect of getting a new look, or of correcting some of the things you dislike about your personal appearance, can be genuinely thrilling. Certainly, we hope that patients feel this swell of excitement as they anticipate getting a “nose job,” more formally known as rhinoplasty.
Amidst the excitement, it is also important to acknowledge that rhinoplasty is a process. Following the procedure itself, patients will have a recovery period, during which they need to allow their bodies time to rest and heal. During this recovery period, patients can anticipate some discomfort, swelling, and bruising. It’s also worth noting that, due to the swelling, it may take a few weeks before you have a really clear sense of your rhinoplasty results.
The good news is that there are some simple steps patients can take to ensure a positive recovery experience and to obtain the best possible results. It’s important to know what to do during recovery, but it may be just as helpful for us to highlight what not to do after rhinoplasty. And with that said…
What Not to Do After Rhinoplasty: Our Tips
Here are a few things we would caution against as you heal from a rhinoplasty procedure.
Going to the Gym
Really, it’s best to avoid any kind of strenuous activity at all. This includes running, jogging, weight lifting, or even doing any kind of intensive manual labor around the home.
The reason for this is simple: This kind of strenuous activity will get your blood flowing, quite literally. As more blood flows to the face, it can increase your swelling or put you at risk for excessive bleeding. Also note that strenuous activity may result in an accident, even a simple trip-and-fall, which may damage your nose and compromise your rhinoplasty results.
Blowing Your Nose
Next on our list of what not to do after rhinoplasty: Blowing your nose. This can be hard advice to follow, especially if your rhinoplasty coincides with cold and flu season or with allergies. But it’s crucial to avoid blowing your nose until the surgeon gives you the go-ahead; that’s because nose blowing can disrupt your healing and damage your rhinoplasty results.
While recovering from rhinoplasty, don’t hesitate to carry hand sanitizer, wear face coverings, or do whatever else you need to do to avoid catching a cold.
Going Out into the Sun
Once you remove your bandages, you may feel ready to show off your new nose at the pool or the beach. Keep in mind that sun exposure can lead to discoloration of your incision site, and it can also increase your risk for certain complications.
For this reason, we would recommend taking precautions, even after your surgeon tells you it’s okay to spend some time outside. A good hat and some powerful sunscreen can go a long way toward preventing any sun damage, post-rhinoplasty.
Following rhinoplasty, we advise taking a few days to rest and relax. For some patients, this rest period may last for up to a week.
The way you recline can make or break your healing process. In particular, we would caution against lying flat on your back. When the head and the heart are at the same level, it increases blood flow to the face. Again, this can ramp up your swelling and also put you at greater risk for bleeding.
As you rest up after surgery, we highly recommend using a pillow to elevate your head, keeping it raised above your heart.
For ladies, in particular, it can be tempting to apply makeup to the surgical area, helping to conceal any lingering bruising. Resist this temptation, and refrain from wearing makeup until you are completely healed.
There are a number of reasons for this, but the biggest one is that placing makeup near the incision site can raise your risk of infection. This is true of concealers, powders, and beyond.
If you have questions about when it is okay to use makeup again, we recommend talking with your plastic surgeon one on one.
Smoking impedes the healing process, specifically by restricting the vessels and prohibiting healthy blood flow. For this reason, we insist that all of our patients cease smoking, or using any other tobacco products, for at least two months before a procedure. And, we recommend that you refrain from smoking for at least a month following your surgery.
Alcohol is also something you’ll want to avoid, though for a different set of reasons. Not only can alcohol interfere with your medications, but it may thin your blood and put you at greater risk for bleeding. Try to abstain from drinking alcohol during your rhinoplasty recovery.
Eating the Wrong Foods
Finally, we would caution all patients to be careful about what they eat following their nose job. Specifically, we recommend steering clear of hard or chewy foods.
Why is this so important? Simple: During your rhinoplasty recovery, you’ll want to minimize any unnecessary facial movement. And eating tough, chewy, hard, or crunchy foods tends to require the use of a lot of facial muscles.
You will need to avoid raw vegetables (including carrots), stay away from steaks, and resist the urge to chew gum. Your surgeon will let you know when you can return to a fairly normal diet.
Ensure a Full, Healthy Recovery from Rhinoplasty
The bottom line: Getting a new nose can be really exciting, but before you get caught up in your new look, take the time you need for recovery. And by knowing what not to do after rhinoplasty, you can ensure you don’t inadvertently compromise your healing process or damage your results.
Do you have additional questions about bouncing back from a nose job? We would love to tell you more about how to have an expedient and healthy recovery. Contact Charlotte Plastic Surgery at any time.
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