After your rhinoplasty procedure, you may be wondering how soon you’ll be able to get back to work and resume other normal daily activities. While recovery time can vary from person to person, taking excellent care of yourself can help your body to heal as efficiently as possible.
To do this, keep these nose job recovery tips in mind in the weeks and months following your procedure.
1. Follow Your Plastic Surgeon’s Guidelines
The most important recovery tip following any cosmetic surgery is to adhere to your plastic surgeon’s instructions and guidelines. For instance, your board-certified plastic surgeon may recommend that you apply a cold compress to the area throughout the first few days after your nose job.
This can help to reduce swelling and make you more comfortable. They will also prescribe pain medication and provide instructions on when and how to take that medication.
It’s also important to discuss physical activity limitations for the first few days or weeks after your rhinoplasty procedure. While most people can return to work within two weeks, you will still need to avoid strenuous activity for around one month after your procedure.
Check in with your plastic surgeon before reintroducing a new level of exercise into your routine to avoid any complications and hindrances to the quality of your final results.
2. Keep Your Head Elevated
Try to keep your head elevated as much as possible during the first week of your rhinoplasty recovery. This includes sleeping in a recliner or propped up on several pillows so that your head is not flat against your bed.
Keeping your head propped up helps to reduce post-surgical swelling and can make you more comfortable during the first week or so of recovery. Check with your plastic surgeon before moving to more traditional sleeping positions, as some people may benefit from sleeping propped up for longer than a week.
3. Take Great Care of Your Body
Give your body the extra helping hand it needs to heal efficiently and effectively by treating it well. Stock up on plenty of nutritious foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains. As a general rule, the more colorful your plate, the more vitamins and minerals you’re getting.
Keep in mind that warm and spicy foods can make your nose run and can contribute to swelling, so it’s best to avoid these foods for now. Instead, sip on lukewarm soup and drinks if you typically prefer them hot.
Be sure to drink plenty of water, avoiding sugary sodas, caffeine and alcohol. Make sure you get plenty of rest, allowing yourself to take time off household chores, errands and other daily duties to rest and relax. It is also crucial that you avoid smoking and other tobacco use throughout your rhinoplasty recovery.
4. Resist the Urge to Blow Your Nose
You might feel like you have to blow your nose frequently after your rhinoplasty, but it’s not because you have a cold coming on. Swelling in your nasal passages can make you feel like you are congested and need to blow your nose but resist this urge to avoid damaging your nasal cavity.
Instead, talk to your plastic surgeon about suitable remedies for this concern. He or she might recommend a saline nasal spray to help keep the inside of your nose moisturized and more comfortable during recovery.
If you feel a sneeze coming on, try your best to sneeze through your mouth rather than your nose. While this might feel a little awkward and unpleasant, it will help you avoid damaging healing tissue.
5. Listen to Your Body
The recovery process after any surgical procedure will vary from person to person, so timelines for getting back to work, resuming exercise and sleeping on your regular pillows are not set in stone. Listen to the cues that your body is giving you about how much you can reasonably take on and when it might be time to rest a little more.
This goes hand-in-hand with the first point of following your plastic surgeon’s instructions. Throughout your recovery, keep an open line of communication with your plastic surgeon. They can advise you on when you can return to work or start exercising more vigorously, and when it’s best to give your body some more time to heal.
If you’re ever unsure of something during your nose job recovery process, don’t hesitate to contact your plastic surgeon’s office and ask.
Dr. Waleed Ezzat is board certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and an active member of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. He is also an assistant professor at the Boston University School of Medicine, and frequently presents at medical conferences both nationally and internationally.