Rhinoplasty reshapes the nose by surgically altering the delicate nasal structures. It is one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures performed in the U.S. for both female and male patients. Patients range in age from teenagers to women and men in their 30s and 40s. The surgery can either be performed using a closed or open incision technique; each technique yields exceptional results.
Men and women who come in for rhinoplasty consultations with our facial surgeons at ACENT are often more concerned about what to expect from nose job recovery than about the operation itself. The good news is that recovery following rhinoplasty is much more comfortable than patients often anticipate.
It’s helpful to know that we rarely use nasal packing for rhinoplasty patients. Removing packing can cause quite a bit of discomfort.
Easing Rhinoplasty Recovery
To help you recover as comfortably and quickly as possible after rhinoplasty, we’ve compiled a list of helpful tips to follow.
1. Keep the Swelling Down
Being proactive about reducing swelling with cold compresses, especially in the first few days after the operation, helps alleviate the sensation of pressure rhinoplasty patients typically experience. The cold limits blood flow to the area, accelerating the healing process.
2. Avoid Anti-Inflammatory Meds Before Surgery
You shouldn’t take aspirin or medications containing ibuprofen or vitamin E (unless prescribed) for 2 weeks before your scheduled surgery. These meds are known to increase bleeding and can increase surgical challenges. They are fine to take for discomfort after surgery.
3. Sleep With Your Head Elevated
Having your head elevated while you sleep keeps fluids from pooling around the surgical site and face. Ideally, you should prop a couple of pillows under your head for at least a week. This reduces swelling and prevents unintentionally causing damage to the nose.
4. Don’t Blow Your Nose
Even though you’ll feel nasal pressure and have the desire to blow your nose, doing so risks injury to the interior of the nose and delayed healing. We recommend delicately wiping or dabbing your nose when there is drainage. Usually, after the first week, these concerns diminish rapidly.
5. Rest, Rest, Rest
A rested body heals faster. Even though you may not feel particularly tired, getting enough rest is one of the best things you can do during the first week of recovery. That being said, taking frequent, short walks helps ensure good circulation, which also boosts the healing process. Don’t participate in any activities strenuous enough to elevate your heart rate too much. (This advice applies to all our plastic surgery patients in Anchorage.)
6. Quit Smoking
This is a must for rhinoplasty patients and also includes vaping and other nicotine products. You should quit at least 3 weeks before your scheduled surgery date and refrain for 2 to 3 weeks after the operation. Nicotine delays healing because it constricts blood vessels that supply oxygen to the tissues. As the World Health Organization explains, smoking also increases your risk of post-surgical complications.
7. Follow Doctor’s Orders
Our surgeons provide detailed post-op instructions that, when closely followed, typically lead to reduced recovery times and a more comfortable healing experience. You can learn more about what to look for in a rhinoplasty surgeon in our related blog post.
Schedule a Consultation
People in Wasilla, Palmer, and other towns around Anchorage trust our facial surgery rhinoplasty specialists, such as Dr. Dwight Ellerbe, a board-certified facial plastic surgeon. If you’re looking into rhinoplasty, contact us using the online form or call us at (907) 279-8800 to schedule an appointment.