- The next few months
- It is very important to stay out of the sun for two months after the surgery. In some cases, the skin of the nose is parted from the bone and septum which may cause the nose to peel after the surgery. Care should be taken with the new, sensitive layer of skin. Any exposure to the sun could cause scarring.
Gradually, the swelling decreases, and the numbness and stiffness of the tip of the nose are markedly improved around 6 months after rhinoplasty surgery.
BEFORE RHINOPLASTY SURGERY
- Preparing for Rhinoplasty
- Avoid aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications), Vitamin E, or any medications containing these compounds for two weeks before surgery.
- Refrain from smoking two weeks before and two weeks after surgery. Nicotine and tobacco smoke delays healing and can result in scarring.
- Avoid sun damage two weeks before surgery-wear sunscreen daily (SPF 20 or greater).
- Do not eat or drink anything, including water, after midnight the night before your surgery.
- Arrange for someone to take you home from the hospital. You will not be allowed to drive or leave alone.
Day of Surgery
- Do not eat or drink anything, including water, the morning of surgery.
- Wear loose-fitting clothes that fasten in front or back. Avoid slipover clothing.
- Leave all valuables at home; do not wear jewellery.
- Do not wear any facial or eye make-up. Avoid nail polish.
- You may wear glasses but do not wear contact lens.
- If you wear dentures, keep them in.
AFTER RHINOPLASTY SURGERY
The first day
Remember that you should always have someone to accompany you during the first 24h after an anaesthetic.
Pain and Nausea
Coming back from rhinolasty you will still feel drowsy from the medication and anaesthetic. Try to relax and sleep it off naturally.
If you feel pain or nausea, request suitable medication from the nursing team.
Eating and Drinking
When you start feeling more awake, have some sips of water, but avoid eating and drinking in a rush, as it may trigger nausea or vomiting.
The first week
- To avoid putting pressure on your nose, avoid heavy lifting, straining, or vigorous housework. Do not bend your head below your heart level. Do not bump your nose.
- Do not drink alcohol after your surgery. Alcohol may increase the amount of congestion in your nose and may be harmful if mixed with any medication you may be taking.
- Do not smoke for seven days after surgery. Smoking irritates the lining of your nose and causes coughing, which may cause a nosebleed.
It is important to take the antibiotics regularly. Ideally, to improve your tolerance to the antibiotics and reduce the risk of stomach upset, it is advisable to use probiotics twice a day (ex Actimel, Yakult, capsules etc.), which maintain the balance of germs inside the gut.
If you do experience problems with the antibiotics, like rashes, diarrhea or vomiting, stop taking them and contact us to re-evaluate the treatment plan.
Pain killers are not mandatory during the recovery, but many patients find them helpful.
Some painkillers can make you feel light-headed, so it is preferable to use only the amount makes you feel comfortable for pain.
During the first 2 weeks it is very important to avoid sleeping on your side and on your front, as it can displace the bones in the bridge of the nose.
Prop your head with several pillows when lying down or sleeping. This helps any discharge from your nose drain easily out the front of your nose. You may gently wipe away any discharge, but do not pinch your nostrils. Also it will help reduce the facial swelling.
Bruising and Swelling
Your lips and nose may be swollen and bruised after surgery. Your upper lip may also be numb. These effects are temporary and will gradually go away.
You may apply ice to your nasal area, eyes, and face for the first 24 hours following surgery. Apply ice for intervals of 20 minutes on your nose, 20 minutes off. Do not use hot or warm compresses.
Once the splint is removed, the remaining bruising can be helped with applications of Hirudoid cream or gel, or Arnica cream. Most of the times, the remaining bruising clears by day 10.
The splint on the bridge of the nose should remain undisturbed for at least a week, to avoid deviations or widening of the bridge of the nose.
Do not get the splint on your nose wet. If you want to wash your hair, you will need to lean back, and ideally should have someone helping you.
Removal of the splints and sutures
When the splint is removed, a week following the rhinoplasty, the shape of the bridge and tip are influenced by the shape of the splint.
They tend to look narrow and rather artificial, and this is to be expected. Afterwards, the nose will go through more swelling for both the tip and bridge. As the swelling settles, the final shape becomes gradually apparent.
The first month
Cleaning the nose
After removal of the splints and stitches, it is important to avoid trauma to the inside of the nose from blowing the nose or picking.
During the first month after surgery, use saline (salt water) nasal rinse twice a day to clean your nose and keep the mucosa moist.
Early exercise can trigger nose-bleeds, so it is best to return to exercise gradually, staring around 2½ to 3 weeks
For yoga practitioners, 3-4 weeks are necessary before doing head-stands or similar positions.
Spectacles / Sunglasses
Contact lenses can be worn as soon as you feel like it, but glasses cannot be worn until your nose is completely healed (approximately 2 months). After your nose splint is removed, tape your glasses to your forehead or prop them on your cheeks until completely healed.
The operation leads to swelling that takes its time to clear, in particular around the tip of the nose, but sometimes also on the bridge.
Avoid however rubbing the nose, as the irritation due to rubbing creates more swelling.
Injections of low doses of steroid can help reduce the swelling more readily, but should not be abused.
Breathing through the nose
In the early stages after the operation, breathing though the nose is more restricted, mainly due to swelling in the lining of the nose. It typically improves around 3-4 weeks after the operation, but if you concerns regarding this matter, you should always discuss them.