To better prepare for your surgery, here are five tips to speed up rhinoplasty recovery time and improve your post-op experience and healing process.
Some patients might see rhinoplasty as a minor procedure. Others see it as major surgery. It depends on your own history with surgery and personal comfort level with surgical procedures. A rhinoplasty can be an important procedure for a number of reasons, from appearance to efficient breathing. And because it’s important, it takes planning, both for the preparation and surgery and also for the recovery time.
Tips to Speed Up Your Rhinoplasty Recovery Time
Did you know that it can take a year to fully recover from a rhinoplasty? That doesn’t mean your nose won’t look or feel better for a year, of course – it happens in stages. It just means that it can take a year to reach your full rhinoplasty recovery time. You don’t have complete control over how fast your body heals, of course, but there are things that you can do to speed up your recovery time after rhinoplasty. Take a look at what you need to know about speeding up your rhinoplasty recovery time.
1. Keep Your Head Up
It’s a good idea after any surgery to keep your head up, as in keeping your spirits up. But after rhinoplasty surgery, it’s important to literally keep your head up – as in elevated. If you’re a side sleeper or stomach sleeper, you’ll need to make some adjustments in the post-surgery phase. You can increase bruising and swelling or even displace your nose by sleeping on your sides or front, so you’ll need to sleep on your back with your head up post-surgery.
Your best bet is to prop your head up with a few pillows, or you can use a foam wedge instead. If you have difficulty staying in one spot through the night, you can use rolled-up towels or a travel pillow to keep your head in one place. You can even sleep in a recliner temporarily to help keep you in the correct position for healing. What you don’t want to do is set your recovery back by accidentally sleeping in the wrong position.
2. Apply Cold Packs Correctly
Your doctor will most likely recommend that you use cold packs for at least the first few days following your surgery. Cold reduces swelling, which is one of your biggest issues directly following surgery.
Your instinct might be to put the cold compresses directly on your nose since, after all, that’s where you had surgery. But don’t. That could shift the cartilage or the bones, which is precisely what you don’t want to do. Instead, put the cold packs on your cheekbones to reduce pain and swelling.
3. Avoid Overheating
This one might be difficult, because when you don’t feel well – such as when you’re recovering from surgery – you tend to crave warm things for comfort. Warm soup. Warm blankets. Warm baths and showers. Maybe even warm air. But these are all things that you’ll probably want to avoid.
Heat makes tissues swell. And remember that swelling is one of the common post-surgical issues. Exacerbating the swelling could make your rhinoplasty recovery time take longer. Instead of gravitating to warm things, choose cool and room-temperature foods. Take showers with lukewarm water instead of hot water. And try to stay out of the heat as much as possible for a few weeks following the surgery.
4. Don’t Blow Your Nose
If you ask a selection of parents, you’ll find at least a large percentage of them who are constantly coaching their children to blow their noses. Some of them may even find themselves reminding their kids to blow instead of sniff. Maybe you were even one of those kids yourself – one who didn’t like to blow their nose or had trouble figuring out how to blow instead of sniff. It’s such a common experience that it can feel very strange as an adult to be told not to blow your nose. But during your rhinoplasty recovery time, you’re going to get this instruction.
It’s even more complicated because you’re definitely going to feel like blowing your nose after the surgery. It’s that swelling again – it exists in your nasal passages as well, and it will make you feel clogged and congested. But you just can’t blow after surgery. You can use a saline spray to moisturize the inside of your nostrils and ease the discomfort, however.
Along the same lines, you also shouldn’t sneeze through your nose after surgery. Sure, sneezing is involuntary, so it’s not like you can just not do it. But you can redirect your sneezes through your mouth instead of your nose as much as possible.
5.Make Healthy Choices
There are things that don’t have much to do with your nose directly but do have to do with your body’s health overall, including its immune system and ability to recover from surgery. Those things include resting, eating healthily, avoiding smoking, and paying attention to your body’s signals.
When you’re resting is when your body heals itself. Don’t try to just power through your regular routine during your rhinoplasty recovery time – doing so doesn’t make you stronger or better. Get plenty of rest.
Eat the things that your body needs in order to heal. That includes protein, preferably from lean meats or from healthy non-meat sources like:
You also need vitamins, particularly Vitamin C, which is vital to the production of collagen that you need after surgery, and Vitamin A, which boosts your immune system and helps you fight off potential post-surgical infections.
Speaking of your immune system, smoking has a definite negative impact on your immune system, and your ability to heal your medical team will probably ask you to avoid it post-surgery. Listen to them! It’s not just about your long-term health in this situation (though smoking effects that too); it’s about preventing infections in the post-surgical period.
Finally, pay attention to what your body’s telling you. You should follow your doctor’s orders and listen to what they have to say about your rhinoplasty recovery time, but you know your own body, and you know how you feel. If something seems wrong to you, or your recovery experience doesn’t match up with what your doctor says should be happening, you need to let them know right away.
Pearl Recovery Retreat can help you through the post-surgical period after the rhinoplasty. Look into what we can do for you during this time.