One of the biggest concerns I hear from patients is about recovery following rhinoplasty. Chicago-area men and women who consult with me about nose jobs are worried the recovery will be uncomfortable and that they’ll ruin the results if they sneeze or blow their nose even once. That’s not true, although there are a number of ways to help your recovery go as smoothly as possible. Here are some tips:
- Keep your head elevated: Although I’ve developed specialized techniques that help minimize discomfort and bruising, elevating your head will also help reduce swelling and let you heal more quickly. It’s especially important in the first three days following surgery.
- Use ice packs: Cold, but not wet, compresses help reduce bruising during the 8-12 hours after surgery. After that, they can be helpful to relieve discomfort.
- Keep your incisions clean. Clean the incision at the end of your nose, and just inside twice daily with a wet cotton tip to get all crusts off, and then apply and OTC antibiotic ointment. This will help prevent infection, and keep the airway more open.
- Take your medications: Most of my patients find they get effective pain relief from over-the-counter medications. If your discomfort is more severe, I can prescribe stronger options. Occasionally I prescribe an antibiotic. In either case, it’s important to take your medications as instructed.
- Blow your nose gently: As I said, most patients believe they can’t blow their noses at all. I advise to blow gently when necessary. Most of my patients don’t require nasal packing, unless extensive internal work for breathing problems was required.
- Restrict exercise: Strenuous workouts cause you to breathe hard and cause your heart rate to rise, which will disrupt your recovery. It’s a good idea to minimize your activities for a week, and then gradually return to your normal exercise routine.