So you’ve made the calculated decision to undergo rhinoplasty surgery–congratulations! Typically, a rhinoplasty (also known as a nose job) is performed under general anesthesia, and most patients can go home the same day. You’ll be provided with a list of medications that can be taken to alleviate any discomfort, prevent infection, and generally ensure a smooth healing process, along with instructions to help speed up your recovery.
Although most people recognize that touching one’s nose post rhinoplasty is a bad idea, there are plenty of other things you can do–or rather, not do, to help your healing process along!
Although laughing after rhinoplasty seems like a rather natural, unavoidable thing to do, (particularly if someone cracks a good joke), experts generally agree that while occasional smiling or laughing will probably not compromise the results of your surgery, doing your best to limit facial animation, especially in the first weeks, is strongly advisable. Why? Because too much facial expressiveness can push on your sutures, rendering it more challenging for you to breathe down the line.
Occasional laughing or yawning will likely not damage your nose as it heals, but the less you do it, the better–and try not to laugh too hard! Every time you smile or laugh, the tiny muscles which connect the tip of your nose to your upper lip descend a little. If you laugh a little too hard and feel pain in your nose, this is an indication that you have exceeded your limit. Try to avoid yawning widely for two weeks if at all possible. Crying after nose surgery is even more heavily discouraged than other facial movements, because when you cry strenuously, your nasal muscles shrink, and the result can be inflammation, which you want to avoid at all costs!
You must avoid blowing your nose for two weeks post rhinoplasty, as it can slow or compromise your healing or even cause bleeding. Sneezing after rhinoplasty should be avoided if possible as well, but if you have to sneeze, keep your mouth open, as this will minimize any undesired movement within your nose.
The sutures holding your nasal tip cartilage in place are fragile, so it’s best to allow this area to heal before excessively registering reactions with your facial muscles. Sudden or extreme movement of your facial muscles should be avoided at all costs for the first few weeks post-op, in order to avoid impacting the sutures inside your nose holding everything in place. Too much movement can cause them to weaken and can also cause bleeding.
Avoid wearing glasses or sunglasses on your nose for at least a month post rhinoplasty to prevent putting pressure on the bridge of your nose, which can have a negative impact on the softened tissue and cartilage there. If you normally wear glasses, this means you’ll need to instead opt for an alternative like contact lenses for the duration of your recovery.
When outside during your recovery, always use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher on your nose, as too much sun can cause permanent and irregular changes to your healing skin. The same is true for any other surgery as well. Avoid the sun if possible.
Even if it feels like putting ice on your nose is a good idea post rhinoplasty, don’t. You might apply a cold compress carefully to your forehead or cheeks for relief, but do not apply ice or cold directly to your nose. Not only can ice affect blood flow to your skin, thus impairing proper healing, but any pressure applied to your new nose can have an undesired effect. As well, ice can dampen your cast and make it fall off–another scenario you want to avoid.
While some swelling, redness, and bruising is normal during your rhinoplasty recovery, don’t hesitate to contact us if you become concerned for any reason. Carefully follow all of your surgeon’s instructions for proper healing and the best possible results!