The idea plastic surgery can be daunting or overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time. Of course, the main goal is to undergo a flawless procedure with an easy recovery, but some surgeries (such as Rhinoplasty) can cause swelling, bruising and discomfort which can sometimes last up to two or three weeks. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to make sure your Rhinoplasty recovery is optimal.
1. Ice Ice Baby
Ice is going to be your best friend for the first 48 hours after your Rhinoplasty. The bruising and swelling will be at their worst during this time, but placing towel covered ice packs on the cheeks and on either side of the nose will help combat the discomfort associated with these symptoms. Make sure you do not place the ice directly on top of the nose, as this could cause damage to the healing tissues.
2. Arnica and Pineapple
The amount bruising and swelling that you will experience largely depend on what exactly was performed during surgery as well as your body’s healing capabilities. It is no doubt that you will experience at least some swelling and bruising, however, Arnica and Pineapple juice can aid in the prevention of bruising and swelling post-Rhinoplasty.
Arnica sublingual dissolving pellets are a homeopathic remedy that can be taken daily, starting a few days in advance and two weeks post-surgery to minimize the appearance of bruising. In conjunction with arnica pellets, topical arnica (I prefer the el) and patches can be used post-Rhinoplasty to assist with the healing process.
Pineapple can also help with the appearance of bruising and swelling due to the bromelain enzyme which helps alleviate discomfort and inflammation. Using a juicer for the core of the pineapple and then drinking the juice is the most efficient way for the body to absorb the bromelain.
3. Saline Solution is a Game Changer
Using saline spray in the nasal passages during the first few days post-surgery will assist in reducing the amount of crusting, dryness, and discomfort associated with post-op healing during the first week after surgery. Keeping the nasal passages moist will not only protect against dryness and crusting, but it will ease any discomfort associated with these symptoms.
In addition to nasal spray, it’s a good idea to have a humidifier in the bedroom to maintain an ideal level of moisture in the air.
4. A Travel Pillow Will Be Your Best Friend
If you’ve ever had surgery before, you’re probably familiar with the challenge of finding that perfect sleeping position where you’re comfortable enough to get some quality shut-eye. Some surgeries do not require such strict sleeping instructions, but it’s a different story for Rhinoplasty!
For those who are side and stomach sleepers, I’ve got some bad news. During the first one to two weeks after Rhinoplasty, it is imperative that the nose be kept safe and un-squished by pillows or mattresses. The best way to keep the nose safe is to sleep on your back, face-up, and slightly elevated. A simple U-shaped travel pillow will be your best friend because it will comfortably stabilize the head and neck and will protect you from any unforeseen unconscious movements that could potentially damage the nose.
5. Protect Yourself from Sneezes!
It has been recorded that on average, a person sneezes 1.2 times per day! Needless to say, sneezing is bound to happen to you at some point during your Rhinoplasty recovery period. One wouldn’t think a sneeze could do that much harm, but sneezes blast air through your nose and mouth at a shocking 100 miles per hour, which is a lot of force! During the first two weeks, it is imperative that you sneeze in such a way that will prevent any air from exiting your nose, causing damage to the inside structures. The best way is to sneeze with your mouth open so that all of the force exists through the mouth. Don’t forget to cover your mouth!
6. Use a Drinking Straw
While you’re drinking all of that pineapple juice and staying hydrated during recovery, use a drinking straw instead of directly drinking out of a cup. The main reason for this is to eliminate the possibility of the rim of the cup hitting and damaging the healing nose.
7. Stay in the Shade
Sunlight can cause redness and itchiness during the first few days of recovery, so it’s best to stay indoors or in the shade as much as possible. If you need to go outside for any reason, wear a hat to fully cover the face, but do not wear sunglasses for the first two weeks.
8. Keep Your Surgeon Posted!
Make sure you go to all of your post-op and follow up appointments with your facial plastic surgeon so he or she can make sure that your recovery is on par. This is very important! Your surgeon will be able to answer all of your questions and give you more tips and instructions so that you have the best Rhinoplasty recovery experience possible.
David Shamouelian, MD
Allure Aesthetic Surgery of Beverly Hills
201 South Lasky Dr.
Beverly Hills, CA 90212