During a rhinoplasty consultation with a plastic surgeon, you’ll probably learn a lot about your surgery and catch only a glimpse of what your recovery will be like. As a prospective patient for this procedure, you’ll want to gather as much information as you can about what you can expect from your surgery and what you can do to ensure your successful recovery. After all, once the stitches are in and the surgery is over, it’s up to you to care for your wounds and start the healing process. Doing so can guarantee the best results possible from your rhinoplasty. Read on to learn more about what you can expect from your all-important recovery time.
The Rhinoplasty Surgery
Rhinoplasty is a complex cosmetic surgery that can create permanent changes to the shape and form of the nose, while preserving or improving function. There are two main approaches to the rhinoplasty procedure: open and closed. A closed rhinoplasty surgery involves incisions contained within the nostrils, while an open rhinoplasty will include one incision on the underside of the bridge between the nostrils. With an open approach, your surgeon can gain greater access to your nasal structure, which may be necessary to make the changes needed to achieve your desired results. While this approach may leave behind a scar, it will be hardly visible because of its discrete location. A closed approach offers a limited range of access to the nasal structures, but leaves behind no scarring at all. If a closed rhinoplasty will offer your surgeon access to the nasal structures necessary, he or she may opt for this approach. Most often, however, the open approach is the chosen approach.
Preparing for Rhinoplasty Surgery
Before you are cleared for rhinoplasty surgery, your plastic surgeon will most likely ask you a series of questions about your lifestyle, daily habits, current medications, and more. It’s important to be in good health before any cosmetic surgery, since it can help minimize procedural risks and even speed up your recovery time. If you’re in good enough health for surgery, staying that way is one essential way to plan for a successful rhinoplasty. Cut down on unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking excessively to optimize your health.
Follow your surgeon’s instructions carefully to be sure that you eliminate certain medications that may interfere with your anesthetics or pain medication, increasing your risk of complications. Avoid aspirin and other anti-inflammatory medications, which can increase the chance of bleeding, as well as any offer off-limits medications, supplements, and herbal remedies. If you have any questions or concerns about any of your daily habits or other factors that might be relevant to your surgery, don’t hesitate to ask your surgeon. Being clear about your pre-operative instructions can only help you to enjoy a better recovery time.
Planning for the Day of Surgery
While you might be nervous about the day of your surgery, there are several measures you can take to make sure the day goes smoothly. It might even take your mind off the worrying! Plan ahead with a friend or family member to drive you to and from surgery. You won’t be able to drive yourself home, thanks to pain medication and the anesthetics, and it might be difficult for you to see distances because of the swelling around your eyes. With a safe ride home, you can plan to start resting right away. Ask someone to stay with you for the first 48 hours to take care of the things you aren’t able to do in the early stages of your recovery.
When you leave the clinic, you will likely have a cast and bandages placed over your nose to help the bones and cartilage begin to set. Light dressings may be used to help with any bleeding, but these can often be removed on the following day. Any external stitches will be removed within the first few days and the nasal cast often comes off after one week.
Preparing for Successful Recovery
The best measures you can take to have a successful rhinoplasty should all happen before your surgery date even arrives. In the days leading up to your rhinoplasty, take the steps necessary to set up a complete recovery area in your home that includes all of the things you may need to be comfortable. Shop for post-operative medical supplies like bandages, if needed, and fill your pain medication prescription. Complete all of your regular errands ahead of time so there are groceries in the house and whatever else you’ll need. Find an area to make into your Recovery Area and get pillows, blankets, comfortable clothing, water to drink, healthy snacks, and things to keep you entertained like magazines, tablets, or a television. Think about what you’d like to have near you when you’re recovering and prepare it ahead of time.
Side Effects of Surgery and Your Recovery
The common belief is that rhinoplasty surgery is extremely painful, but in reality, the majority of patients are surprised how little pain they actually feel. Yes, you should expect to feel some discomfort following your procedure, but it won’t be blinding pain that is your primary concern. Most patients are more frustrated by trying to breathe with swollen nasal passages, a side effect that will subside gradually following your procedure. Swelling will also occur around the nose and eyes, as well as bruising. Any pain you do experience can be managed with prescribed pain medications.
During your recovery, it is important to avoid certain activities that might put you at risk of damaging your newly reconstructed nose. Stay away from bending or lifting, since these activities will increase the swelling in your facial tissue. You should also wait about three weeks before resuming some exercise activities, such as running, cycling, and aerobics. Contact sports are especially forbidden for up to six weeks, given the high risk of sustaining trauma to your nose. After about one week, most patients feel comfortable driving again, since the swelling should reduce enough so as to not interfere with vision. If there is specific activity you have questions about, talk to your surgeon first to avoid any unforeseen consequences. Damage, injuries, and complications may lead to a revision rhinoplasty, so do your best to care for your first surgery’s results until you are fully healed.
Begin With the Right Rhinoplasty Surgeon
Virginia rhinoplasty specialist, Dr. ShervinNaderi, MD, FACS is a Washington, D.C.-area facial plastic surgeon. The doctor’s is passion for nasal cosmetic surgery is evidenced by his excellent postoperative results in the Naderi Center Photo Gallery. Contact Dr. Naderi’s conveniently located offices in Herndon, VA, at (703) 481-0002 or in Chevy Chase, MD at (301) 222-2020.