If you’ve ever had a surgical procedure done before, you know that the recovery is no picnic. Your body has experienced significant trauma and takes a long time to heal from that. Two of the more unpleasant side effects of surgery are swelling and bruising around the operated area, which can linger for several weeks if not months. In rhinoplasty surgery recovery, unfortunately, all the swelling and bruising will be smack dab in the middle of your face. While there is no getting around this part of recovery, there are some steps you can take to make the process easier.
Step #1: Preparation
Rhinoplasty is an outpatient procedure, so you will be able to go home the same day of the surgery. However, you won’t be able to just bounce up from the operating table, head out to your car, and have the ability to resume normal activities immediately. Recovery will take several weeks and the first two will be the worst. As such, it’s important to plan ahead.
If you have major upcoming events, such as a wedding, reunion, graduation, etc., it’s best to schedule your rhinoplasty at least six weeks in advance. Every patient responds differently to the procedure, so it is in your best interest to schedule it as early as possible to give yourself maximum recovery time.
Your preparation should also be extended to your home life. Have a good stock of ice packs and pillows in the house. Arrange your furniture so that you can reach things easily and move around without too much effort. Keep all your needed recovery supplies handy and in an easily accessible location.
Step #2: Avoid Anticoagulant Medications
Dr. Naderi will provide you with a complete list of pre-surgery and post-surgery recommendations, one of which may be to avoid blood thinners. Things like aspirin and ibuprofen can actually increase the amount of bruising after surgery because your blood can’t clot very well. Other common blood thinners include warfarin and heparin.
Step #3: Use Those Ice Packs Regularly
Obviously, you can’t (and shouldn’t) keep your face constantly cold during your recovery. You can, however, develop a good routine for using your cold compresses to minimize the amount of swelling and pain surrounding your nose. Gel ice packs are recommended over water-based packs because they are gentler on your face and are easier to mold to the area. Typically, a good routine involves using the ice pack for 15-20 minutes at a time with a 15-20 rest period in between. Using your ice packs will be especially helpful in the first couple days after surgery, when your face will be experiencing the most pain and discomfort.
Step #4:Cover Up With Some Cover Up
All those bruises on your face certainly don’t encourage you to head back out into the world once the initial recovery period is over. However, it will be possible to hide the bruises using cover up makeup. If you have light bruises, powder and concealer usually do the trick, but if your bruises are more extensive, you might look into getting some neutralizing foundation. This kind of cover up is based on the color wheel and the color of your bruises determines the kind of foundation you need. Green bruises can be covered up with a red-based foundation, yellow bruises can be covered up with an orange-based foundation. Check with makeup professionals to be sure you get the right products, then double-check those products with your doctor to make sure the ingredients won’t have negative effects on your skin.
Step #5: Listen to Your Doctor
This is the most critical of all the steps. Your doctor will give you a very comprehensive recovery plan full of Dos and Don’ts, medication regimen recommendations, and other guidelines. It’s basic elementary education – follow directions! This is your best way to a fast recovery with minimal pain and discomfort. Keep in close contact with your doctor as your recovery progresses so they are aware of your progress and can answer any questions you might have.
Meet Dr. Naderi
Dr. Shervin Naderi, MD, FACS of The Naderi Center Rhinoplasty & Cosmetic Surgery is a D.C.- area (Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland) facial plastic surgeon. The doctor has dedicated his practice to the specialty of nose surgery, includingrhinoplasty, revision rhinoplasty, septoplasty and reconstruction. Contact Dr. Naderi’s Herndon, VA, office at 703-481-0002, or the Chevy Chase, MD, location at 301-222-2020.