Rhinoplasty, the medical term for nose reshaping, is one of the most requested surgical procedures in the country. Houston cosmetic surgery patients considering rhinoplasty to straighten, reshape or refine the nose should be aware of the preparation they need and recovery they can expect after the procedure. Houston face lift surgeons and rhinoplasty specialists must undergo state certification to perform rhinoplasty surgery.
Preparing for Your Rhinoplasty
As your Houston cosmetic surgeon will tell you, cosmetic surgery requires preparation. This general overview is intended to help you make informed decisions about your care, but your doctor will have more specific advice for you.
- No Eating or Drinking – For any surgery that requires anesthesia, you will typically fast before the procedure. Your anesthesiologist can regulate your sedation more precisely when you have an empty stomach, so it is important to follow the fasting guidelines your doctor provides.
- No Smoking – Using tobacco or products that contain nicotine, including electronic cigarettes, compromises blood flow. Because good blood flow is essential to the healing process, you should quit smoking and the use of nicotine-based products in advance of your surgery.
- No Drinking Alcohol – Like tobacco and products that contain nicotine, alcohol alters blood flow and should be avoided when preparing for a rhinoplasty. Alcohol can also potentially change the way you react to anesthetics. Your Houston cosmetic surgeon can tell you when you should stop drinking, but doctors typically recommend abstaining from alcohol for a week before a cosmetic surgery facial procedure such as rhinoplasty.
- Tell Your Doctor about All Medications – Every medication you take, including over-the-counter preparations such as naproxen, ibuprofen and aspirin, affects how you heal after your surgery. Medications that increase blood flow, such as common pain relievers and prescription blood thinners, are particularly important to mention to your doctor.
After Your Cosmetic Rhinoplasty
Depending on your nose and the results you hope to achieve, your procedure may last anywhere from a few minutes to many hours. Your recovery process depends on the nature of the surgery and the type of anesthetic you received.
For a none surgical filler rhinoplasty that takes place in an outpatient setting, you may receive local anesthesia, but most procedures require general anesthesia. A typical patient wakes up in the recovery room within an hour after the surgery is complete. Some patients have minor stomach discomfort when waking up after general anesthesia, but the effects are generally temporary and mild.
Expect some swelling and discoloration at the surgical site. You may notice bruising under your eyes after the procedure; this is normal, especially if the rhinoplasty was extensive. You may not be able to breathe through your nose due to gauze packing and swelling for the first few days after the procedure. If you feel discomfort, your doctor will often prescribe medications to control pain, but for most patients, this initial discomfort fades within 48 hours.
For the first week or so, your nose will be protected by a splint. Avoid any trauma to the area from injury and avoid blowing your nose while it is still in its splint. Cold compresses can help with swelling and discomfort, but some swelling can remain for months after the initial surgery.
Other recommendations for rhinoplasty recovery include:
- Avoiding spicy foods that could cause your nose to run
- Taking extra time off work for psychological as well as physical comfort
- Take a break from exercise routines
- Planning quiet activities such as reading, painting or catching up on television shows
Your doctor can give you specific advice on your recovery plan, so outline a recovery strategy before your rhinoplasty. Enlist friends and family to help so you can focus on healing.