Knowing what you should and shouldn’t do after rhinoplasty surgery can speed up your healing process and help you avoid complications. While your plastic surgeon will give you a comprehensive list of post-operative care instructions for rhinoplasty recovery, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the best practices, so you and your home are prepared for your recovery. To help you out, we have compiled a list of what not to do after rhinoplasty. Let’s take a look.
Understanding Healing During Rhinoplasty Recovery
Your nose is extremely sensitive and holds onto swelling for much longer than other areas of your body. For this reason, you can expect your rhinoplasty recovery timeline to go slowly, and you need to exercise some patience as your body adjusts.
What Not To Do After Rhinoplasty
These are our top activities to avoid after rhinoplasty surgery:
Vigorous exercise and strenuous activities
While you certainly won’t feel like exercising right after your nose job, you probably will experience rapid healing after the first week and a half after rhinoplasty surgery. Even if you are feeling more like yourself after the first week, you should not do any vigorous exercise for at least the first three to six weeks after your surgery. Strenuous activity promotes blood flow to the face and can make swelling worse.
During the second week, it is a good idea to do some light walking every day, but that should be your limit until you get permission from your plastic surgeon. Generally, by the end of the third week, many patients are ready to do some light exercise, but this excludes weights and resistance training, which should be left until the sixth week.
If you play contact sports, you should abstain from these activities for at least four to six months after rhinoplasty surgery. You should avoid swimming for at least six weeks because it is important to keep your nose dry during recovery.
Blowing your nose
Blowing your nose must be avoided until at least ten days into your rhinoplasty recovery period or until you get the go-ahead from your surgeon. This will be a challenge because your nose will probably feel stuffy and congested, but blowing it can worsen swelling, cause bleeding, and put you at more serious health risks.
We recommend that our patients who are in rhinoplasty recovery try to self-isolate for as long as possible, wash their hands frequently, and avoid anyone who may have respiratory illnesses. If your nose does feel stuffy, rather make use of a gentle saline nasal spray to decongest it.
Wearing glasses and sunglasses
Patients are advised to avoid wearing glasses or sunglasses or anything else that puts pressure and weight on the bridge of their nose for at least six weeks. This is the length of time it takes for the nasal bones and tissue to heal fully, and putting anything on the bridge of your nose may do damage.
Alcohol and tobacco products
Smoking during rhinoplasty recovery should be avoided at all costs. Smoking interferes with your body’s healing ability and increases your chances of developing an infection. It’s best to stop smoking at least two months before a nose job and to avoid it for at least one month afterwards.
Alcohol can contribute to swelling and should also be avoided in the first few weeks of your healing period.
Even if your bandages have been removed, we highly recommend that you avoid being out in the sun. The skin on your nose is very sensitive and could discolour if it is exposed to the sun. Once your plastic surgeon gives you the green light to go out into the sun, you should still use sunscreen with a high sun protection factor and a wide-brimmed hat and stay in the shade as much as possible.
Touching your nose
Even though it will be tempting to touch and feel your nose, we advise against doing it. It is very easy to hurt yourself or even misalign your nasal tissues, so touching must be avoided until your surgeon says otherwise.
Showers, saunas, and steam rooms
Showers, steam rooms, and saunas should be avoided during rhinoplasty recovery because they run the risk of getting your nose wet. Taking a cool bath minimises the risk of getting your surgical site wet.
Laying flat on your back
Laying with your head flat causes blood to pool, which contributes to swelling. Reclining in a chair or laying with your head propped against a few pillows is a safer way to enjoy your rest period. Ideally, you should aim to position your head higher than your heart.
It’s recommended that you abstain from sexual activity for the first three weeks of your healing period. Sexual intercourse is included in vigorous physical activity and can cause swelling to get worse.
It may look like there’s a lot of ‘what not to do after rhinoplasty’, but these recommendations are put in place to manage your safety and help you recover quickly. To find out more about rhinoplasty or for advice on healing and recovery, please contact us at (02) 9158 6375.
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