When my patients undergo a rhinoplasty in Charlotte, I want to ensure that have a smooth and easy recovery. One of the best ways to ensure an easy rhinoplasty recovery is to educate my patients on the recovery process and the steps I take to make it as quick and comfortable as possible.
Steps Taken Before Surgery to Improve Rhinoplasty Recovery
The rhinoplasty recovery process actually starts weeks before surgery. Patients must avoid a long list of items that may increase bruising after the surgery. Some of the common items I will have my patients avoid are:
- Aspirin containing products – patients are commonly surprised how many items contain aspirin and are given a list of products to avoid.
- Alcohol – especially red wine
- Fish – fish oil can thin the blood increasing bruising
- Most multivitamins and herbal supplements such as fish oil, ginseng, etc.
There are herbal supplements such as Arnica Forte and Bromelain, which are known to reduce swelling and bruising after surgery. My patients will start taking these herbal supplements 3-5 days before surgery.
Part of a smooth recovery is preparedness. Patients will have instructions and a list of supplies to gather before surgery to prevent their love ones from running around while the patient is resting. This includes all prescription medications that will be obtained before the surgery
Nicotine can prevent normal healing. All nicotine containing substances must be stopped weeks to months before surgery.
Steps Taken During Surgery to Improve Recovery
At my surgery center in North Carolina, my nurses common ask what I do during surgery because my patients are doing so well immediately after surgery. I go through great lengths to accomplish 3 important items during surgery to improve rhinoplasty recovery:
- Minimize pain
- Minimize bleeding and bruising
- Eliminate nausea
From the reaction of my patients, a nose job is not a painful procedure. The majority of my patients may need to take extra strength Tylenol a few days after surgery. During surgery, I use multiple nerve blocks to ensure the nose will be numb for a few hours immediately after surgery. If patients are going to experience pain, it will be present during the immediate time after surgery. These nerve blocks prevent the feeling of this pain. Patients have the option of taking narcotic pain medications if they feel that they may need it after surgery.
Bleeding during a nose job will cause bruising after surgery. I control bleeding by multiple steps. They are:
- I have patients ice the nose before starting surgery. The cold temperature causes the blood vessels on the nose to constrict and limit the blood flow to the nose
- I inject the nose with medications that limit the blood flow to the nose
- I stop bleeding immediately when it occurs during surgery
Nausea can occur after surgery due to anesthesia, medications, or blood dripping from the nose to the stomach during the surgery. The anesthesiologists that I use during surgery take special precautions to prevent this by giving multiple medications made to prevent nausea. The pain medications after surgery might cause nausea if it is not taken with food. To prevent the blood from getting into the stomach, gauze is place in the throat during surgery to catch blood before it drips into the esophagus.
What to Expect the First Night of After Rhinoplasty
The patient will be tired and wants to rest. There will be a splint and tape on the outside of the nose and small gauze taped at the nostril area. The nostrils will drip a little blood for the first night and the bandage will need to be changed as necessary.
Patients will start eating some simple broth and crackers and gradually eat more as they feel better. By the next day, patients are typically eating normally. A patient will have medications for pain and nausea available to them to take as needed.
It may be hard for patients to breathe through the nose during the first week after the surgery. Breathing through the mouth during this time may cause a dry and scratchy throat. A humidifier in the room while sleeping will help prevent throat irritation.
What to Expect During the First Week after a Rhinoplasty
The day after surgery, I will see patients in my Charlotte office to go over their surgery and demonstrate how to care for their nose. The nose will be cleaned with half strength hydrogen peroxide and covered with ointment twice a day. The inside of the nose will be kept moist with nasal saline spray.
The patient will need to sleep with their head elevated during the first week and limit physical activity. They will not be able to lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk. Many patients are feeling fine during this week and many are working from home on their computers.
At the end of the first week, patients will return to the office and all stitches, tape, and nasal splints will be removed. At this time, the nose will be swollen and may be bruised. 80% of the swelling will go away over the first 3-4 months. The last 20% of the swelling can take 1 year to go away.
90% of the time, bruising is gone by the first week, but sometimes it may take up to 14 days to go away.
When Can Patients Return to Work or School after a Rhinoplasty?
Most patients return to work or school one week after a rhinoplasty. Some patients choose to take 2 weeks off.
When Can Patients Exercise after a Rhinoplasty in Charlotte?
Patients are encouraged to start walking and doing light exercise starting two weeks after surgery. Full exercise can start 4-6 weeks after surgery.
When Can Patients Wear Glasses after Rhinoplasty in North Carolina?
Patients can wear glasses 4-6 weeks after a rhinoplasty.
When Will the Final Result of the Rhinoplasty Occur?
Patients will get a good idea of the results 3-4 months after surgery, but the final result will occur one year after surgery. In patients undergoing a revision rhinoplasty, it may take longer than one year to see the final results.
What Should I Do If I am Interested in Undergoing a Rhinoplasty in Charlotte?
Schedule a consultation with Dr. Kulbersh, a Beverly Hills trained rhinoplasty expert, by calling (704) 842-3644 or sending in consultation request.
Next, read about Rhinoplasty Complications.