At Plastic Surgery Center in Sarasota, FL, we commonly have clients asking us what we can do to improve their midface. Specifically, people are concerned about the size or shape of their noses. Some people were born with a deformity; other people have suffered a traumatic injury due to a motor vehicle accident or sports accident. Today, we’re talking about rhinoplasty, the perfect solution for people who are concerned about their noses.
How Long Does It Take to Recover After Rhinoplasty?
Generally, it takes a full year to recover from rhinoplasty. Although this may sound like an intimidatingly long time, most of the recovery timeline is similar to any other aesthetic procedure. For example, you are free to resume cardio roughly three to four weeks after your procedure, and you can get back to pumping iron just six weeks after your procedure.
How Can I Speed Up the Recovery Process?
There are many things you can do to speed up your recovery process. We will give you an all-inclusive list of what to do post-op during your initial consultation so you can have the smoothest, fastest recovery possible. Here are some actionable steps you can take for the best possible recovery process:
Listen to Your Doctor
Once Dr. Jeffrey K. Scott M.D., F.A.C.S. determines you are a good candidate for this procedure, he will give you numerous prescriptions to fill, such as antibiotics. Take these antibiotics precisely as prescribed, including adhering to the time of day and dosage. Don’t think you don’t need to take them because you do not have an active infection. These antibiotics are not to treat an infection. Rather, they are to reduce the chance of an infection.
If you have any questions, please bring them up during your initial evaluation. You can also ask any questions you may have about post-op instructions once your procedure is complete. If you have any queries during your recovery period, please feel free to call us. We are more than happy to explain anything you’re confused about throughout the recovery process.
Listen to Your Body
Everyone’s recovery experience is unique. Some people find themselves completely alert three hours post-op and stay up engaging in relaxing hobbies until they are ready for bed. Other people find that they spend 24 hours drifting in and out of sleep. Rest if your body is communicating that it needs more rest. Don’t feel bad if you can’t pay attention to an entire television show.
Get Plenty of Rest
Do your best to get at least 7.5 hours of sleep nightly during the first couple of weeks after your procedure. Ideally, you should get nine hours of sleep nightly. It is important to sleep between 7.5 and nine hours per night because it takes 90 minutes to complete a sleep cycle. Therefore, you will be able to complete five to six sleep cycles nightly. Allow your body the energy it requires to heal itself.
Keep Your Head Elevated
Your recovery period will last longer than it should if you sleep on your side following your procedure. You won’t negatively affect your results if you sleep on your side, but your results will be affected if you sleep on your stomach.
For the fastest recovery period, it is crucial that you sleep on your back with your head elevated for six weeks following your procedure. We recommend using two or three pillows to prop your head up. To keep yourself from tossing and turning at night, we recommend using a travel pillow or surrounding yourself with rolled up towels.
Use Cold Compresses
Using cold compresses during the first 72 hours post-op will also shorten your recovery period. It is strongly advisable to use a cold compress for five minutes at a time, five times daily during the first three days. Nevertheless, it is not recommended that you apply the cold compress directly to your nose. Instead, you should apply the cold compress to your cheeks.
Wrapping frozen produce in a dish towel will provide you with the same benefits as a cold compress. Similarly, if you don’t have a cold compress, you can wrap a bag of ice in a dish towel.
Eat Lots of Produce
One of the best things you can do to shorten your recovery process is loading up your plate with lots of produce. Your body doesn’t just need a great deal of energy to heal itself; it also requires a lot of micronutrients. Vitamins A and C are particularly beneficial when you’re seeking to shorten a recovery period.
You can get large doses of vitamin A in dark, leafy greens. Vitamin C is found in abundance in citrus fruits and cruciferous vegetables. Vitamin C is so important for healing because it contains the building blocks required for your skin to produce extra collagen.
Eat Bioavailable Protein
Collagen is an essential protein for keeping your skin tight, smooth, hydrated, and healthy. However, your skin doesn’t just need vitamin C to produce this essential protein. It also needs lots of bioavailable protein. Ideally, you should eat plenty of lean fish, low-fat nuts, game meat, and eggs every day.
On the other hand, you should try to eat full-fat dairy products because they are far less processed than reduced-fat dairy products. If you don’t get enough protein in your diet, you will be in for an unnecessarily long recovery.
Heat causes tissue swelling which will prolong your recovery process. Therefore, it is highly advisable to avoid saunas, steamy showers, steam rooms, hot baths, and hot bowls of soup. Take lukewarm showers, avoid vigorous exercise, and eat foods that aren’t steaming hot early in your recovery period.
Refrain From Blowing Your Nose
If you get too hot, your nasal passages will experience swelling. This can make you feel congested, but you shouldn’t respond to this feeling by blowing your nose. Instead, use a saline spray to moisturize your nasal passages gently until the urge to blow your nose passes. You can purchase a saline solution or make your own.
To make your own saline spray, boil a cup of tap water to ensure it is sterile. Then, combine it with half teaspoons of salt and baking soda. If you boil tap water, allow it to cool until it is tepid. If you don’t want to boil water, you can use distilled water. Either way, your saline solution may be stored safely for up to 72 hours.
Don’t Pump Iron
We know how hard it is to skip leg day. However, you need to refrain from vigorous exercise for six weeks following your procedure for your recovery’s sake. We will advise on the intensity at which you may exercise when you come in for your follow-up appointment. Until you get the green light, avoid dynamic stretching, bending over, and lifting.
Don’t Wear Sunglasses
Remember, it is essential that you avoid applying pressure to your nose during the first six weeks of your recovery. Unfortunately, this means you can’t wear reading glasses, prescription glasses, or sunglasses during the first six weeks post-op.
If possible, wear contacts if you need to wear glasses for vision correction. If you can’t, talk to your ophthalmologist about ordering lighter frames. Only wear your glasses when you really have to, and wear a splint under your glasses.
Minimize Sun Exposure
Eating plenty of protein and vitamin C will go a long way in supporting extra collagen production. Unfortunately, your diet alone is not enough to speed up your recovery if you are damaging your existing collagen. You need to minimize sun exposure to keep your existing collagen healthy and ensure you’re not slowing your collagen production. Wear at least SPF 35 and minimize time outside between 10 AM and 4 PM.
Discover Today How to Look and Feel Your Best
Were you in a vehicle or sports accident that led to a misshapen nose? Do you have trouble breathing when you lie on your back due to a deviated septum? If so, you may be the perfect candidate for rhinoplasty. While recovery usually takes a full year, you will only need to focus on your recovery for a couple of weeks.
To learn more about this procedure, please contact us today at Plastic Surgery Center in Sarasota, FL to schedule your initial evaluation. We are happy to answer all of your questions regarding the entire process, from preparation to recovery.