If you want to get the best results from your rhinoplasty, you need to pay special attention to your nose and the surrounding area after the surgery. Rhinoplasty swelling is common post-surgery, and if you don’t take care of it, your recovery and healing could be delayed or impaired.
It’s important to closely follow all the directions your surgeon gives you for your post-operative care, and to call the surgeon’s office immediately if you notice any problems. Here is some basic information that you should know to effectively deal with rhinoplasty swelling.
Don’t be alarmed by the swelling.
It is part of the process, and the amount of swelling can vary depending on each individual. Treating it properly may reduce the period of time it takes for the swelling to go down, but it will require some patience. Initial swelling may go away after a few weeks, but it can take up to an entire year for all of the swelling to completely disappear.
Keep your head up.
You will be resting during the days immediately following the procedure. Make sure to keep your head elevated above chest level; not only can that help reduce swelling, it may also cut the risk of any bleeding that may occur and can help with drainage.
Watch your diet.
Focus on the foods that promote healing, such as fresh produce, whole grains, and the good fats in nuts and seeds, while avoiding processed foods. A low-sodium diet can help keep swelling down, and drinking plenty of water allows you to stay healthy and hydrated.
Ask your doctor about cold compresses.
It may be helpful to use cold packs in the immediate aftermath of surgery to reduce swelling. It’s important to note that the compresses should never be placed directly on your nose because that could cause damage to the surgical work; instead, put the packs farther away on your cheeks.
Take good care of your dressings.
Your surgeon will apply splints and bandages to your nose to support the area and to reduce swelling. Take care not to bump or move them so they don’t become dislodged. Most dressings stay in place for about a week after surgery; if you need to change any of the dressings, make sure you get instructions from your surgeon on how to do it properly.
Don’t overdo it on exercise.
Once the bandages are off and the initial swelling goes down, you may be tempted to get back to your normal workout routine. However, too much vigorous activity can exacerbate swelling in the weeks and months after surgery. Skip the heavy cardio and ask your physician for any suggestions for exercise substitutions while you heal.
Don’t hesitate to see your doctor.
If you’ve reached the three-month mark post-surgery and you think there is still too much swelling in and around the nose, schedule an appointment with your physician. Persistent swelling may require special dressings or steroids to help the problem.