Taking Care of Your Nose After Rhinoplasty

Woman is preparing to have nose surgery done, isolated cutout on white background. Mixed race latin american hispanic caucasian model. Positive face expression

We’ve been spending these pre-Turkey Day blogs talking about rhinoplasty at UMass Memorial. Whether your nose surgery was for cosmetic or functional reasons, the goal is to recover as soon as possible without complications. A successful recovery is a critical component of your overall rhinoplasty experience. Patients want to see their final results as soon as possible, but patience is a virtue, especially with rhinoplasty recovery!

Your UMass Memorial surgeon will discuss what you can expect throughout your recovery. Last blog we detailed a rough timeline you can expect. In this blog we’ll give you a few tips on what to do and not to do after your surgery.

Your initial recovery will take two weeks or more, although you will have some residual swelling for a few weeks.

Here are some tips for a successful, speedy recovery from this intricate cosmetic procedure:

  • Limit facial muscle movements — This sounds obvious, but during your recovery you need to limit things such as laughing and smiling (only hang out with your more boring friends!). Be careful not to open your mouth too wide. Keep your nose from stretching too much or from being hit. Choose foods that are easy to chew; postpone having foods like steak that require more chewing. 
  • Protect your nose from the sun — Unprotected sun exposure can cause permanent discoloration in your nose after rhinoplasty. Apply 30+ SPF sunscreen and wear protective clothing. You don’t want “a little sun” — your nose doesn’t want any.
  • Choose the right clothes — During recovery, choose clothes that won’t possibly have physical contact with the nose area. Also, don’t wear sunglasses or reading glasses. If you need regular glasses, tape them above your bridge. Avoid tops that must be pulled over your head, such as sweaters and t-shirts. Button-up shirts are your best choice as you recover, as they minimize nose movement and possible bumping while dressing.
  • Keep the exercise light — You may be tempted to get back to hardcore exercise soon as a way to help deal with recovery, but you can’t. You need to opt for lighter workouts that restrict up-and-down movement. Also, don’t participate in sports that put you at risk of hitting your nose. Lastly, your nose will feel tender during recovery, which makes swimming, diving, and similar exercise a temporary no-no until you’re fully healed.

With patience and attention, gracefully recovering from rhinoplasty is not difficult. Your UMass Memorial team will explain the best practices for your recovery, so that you will be pleased with your new nose for the rest of your life. Call us at (508) 334-5990 if you have any questions about recovery or any other aspect of nose surgery.

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