If you have ever felt frustrated or self-conscious about the appearance of your nose, then you might be a good candidate for rhinoplasty. This surgical procedure, also known as a “nose job,” allows you to make structural changes to the size or shape of your nose, either correcting its shape or bringing it into greater harmony with your other facial features.
As you consider getting a nose job, it is natural to feel excited. After all, the chance to rethink your appearance and regain your sense of confidence can be life-changing. With that said, it is also natural to feel trepidation. And often, the trepidation revolves around the recovery period.
Recovery from rhinoplasty can take some time, and it will involve some discomfort and inconvenience. With that said, there are some steps you can take to ensure your recovery is as smooth and expedient as possible. We will cover all the bases in this article about what nose job recovery entails and invite you to contact Eos Rejuvenation with any additional questions about the rhinoplasty journey.
Part I: Before Your Rhinoplasty Procedure
There are several steps you can take to ensure a smooth recovery even before the procedure takes place. Specifically, we recommend doing your homework to select the right facial plastic surgeon, verifying that you are a qualified patient, collecting as much information as you can about the nose job process, and stocking up on necessary supplies.
Choose the Right Surgeon
You will need to make a few important decisions about your rhinoplasty, but the most important decision of all is who will perform the procedure. Keep in mind that not all facial plastic surgeons are created equal, and it is important to be thoughtful and intentional in your search for the right provider. This means interviewing different doctors, voicing any questions or concerns you might have, and seeking the right credentials.
Look for a Board-Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon
One of the most important things to look for is board certification. Board certification shows that the surgeon has received advanced education and training and has been rigorously vetted for competence and professionalism. Simply put, board certification gives you an assurance that the surgeon is legitimate, prepared to do good work, and that they will prioritize your safety and wellbeing.
While some cosmetic surgeons may be skilled, there is really no way to assess these surgeons without simply going through with a procedure. Board certification offers you a much higher level of peace of mind.
Ask the Right Questions
During each of these interviews, feel free to ask any questions or raise any concerns you might have about the rhinoplasty process. For example, here are some questions that may be useful as you try to assess potential surgeons.
- Which type of rhinoplasty do you recommend (open vs. closed) to achieve my aesthetic goals?
- What is the total cost of the procedure? What financing options are available?
- What should I expect from the recovery process?
- What are the risks or potential complications?
In addition, you should ask for testimonials from past patients, as well as before-and-after photos that reveal the surgeon’s style and approach.
Look for a Good Fit
When seeking a facial plastic surgeon to perform your nose job, you naturally want to make sure you find someone who is skilled, competent, and properly credentialed. However, you also want to find a surgeon you like, whose presence and demeanor you find to be reassuring, and who inspires real confidence in the procedure itself. If you simply do not care for a surgeon’s communication style or personality, that is reason enough to continue your search elsewhere.
Ensure You are a Good Candidate for Rhinoplasty
When you go in for a consultation with your facial plastic surgeon, one thing you can anticipate is a brief physical evaluation, accompanied by some basic questions about your medical history as well as your aesthetic goals. All of this is intended to “qualify” you for surgery; in other words, to give your surgeon a chance to ensure you are a good candidate for a safe and successful procedure.
The ideal candidates for rhinoplasty meet the following criteria:
- They do not have any underlying health problems that could compromise their ability to heal.
- They are not smokers or are willing to cease smoking for at least a couple of months.
- They have talked with a plastic surgeon and have clear, realistic expectations about the rhinoplasty procedure, the potential outcomes, and the recovery process.
Again, the best way to verify that you are a good candidate for a nose job is to make an appointment with a board-certified facial plastic surgeon.
What Rhinoplasty Patients Wish They Knew
In addition to choosing the right surgeon and ensuring your candidacy for a nose job, it is also important to gather as much data as you can about what the process entails and what you can anticipate from the recovery.
You Are Not Likely to See Results Right Away
Keep in mind that, following your procedure, you will have some bruising and swelling, which means you will not get a clear glimpse of your new nose for three or four weeks. In fact, some surgeons say that it may be a full year before your results are fully settled in place.
It Will Be at Least a Week Before You Look Like Normal
For about a week after your procedure, you will have a splint over your nose, holding it in place. Once this splint is removed, you may feel more comfortable going out into public without people knowing that you just had surgery. Some patients also have some bruising around the eyes that makes it harder for them to cover up.
You May Be Constipated
Many rhinoplasty patients do not anticipate this side effect. Keep in mind that all those medications that keep you out of pain tend to block up your system. As such, constipation can be expected for a few days post-procedure. One way you can mediate this is to switch to a high-fiber diet for the week before your nose job. Beyond that, your best bet is simply to stock up on stool softeners and laxatives.
You Will Not Be Able to Wear Eyeglasses
For a few weeks, you will have to refrain from wearing your eyeglasses. This goes for sunglasses, reading glasses, and anything that puts pressure on the nose. Wearing glasses can cause swelling or additional bleeding and ultimately delay your recovery.
If possible, switch to contact lenses for the recovery period. If that is not an option for you, switch to the lightest possible frames.
You Will Not Be Able to Blow Your Nose
As you recover from rhinoplasty, you will be advised against blowing your nose. If you do blow your nose, the force of it may cause irritation or bleeding. It can also blow out your stitches.
As such, you will want to wash your hands diligently, minimizing your risk of catching a cold. And if you suffer from seasonal allergies, make sure you have the medications you need to keep them under control.
You Are Going to Need Help
Due to lingering grogginess from the anesthesia, you will need to have someone stay with you during your surgery and drive you home once you are cleared to leave.
We would really recommend having someone who can stay with you for the first 48 hours, at a minimum. This might be a spouse, a parent, a sibling, or a close friend.
You are going to feel very tired and weak as your body bounces back from the surgery, and you will need all the help you can get around the house. Even getting up to go to the bathroom may be challenging during the first day. Having a helper is essential.
Additionally, this person can monitor you, ensure you do not have any unexpected reactions or complications, and, in the event of an emergency, call your surgeon for help.
It is Important to Stock Up on Supplies in Advance
You will not be able to drive for a couple of days after surgery and getting into the passenger’s seat for a quick errand may prove rather taxing. As such, we would recommend stocking up on food, medications, and other important supplies before the procedure. We will provide a more detailed shopping list below.
You Will Want to Start Moving, But Not Right Away
When you first arrive home after surgery, you are going to feel pretty worn out. Over the course of the first day or two, we recommend gradually working your way up to some modest movement, even if that just means walking around your house at first, then down the street a little way. Motion will ultimately help with your recovery, but it is important to be incremental and not push yourself too hard.
A Pre-Surgery Shopping List
We have mentioned a couple of times now how important it is to head to the store to stock up on supplies before your surgery. This way, you will have everything you need close at hand and will not have to interrupt your rest to run errands. Of course, you could always send your helper to the store instead-but stockpiling before your surgery may prove more convenient.
With that said, what are some of the items on the pre-rhinoplasty shopping list? Here are a few items we would recommend having handy before your surgery.
- Prescription medications (get your antibiotic and pain management prescriptions filled in advance, as well as any other routine medications you might need).
- Over-the-counter pain relievers (ask your surgeon for a specific recommendation, but generally, Tylenol is the way to go).
- Vaseline or Chapstick (you will likely need to breathe through your mouth for the first few days and will need a way to rehydrate your lips).
- Bottled water, juice, and/or Gatorade.
- Bags of frozen berries or peas (you can use these as ice packs to help you control the swelling following your rhinoplasty procedure).
- Arnica cream (to keep bruising and swelling at bay).
- A digital thermometer (you may wish to check your own temperature periodically, as fever is one of the top signs of infection).
- Q-tips (to gently clean out your nostrils once the bandages and splint are removed).
- Antibacterial soap.
- Items to keep you occupied as you rest and recover, such as magazines or books.
- A cool-mist humidifier (this can help keep both your lips and your nasal passageways properly hydrated).
- Biotene® mouth spray (this can be used to keep your throat moist and hydrated until you are able to resume breathing through your nose).
- Pillows (you will likely want at least two or three pillows to keep your head elevated; this can help with breathing and minimize the risk of bleeding from your nose).
In addition to these items, stock up on some soft food items that will be easy to digest. This is mostly because, as you recover from the effects of anesthesia, you may have some mild nausea, which can last for a couple of days. Some foods that you might want to have on hand include:
- Saltine crackers
Additional Ways to Prepare for Your Rhinoplasty
As we wrap up this section on preparing for rhinoplasty, here are just a few additional guidelines and suggestions that may help you to prepare for a safe, successful procedure as well as a smooth and expedient recovery.
Take the Right Health Precautions
Here are a few things you can do to prepare yourself for a nose job and the subsequent recovery: