So you have decided to undergo a rhinoplasty (nose job or nasal reshaping) procedure, what can you do to ensure the best results? We advise rhinoplasty patients at our St. Petersburg, FL, practice, to follow a full post-surgical protocol to minimize swelling and bruising, reduce swelling, and improve outcomes. But the aftercare actually starts BEFORE the surgery.
At Narasimhan Plastic Surgery, our rhinoplasty center is dedicated to ensuring nothing but an outstanding result! We specialize in primary, revision, secondary, Asian, and Black rhinoplasty procedures and offer the following tips for a smooth recovery.
What To Do Before Rhinoplasty Surgery
Bruising: Before the operation, I prescribe Arnica-Bromelain Complex from Silagen, which is taken one week prior. Arnica is an herbal medication that helps with bruising and swelling. Bromelain, which is derived from pineapple, has been shown to speed up healing. Patients are also asked to stop vitamin E, garlic, ginkgo, turmeric pills, fish oil, or omega-3 fatty acids because they thin the blood and incite bruising.
Nausea: I prescribe a scopolamine patch which is applied the morning of the surgery. This is an extended-release patch that helps with post-anesthesia vomiting and discomfort.
During Rhinoplasty Surgery
Even during your rhinoplasty procedure, we are looking ahead! You are given IV Tylenol® in a special formulation to help with postop pain. In addition, we give a dose of IV steroids called Decadron® to help reduce swelling and discomfort. Furthermore, we also give antibiotics to prevent infection and inflammation.
What To Do After Rhinoplasty Surgery
While each patient’s recovery experience is unique, the following timeline can help patients to know what to do to aid healing.
First 3 days: After surgery, we prescribe medications such as a Medrol® dose pack (steroid) and Keflex® (antibiotic). Follow these instructions to care for your nose:
- After surgery, clean the nostrils with hydrogen peroxide using a cotton-tipped applicator, gently working off any crust or debris around the nostrils and the incisions.
- Use the cotton tip to apply bacitracin ointment around the nose for 3 days only. This helps keeps the areas around the incision moist during the initial healing phase of the skin.
- Refrain from blowing the nose or Valsalva, or any major pressure in the area of the nose or eyes.
- You can apply a cold gel pack (but not anything heavy) over the eyes.
- Keep the area of the cast clean and dry.
- You can replace the small piece of gauze under the nose with a piece of tape.
- You will continue to use Arnica over the cheek area for potential bruising and swelling.
First week to 6 weeks: After the first week your cast, stitches, and splints will be removed. I will apply new tapes over the nose to help with swelling. After 2 weeks, you can apply Silagen (silicone cream) to the nasal incisions to help with scar healing. You can gently clean the nose with saline spray. We recommend a nasal suction bulb to clean the nose of secretions if needed, but do not blow the nose.
After 6 weeks: After this time period, we generally recommend resuming normal activities to your comfort level. Wearing glasses is permitted. Avoid any contact sports such as basketball for 2 to 3 months. Our follow-up appointments will be at 3 and 6 months, then yearly.
You can learn more about what to expect during rhinoplasty recovery in a related blog post. And while it may take a while for swelling to completely abate after the surgery, most rhinoplasty patients say their results were worth it. Our patients’ rhinoplasty before and after photos demonstrate why the procedure has such a high satisfaction rate.
Dr. Narasimhan is double board-certified in plastic surgery and otolaryngology and a specialist in rhinoplasty and facial plastic surgery. If you’re considering a nose job, request a consultation or call our office at (727) 289-7119 to schedule an appointment. Men and women considering rhinoplasty come from Clearwater, Tampa, and beyond to have Dr. Narasimhan perform their procedures.