When Can I Blow My Nose After Rhinoplasty and Other Recovery Questions
Whether you are still actively considering rhinoplasty or have already scheduled your surgery, you may have a number of floating questions about the recovery. What will life be like immediately after the surgery? How can I improve my recovery in the weeks ahead? When I can return to work? These are all good and valid questions. And here are their answers. These are the most commonly asked post-rhinoplasty questions by our patients.
When Can I Blow My Nose?
Although nose blowing seems harmless, it can cause damage to the new structure of your nose if done too soon or aggressively after surgery. Forceful blowing can potentially tear or damage the tissue inside the nose, not to mention that people who blow their nose too hard are often simply pushing the mucus straight into their sinuses. You do not want that, particularly right now.
You may be tempted to blow your nose in the days after surgery, as some congestion is normal while the nasal tissues are swollen. Be sure to follow your surgeon’s recommendations and avoid doing it too soon. Although there is no standard time frame for everyone, your surgeon can help you determine the point when it will be safe to gently and carefully blow your nose. Most rhinoplasty patients will be able to blow their nose after about two (2) weeks, while those who underwent rhinoplasty with septoplasty may need to wait several weeks longer.
When Can I Return to Work?
Many people are able to return to work within 10 days or fewer, depending on the type of work they do and how involved or complex their surgery was. Those who do desk work or non-strenuous jobs typically return to work very quickly. After 10 days, much of the bruising will have disappeared or can be easily concealed by makeup, and the initial swelling will have greatly subsided.
When Can I Exercise or Play Sports Again?
Exercise and sporting activities need to be approached with caution after any surgery. With rhinoplasty, you don’t want to risk getting hit in the face during a sport; and although this is naturally quite rare, the fact the nose is already undergoing healing from considerable trauma, making any contact almost unbearable, as well as the additional focus that people subconsciously place on their nose after surgery tends to invite all kinds of intriguing phenomena, But even “safe” activities such as an aerobics class or jogging can cause nose bleeds, or can slow down healing by straining your body too soon.
Will My Nose Look Really Swollen?
Some swelling and bruising is normal after any surgical procedure. But if you use a skilled facial plastic surgeon for your rhinoplasty, you’ll find that this is kept to a minimum and is very manageable. Usually, a major reduction in swelling is seen after just two to three weeks, and it may be virtually unnoticeable to others at around six weeks after the procedure. Although your full results may not be completely visible to you for a few months, most people will think your nose looks great and will not realize that some minor swelling remains. (They are looking at you and your nose from a much different angle; your eyes are right behind your nose as they have been for years, when suddenly, the view changed completely.)
How Can I Help My Scars Heal Better?
Scars are a normal part of the healing process, but there are several things you can do to minimize their appearance. If you follow your surgeon’s advice, you will likely end up with a scar that is practically invisible.
Perhaps the most important advice is about what not to do. Don’t fall for the slick marketing of products that are claimed to “heal scars”, as these tend to be scientifically unproven and may do more harm than good. Definitely do not pick at your scars. Also, make sure you gently apply sunscreen to the scar whenever you’re outside, as the sun can cause the scar to discolor differently than surrounding skin if it has not fully developed yet.
Can I Wear Glasses and Sunglasses?
No. Avoid wearing glasses or sunglasses for the first 6 weeks after your procedure. While the bridge of your nose is healing, applying weight to it risks literally displacing the bone and undoing the surgical work just done.
Should I Use Cold Compresses?
Yes. During the first 24 to 48 hours after your rhinoplasty, cold compresses can help reduce some of the eventual swelling. In fact, cold compresses are best applied immediately, and intermittently. But you should never place these on your nose itself as to do runs the risk of interfering with the hearing process by shifting the bone and cartilage while they are healing. Instead, you should place the compresses on your cheeks, alongside your nose, and any other points of swelling and bruising.
Dr. Siegel is a premiere Houston rhinoplasty specialist. If you wish to learn more about rhinoplasty, and rhinoplasty recovery, and find out if it is right for you, contact his office today!