Rhinoplasty is a cosmetic surgical procedure that improves the function and appearance of the nose. Rhinoplasty can be performed to change the nose’s shape, size, angle, or hump. It is a complex surgery that can take up to six hours, so it’s natural to worry about what should happen after leaving the operating room. While it is not an urgent procedure, there are several things to remember that will help you recover safely and quickly.
Can I Safely Drive Home After My Rhinoplasty?
After a Rhinoplasty, you will not be able to drive. Predominantly because of anesthesia and Rhinoplasty, you’ll need a driver and someone to stay with you for the first 24 hours after surgery. Alternatively, you can request to be cared for by hospital staff while you sleep the night away if that is an option.
Surgery usually takes three to six hours, so it’s important to have someone drive you home after your procedure. You’ll need someone else to drive for at least six weeks, as many doctors recommend maintaining a hands-free phone or headset device while driving.
Once you get home, it’s important to rest. Your mind and body have been through a lot, so give yourself the chance to heal in an environment where you feel safe. Try to unplug from everything, even your phone or computer, and focus on making healthy choices that will keep you feeling strong and healthy.
How Do I Prepare For Surgery?
It’s important to inform your eye doctor of any medications you take at least two weeks before surgery. While you may be able to take normal prescription medications, check with your surgeon first.
It’s important to understand that certain medications used during and after surgery will not be available over-the-counter. Your surgeon may want you to arrive at the hospital without any contact lenses in your eyes. If you are strictly a contact lens wearer, wearing glasses or sunglasses throughout the day while recovering from Rhinoplasty is important.
What Types Of Medications Will I Need?
Much of your recovery depends on how you choose to recover. Most patients will use a combination of medications to help them through the recovery process and maximize their results, but it is important to understand what each drug does and why it’s used.
1. Pain Medications
It is one of the most common medications after surgery and will likely be prescribed right before your procedure. If you’re going to be prescribed medication, starting it before your surgery is important. Most doctors recommend taking pain medication at least one hour before getting an anesthetic and up to two hours after anesthesia has worn off. The medication you take will depend on how severe the pain is in your nose or face.
2. Post-Op Medications
Your doctor may prescribe medications that need to be taken after surgery to keep you comfortable during recovery. Some of these medications may be prescription-strength and some may be over-the-counter. Rest assured that your doctor will carefully consider the medication for your recovery and ensure it’s safe for you to take.
What Are The Common Steps For A Rhinoplasty Procedure?
Typically, your surgeon will develop a customized plan depending on your unique condition. Some of the most common steps include:
1. Initial Consultation
You may begin this conversation with your surgeon as early as two weeks before the surgery date if you want to know more about the procedure, how long it might last and when you can visit the hospital. The key is to structure a plan that works best for you. Your surgeon will want to know what results you want to achieve and how realistic that is based on your medical history.
2. Nose Surgery
If you have a nose job, the surgeon will start by making a small incision in the side of your nose. This incision is usually hidden within your nose, so you probably won’t feel it during recovery. Using the incision, your surgeon will remove any extra cartilage or fat from your nose and taper off any excess tissue. After removing the excess tissue, he or she will adjust and refine the shape of your nose.
Depending on the complexity of the procedure, recovery may take up to six weeks. You should avoid strenuous activity and heavy lifting for at least six weeks and wear headgear or a non-disposable mask that goes over your nose while sleeping. When your stitches are removed, you can start showering and bathing. You should also avoid getting cold air in your nose until you bathe again.
4. Nasal Reconstruction
After the first six weeks, visit the doctor to determine if you need to have more surgery or if further surgery is needed. It’s possible to have complications during this stage of recovery. Your surgeon will ask if you would like extra time to recover and see other specialists at this point in the process.
Other Things to Remember
- Do not drink alcohol during surgery, as this can impact healing and cause swelling.
- Avoid lifting anything heavy for at least six weeks after surgery while wearing any non-disposable headgear or facemask.
- Avoid using nose sprays or other products for your nose until you have completed basic pain control.
- Have a familiar person drive you to and from the hospital, especially if your anesthesia was prolonged.
- While you can use a washing machine while wearing non-disposable headgear, refrain from doing so until the stitches are removed.
- Do not go outside until you are completely healed and the doctor has confirmed it is safe.
- See your doctor before using any medication if you feel a cold or allergy.
While recovery can be long and challenging, there are many steps you can take to lessen the challenges in the early stages of recovery. By making smart choices about medications and following the steps above, you’ll be able to maximize your results and ensure a speedy and safe recovery.