Tips for a Speedy Recovery from Rhinoplasty

Summer is rhinoplasty season, one of the busiest times of the year for cosmetic nasal surgery. Rhinoplasty is popular during the summer, but who wants to trade beach trips and pool parties for recovery? Downtime is inevitable after a surgical procedure, but these tips will ensure you’re back to summer fun ASAP. 


Prioritize Rest

Summer is a busy time, and one of our favorite seasons in the Inland Empire. We realize that there are many activities competing for your time, but in the days right after rhinoplasty, make rest your top priority. Your body needs rest to heal. You can rest now, or you can rest later when your recovery takes longer than expected. 

For the first few days, we recommend lots of rest, gentle walking, and good nutrition. Rhinoplasty is the perfect excuse for a Netflix binge session and extra naps. Come on, enjoy the downtime. 


Schedule Downtime

Most of our rhinoplasty patients need 7-10 days of downtime before they are ready to resume a full daily schedule. Asking for time off work can be difficult, but if you want rhinoplasty, it is important. Schedule more time off than you think you’ll need. Many of our patients feel great and return to work quickly, but if you need extra time, you’ll be glad you planned ahead. 

Exercise and strenuous activities will require some additional healing time. Most patients need 4-6 weeks to resume heavy lifting and strenuous exercise. Avoid activities where the nose could be injured, including contact sports, for at least a year after surgery. Dr. Machida will advise you when you’re ready to resume these activities. 


Avoid General Anesthesia and IV Sedation

General anesthesia and iv sedation have their place in medicine, but we don’t use them at STC Plastic Surgery. Plain and simple, Dr. Machida believes that anesthesia and sedation are too risky, and that many facial cosmetic surgeries can be performed without their added risks. 

Skipping anesthesia and IV sedation also offers benefits during the recovery process. The drugs used for anesthesia and sedation have side effects  that manifest in recovery including:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Sore throat
  • Chills or shivering
  • Muscle and body aches
  • Confusion, grogginess, and drowsiness
  • Itching
  • Dizziness

Many of these side effects fade quickly, but in some cases, they may stick around for several days. Older adults are more likely to experience longer term effects from these medications. 

By using a local anesthetic only for our rhinoplasties, our patients avoid the uncomfortable side effects of sedation and feel better sooner. Awake surgery can be more difficult for the surgeon, so make sure you choose an experienced provider. Dr. Machida has performed more than 4,000 facial cosmetic surgeries and is very experienced with using local anesthetic instead of general anesthesia. 


Listen to Your Plastic Surgeon

Most of our patients will only receive rhinoplasty once, but Dr. Machida performs this treatment many times a year. He knows what he’s talking about when it comes to rhinoplasty recovery. We provide detailed recovery instructions and are available to answer any questions our patients may have. Your job is to follow our instructions and take our advice. We promise, the recovery process will go much more smoothly if you pay attention and carefully follow our post-rhinoplasty care instructions. We want you back on your feet and back to life quickly and our recovery instructions are created to make that happen. 


Don’t Use Tobacco Products

Nicotine, a component in tobacco products, is a powerful vasoconstrictor. This means that it causes blood vessels to shrink, slowing the flow of blood and vital nutrients to the body. This is always problematic, but much worse after surgery when blood vessels have been compromised and additional nutrients are needed for healing. 

Using tobacco products after surgery can dramatically slow healing, sometimes slowing it so much that complications occur. We ask our patients to stop using tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes, nicotine gum, chewing tobacco, and snuff, several weeks before surgery. Ideally, this lifestyle change will become permanent. If you choose to resume tobacco use, wait until you’re fully healed from rhinoplasty and cleared by Dr. Machida. 


Be Patient

Recovery is difficult but be patient. You’ll feel substantially better every day and like a whole new person in a couple of weeks. The results are worth the effort. 

Schedule your rhinoplasty consultation with Dr. Brian Machida, board-certified plastic surgeon serving Inland Empire, CA. You can reach us by calling our office at 800-303-9541.