Every surgery comes with a list of postoperative dos and don’ts to help patients heal properly and be as comfortable as possible during recovery. Our extensive experience performing rhinoplasty (nose surgery) at Adamson MD Associates is the source for the following list of dos and don’ts after nose surgery you should know about. This list may vary depending on your individual situation, so this is not meant to substitute for your surgeon’s instructions, but this list should give those considering nose surgery a good idea of what to expect and how to prepare.
- Keep a cold washcloth or gauze over your eyes and upper cheeks as much as possible for the first thirty-six hours after surgery.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Your throat will be dry.
- Keep your mouth open if you have to sneeze.
- Use a humidifier.
- Keep a stiff upper lip— literally. Don’t move the upper lip too much in the week after surgery.
- Be careful around rambunctious children or spouses who move around in bed a lot. Your nose isn’t in any condition to be accidentally smacked right now.
- Use cotton swabs and hydrogen peroxide to gently clean your nostrils and visible stitches.
- Climb the pain-medication ladder. If you need a pain reliever, try Tylenol (but no aspirin-based medications). If that doesn’t work, use your prescription pain medication (we’ll give you the prescription).
- Go overboard on talking, smiling, and vigorous tooth brushing. Brush gently (or with your finger).
- Eat anything that’s hard to chew or that may upset your stomach.
- Wear your glasses for six weeks after surgery. They could play havoc with the healing of the nasal bones. If you absolutely need your glasses, we can show you a way to support them on your face but not on your nose.
- Do any vigorous exercise or lift anything heavier than a bag of potatoes.
- Sniff or blow your nose for ten days after surgery. This will be bothersome.
- Use nose drops.
- Go anywhere near a hot tub for three weeks.
- Drive for a week.
- Do aerobic activities or workouts for two to three weeks.
- Play contact sports for six weeks.
So, when can you resume your life after nose surgery? For some activities, such as shampooing, it’s just a day or two as long as the nose is kept dry. You can have a bath right away, even a shower if the water isn’t too hot. Smoking and drinking can be resumed in two weeks, though many smokers use their facial plastic surgery as an opportune time to stop smoking for good. We find that most patients may resume normal professional and social activities after two weeks.
It’ll take about six weeks until your nose feels back to normal. It will continue to refine, and there can be residual numbness in the tip for up to a year.