How to Reduce Swelling after your Rhinoplasty
Swelling is something that you should expect after a rhinoplasty surgery. In fact, it’s quite normal to expect your nose to swell up to twice its original size after the operation (mine certainly did!). This swelling will last for several weeks or even months and is often accompanied with some bruising. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to prevent your nose from swelling, but there are plenty of steps you can take to reduce it and to speed up your recovery in general. Some of these steps should be done prior the operation, while some need to be kept in mind after the surgery. Simply follow the tips below:
Avoid alcohol and certain medications at least a few days before the surgery: If you want to reduce the swelling which occurs after a rhinoplasty surgery, it’s important that you take particular steps before the operation. For instance, there are things that you should avoid prior to the surgery. You should not consume alcohol at least five days before going under the knife. You should also refrain from taking certain drugs like ibuprofen and paracetamol. Anti-inflammatory medication may seem like a good idea to reduce your rhinoplasty swelling, but they should also be avoided.
Adopt a low-sodium diet: Another thing that you can do in order to reduce swelling after rhinoplasty surgery is to avoid foods that are high in sodium. Having an excessive amount of sodium in your body can have many negative health effects, such as high blood pressure, kidney disorders, headaches and even cancer. Sodium can also have immediate effects on your appearance such as bloating and puffiness. Needless to say, it can also make your swelling look worse.
Apply ice or a cool compress on your face and nose area: One of the most effective things that you can do to reduce swelling after rhinoplasty is to apply a cool compress every twenty minutes or so. My amazing revision rhinoplasty surgeon, Dr. Anil Shah, emphasized the importance of this for the first day or two after the operation. However, don’t apply the ice pack directly on your nose since your nose is still quite sensitive and applying any pressure can affect its new shape. Instead, apply the ice pack or cool compress to the areas surrounding your nose or other parts of your face that feel swollen and painful.
Elevate your head at all times: After the rhinoplasty surgery, it’s also important to keep your head elevated or raised at all times. This will help keep the blood and other fluids away from your nose area. In case you’re planning to do some stretching or light exercises, make sure you do not bend down from the waist or get into a position that will lower your head. When sleeping, it’s also important to put a pillow under your head to keep it elevated.
Relax and give yourself time to heal: As someone who has already gone through not one, but two rhinoplasty surgeries, I’m quite familiar with the recovery process that comes afterward. I also know from dozens of rhinoplasty message boards and forums that most rhinoplasty patients tend to stress about how swollen their nose looks after the operation. If you’re one of these patients then it’s best to accept the fact that it will take some time for the swelling to go down. Instead of checking your nose in the mirror every five minutes, plan other relaxing activities that you can do, such as a movie marathon with a friend or a reading a nice book.