Frequently Asked Questions About The Post-Rhinoplasty Experience

While there are many benefits to having a rhinoplasty surgery performed, it’s still considered a serious surgical procedure. So there are many questions about what happens after this surgery that people often want to know about when they are contemplating a rhinoplasty. Here we attempt to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about rhinoplasty:

Is nasal packing needed after a Rhinoplasty?

Most surgeons still routinely use nasal packing or splint in the nose after the operation to reduce the risk of haemorrhage or dripping and apply adequate pressure to keep the bone and cartilage from shifting from their new position, especially when the surgery also includes a septoplasty procedure to straighten a deviated nasal septum. The packing can either be ribbon gauze or Xeroform. If your rhinoplasty doesn’t include a septoplasty, you don’t need to wear a splint.

When can I wear glasses again after a Rhinoplasty?

To help your nose’s healing process and avoid any distortions to the shape, you are not allowed to wear any type of glasses (eyeglasses, reading glasses, sunglasses, or other optical wear) that sits on the bridge of your nose for at least one month. This may cause some inconvenience for short-sighted people who are unable to wear contact lenses. If this is the case, you can change your eyeglasses to use the lightest possible frame to minimize pressure on the nasal bridge.

Can I go home right after the procedure?

This depends on the nature of your procedure and where in the world it is performed. In Korea, for example, most rhinoplasty procedures are conducted in an outpatient setting and you can go home a few hours after the surgery once the effects of the sedation have worn-off.

In other countries, you often need to stay at the hospital where you have had your nose operated at least one night to ensure that any complications are addressed immediately.

Irrespective of whether you go home right after the surgery or spend the night in the hospital, you may experience moderate pain on the face, swelling and bruising around your eyes and nose after the surgery, so take your time to relax and try to get some proper sleep.

What can I eat and drink after the Rhinoplasty procedure?

– Soft foods: Bland and mild soft foods are ideal for you after a rhinoplasty surgery. The best choices are unsweetened yogurt, oatmeal, vegetables soup or porridge. Sometimes you will feel nauseous so all you want to do is just drinking water. If this is the case, choose smoothies or fruit juices instead of drinking only water as your body will need the right nutrients to help heal itself. You can eat normal food after three or four days.

– Fiber: Constipation is fairly common after the rhinoplasty due to a combination of the medications, not moving frequently and the dietary restrictions. So you should bear it in mind that fiber is very important to help you deal with temporary constipation. You can add more fiber to your diet by eating cherries, berries, oatmeal and whole grain breads.

– Avoid alcohol and caffeine: You should avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages such as soda, wine and coffee for at least one week after the procedure. Alcohol is a blood thinner which can increase the risk of post-surgical bleeding in your nose. It also increases the risk of haematoma, which can make the swelling even worse. Caffeine can increase your blood pressure, which can be problematic for some patients who have heart or blood pressure issues.

– Avoid fast food and processed foods: You may be tempted to choose fast food because there’s no need to cook, but fast foods and processed foods contain lots of salt and sodium, which can prolong fluid-retention and swelling. Also, these foods tend to be poor in nutrients which will impact you body’s healing ability.

What is the best position to sleep in after the surgery?

The best position to sleep in after a rhinoplasty surgery is lying on your back, with your head and nose elevated above the heart level. If you have a reclining chair, make it your temporary bed for at least one week after the surgery. Sleeping in the midline position will not only reduce swelling but also make it easier for you to fall asleep as your nose is likely to be heavily congested in the first week after the surgery, making it difficult to breathe.

If you normally sleep with your partner, or your pet, you should choose to sleep alone for a couple of weeks after the surgery to avoid being accidentally hit on the nose. It’s not only painful but also can affect the results of the surgery.

How long should I wait after the Rhinoplasty before I have a Revision Rhinoplasty?

All patients should generally wait for at least one year before performing a revision rhinoplasty. This time is long enough for a full recovery and may allow other problems to become visible to decide whether to have a revision rhinoplasty or not and what the revision surgery needs to actually correct in the shape.