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After having received nose surgery, the aftercare stage is of integral importance. Regardless of the type of surgery that you’ve undergone, you’ll want to treat your nose as gently as possible in the days or weeks following your procedure. This is particularly important if you’ve had rhinoplasty, as the nose requires a good bit of time to heal properly. Mistreating your nose during this time can lead to unwanted complications.

Tip #1: Small Activities Can Make a Big Impact

Carefully consider any activity that could potentially place stress on your nose or face. Even the simple act of brushing your teeth might cause damage, so make sure you do so very gently. Even bending over can put pressure on the face. Do your best to be aware of what you’re doing before you do it and ask yourself, Will this place unnecessary pressure on my nose? If it does, avoid the activity.

Tip #2: Consult Your Doctor About Exercise

Generally speaking, any form of exercise should more than likely be avoided for the first 2 weeks after surgery. Only after this time will very light exercise be acceptable. Any form of strenuous exercise should be completely avoided for 6 weeks or until your doctor tells you it’s all right to begin again.

Tip #3: Clothing and Eyewear Choices Matter

If you wear glasses of any kind, you’ll want to avoid them for the first few weeks after rhinoplasty. This is because glasses place weight on the nose, and while it may not hurt to wear them, even this small amount of pressure can affect the healing process. Additionally, consider wearing lighter, more comfortable clothing after your surgery. You know how sometimes when you pull on a shirt, it rubs past your nose? This should be avoided.

Tip #4: Avoid Clearing or Cleaning Your Nose

With regard to clearing out your nose of mucous and cleaning it in general, less is more. As you likely suspect, blowing your nose after having received rhinoplasty is inadvisable to say the least. For about 2 weeks, you want to completely avoid blowing your nose, no matter how tempting it might be. Blowing your nose is a surprisingly forceful act, and it can cause problems with the sutures or even move about the internal structures of your nose, which can impact the final outcome after the healing process is complete.

Resist the urge to put anything inside your nose also, such as tissues or Q-tips. Some patients think that this might be a viable alternative to blowing their nose, but the reality is that in the long run it would be better to simply deal with a stuffy nose.

For patients with allergies, it’s very important to avoid situations that might trigger them (and thus cause you to sneeze). If you’re suffering from a stuffed nose after your rhinoplasty, your doctor will more than likely be able to help you with methods of clearing it out that won’t put unnecessary pressure or stress on it, such as a saline solution to rinse it out. Inconvenient, yes—but it’s better than damaging your nose or impacting the outcome of your surgery.

Tip #5: Live Healthily

In general, healthy choices will improve your overall recovery in many ways. Do not smoke or drink. Eat foods that are not only healthy, but easy to chew. Sweets, sticky food, or any kind of food that requires a lot of chewing should be avoided. Alcohol should be avoided since it can slow down the healing process, and smoking can do the same.

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Dr. Cory Torgerson (MD, PhD, FRCSC)
Dr. Cory Torgerson (MD, PhD, FRCSC)
Dr. Cory Torgerson is one of Canada’s most talented and prominent facial plastic surgeons, focusing on head & neck facial surgery. Dr. Torgerson has been frequently invited to teach and lecture on these topics across North America. He has hospital privileges at Sunnybrook Hospital, one of the premier hospitals in the University of Toronto Health Network.

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