How To Prepare For Your Rhinoplasty Procedure and Recovery
It’s finally scheduled – your rhinoplasty procedure, or “nose job”, is just a few weeks away. While you may have spent countless hours choosing your surgeon and asking questions about specifics of the procedure itself, do you feel truly prepared? And, what can you expect in terms of recovery?
Leading up to your rhinoplasty procedure
Don’t worry—you won’t be expected to just show up for your procedure. Dr. Lohner will give you detailed instructions on how to mentally and physically prepare in the days prior. Count on Dr. Lohner and his team as your surgery approaches; there’s a lot of information coming your way, and all questions are welcome!
But, even before your pre-op instructions have been delivered, Dr. Lohner’s team is preparing you for your procedure. They are taking a comprehensive health history, performing detailed physical examines and even monitoring your physical fitness and overall health.
It’s considered best practice to do the following before your rhinoplasty procedure:
- Quit smoking. This is no-nonsense advice (with or without a major surgery planned) but you’ll want to take it seriously starting six weeks—at the very least—before you hit the operating room. And, it’s critical in helping your body bounce back post-procedure.
- Avoid certain drugs. You’ll want to cut out the use of aspirin, some anti-inflammatory drugs, and even some herbal meds. These may put you at a higher risk for bleeding, and your surgeon will want to ensure there are no inadvertent reactions if combined with other drugs.
- Drink water. Adequate hydration allows your body to heal and operate effectively and efficiently.
- A good night’s sleep. The night or two prior to surgery, allow yourself the treat of getting a great sleep and taking time for “you” as you prepare your body for surgery.
On the day of your surgery
Your pre-op instructions will provide you with all the details for the day of your procedure, including where to go, what you can or cannot eat and what time to arrive. Most likely, your rhinoplasty will be performed in an outpatient surgery center, although it could happen in a hospital or even a free-standing ambulatory facility.
Once you check in for your procedure, you’ll meet your nurses and have some time to talk with Dr. Lohner about any last-minute concerns. Once you’re settled in, you can expect:
- Medication. You’ll be given enough medication to relax you, release anxiety and ensure total comfort throughout the procedure.
- You’ll be given general anesthesia (the most common choice), local anesthesia or intravenous sedation.
- You’ll be monitored every minute of your procedure, using numerous monitors to check vitals such as your heart rate and oxygen levels.
- When you wake post-procedure, you’ll be in a recovery room. Your nose will have a splint affixed outside of it, along with nasal packing.
- Assuming no complications, you will return home that day.
Just like for pre-op, you will be sent home after your surgery with detailed instructions for your care, including how to properly use your medications. Your face will be swollen and puffy; it’s normal. Cold compresses will help. And, prescription medication will ease the pain.
You’ll be limited the first few days, if not the first few weeks. Listen to your body and allow yourself this time to rest and heal. Your packing should be removed anywhere from a few days to a week. After, the split will be removed in a week to 10 days. After these first few weeks, you’re safe to return to work but should still avoid intense exercise.
The most important thing to remember? It takes time. Your swelling may last a few months, and you may need to use special tape or other support tools if you need to wear glasses. But after those first few weeks, the swelling will only be noticed by you—you’ll have a newly reshaped nose and the surgery will be all behind you.
Feeling anxious before a surgical procedure is normal, but rest assured you are in good hands because you picked a great surgeon. Dr. Ronald Lohner is an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon based in Philadelphia who offers customized procedures to his patients after a one-on-one consultation. He completed his undergraduate education at Dartmouth College and medical school at UMDNJ-Rutgers. Currently, Dr. Lohner is Chief of Plastic Surgery at Bryn Mawr Hospital and holds a faculty appointment at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. His peers have selected him as a Philadelphia-area Top Doctor for the last ten years.