Preventing or at least minimizing the risk of rhinoplasty infection should be one of the most important goals of any prudent surgeon performing nose-reshaping surgery, according to California Surgical Institute website.
The list below shows the basic guidelines on how to minimize risk of rhinoplasty infection.
Anyone with uncontrolled medical condition linked to higher risk of infection and poor healing is discouraged to undergo any elective plastic surgery.
Prior to rhinoplasty, judicious surgeons require all their patients to pass lab screening to ensure that they can handle the surgery and the ensuing recovery.
- Achieve one’s optimal health
Achieving one’s optimal health generally includes eating healthy, avoiding smoking and too much alcohol and caffeine, and discontinuing aspirin and aspirin-like products for at least 2-3 weeks.
- Accredited surgical facility or hospital
This is the safest surgical venue. Being accredited means the surgical facility adheres to the highest patient safety standard.
Moreover, an accredited surgical facility has the necessary equipment, building design that promotes sterilized environment, and highly trained staff to reduce risk of infection and contamination.
Many surgeons today recommend prophylactic (preventive) antibiotics to help ward off infection, which must be taken on time and their full course completed.
The patient must be informed of the telltale signs of infection such as elevated temperature, unusual skin changes, and poor healing.
If the patient notices anything unusual, he must notify his surgeon right away than wait for his next scheduled appointment. Some individuals might be apprehensive contacting their surgeon thinking that they might bother them over some trivial thing.
Furthermore, the patient must understand that his full commitment is necessary to minimize risk of complications. For instance, smoking even just a single stick a few weeks leading up to the surgery or during the initial healing stage is enough to drastically increase one’s risk of poor healing, infection, and less than optimal results.
It is important to leave the nose alone to heal. No picking at the incisions, blowing hard, wearing eyeglasses, or anything that might compromise healing.
Rhinoplasty bleeding is often minimal provided that the surgeon uses meticulous techniques, which can also lead to shorter social recovery (no outward signs of the surgery), and natural results that can last a lifetime, according to California Surgical Institute website.
Rhinoplasty, or nose job in layman’s term, typically results in 1-2 weeks social downtime, which is closely linked to the amount of postop bruising and swelling.
The list below shows the “core principles” in minimizing the amount of rhinoplasty bleeding.
- The patients should be in their optimal health.
Hypertension, blood disorder, and other chronic medical conditions can lead to increased bleeding. Hence, rhinoplasty or any other elective plastic surgeries require all patients to pass a rigorous lab screening.
While some of these conditions can be controlled through medications or healthier lifestyle, it is important to note that some factors are not within the patient or surgeon’s control. For instance, older individuals often have more fragile blood vessels than younger ones and so they may experience more bleeding and postop bruising.
All drugs and supplements with blood thinning properties are discontinued for at least 2-3 weeks before surgery and about a week afterwards to prevent bleeding and excessive postop bruising. The same rule may also apply to smoking and alcohol.
However, some doctors recommend Arnica montana (homeopathic remedy) and some “special” diet known to promote healing.
- Use of drugs known to constrict the blood vessels
The use of local anesthesia combined with epinephrine—a drug that results in the constriction of blood vessels and thus reduces the amount of bleeding—is known to promote healing.
Decongestants like Afrin may also minimize the amount of bleeding by constricting the blood vessels.
- Keep blood pressure low at the time of surgery
Board-certified plastic surgeons only work with board-certified anesthesiologists to ensure patient safety.
Qualified anesthesiologists know that keeping the patient’s blood pressure low during surgery under general anesthesia can reduce bleeding. Also, one of their tasks is to monitor the patient’s vital signs to prevent serious complications.
- Avoid certain activities during the initial healing stage
Sneezing and blowing one’s nose should be avoided for 2-4 weeks because doing so can trigger bleeding.
It is important to note that despite best efforts, some patients remain susceptible to bleeding and thus they are required to use nasal packing while they recover.
Dermal fillers such as Radiesse, Juvederm, and Restylane are sometimes referred to as volumizers as they work by plumping the skin. They are different from Botox injection. Although both procedures involve injection, Botox relaxes the muscle and so it will no longer contract, eventually smoothing out the appearance of wrinkles.
With proper examination of the anatomy and meticulous injection, dermal fillers results are supposed to look natural, according to California Surgical Institute website.
The list below explains how natural results are achieved from dermal fillers.
The ideal filler will depend on several factors such as the treated site and the patient’s expectation. It is important to note that some materials can last for 4-6 months (hyaluronic acid-based products), while others can persist for about two years (Poly-L-lactic acid fillers).
Thicker fillers, i.e., they have thicker consistency, generally suit patients with markedly deep facial wrinkles or significant depression. Thinner fillers, meanwhile, favor areas with thin skin such as the lower eyelid to prevent visible bumps and other surface irregularities.
- Going the conservative route
Over-correction or over-injection can lead to unnatural look, which the media has referred to as the pillow face or chipmunk cheek. Hence, some doctors will start with only one syringe and then ask their patients to wait 2-3 weeks (or until their swelling has subsided) so they can decide for themselves if additional treatment is needed.
Dermal filler injection must only be performed by a qualified doctor. It is important to note that some states are somewhat lenient that they allow nurses and aestheticians to perform the procedure.
A good rule of thumb is to have the procedure done by a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist who performs it on a regular basis.
The right injector can prevent asymmetry, “done” look, and other dead give-away of dermal fillers.
The success of dermal fillers results boils down to precision. For instance, it is critical to inject the medial aspect of the nasolabial folds or laugh lines to prevent cheek ptosis/sagging.
Patient cooperation will also determine the final results. A good rule of thumb is to avoid extreme heat or cold, massage or pressure on the treated area, and strenuous physical activities for at least two days.
The postop-injection management mentioned above prevents inadvertent shifting of the fillers, asymmetry, and excessive bruising and swelling.
- Simultaneous Botox (only if warranted)
Some patients need Botox to further achieve natural results from fillers. In such cases, the consensus is to inject Botox first, then proceed to fillers after about a week.
Each doctor has a specific set of rhinoplasty recovery tips. Nonetheless, they all boil down to controlling the amount of swelling and bruising, and preventing injuries during the healing phase to achieve optimal results from the surgery.
Most patients already know the basics of rhinoplasty recovery tips—the drugs and supplements to avoid a few weeks before and after surgery, the foods and drinks to limit, and the activities that could jeopardize their results. Hence, the list below explains the not-so-popular guidelines that can promote healing.
Chronic stress can put a toll on your immunity. For this reason, a longer time off from work might be more ideal than returning to office just 10-14 days after surgery, or once the outward signs (bruising and swelling) are gone.
If a longer leave of absence is not possible, you may ask to work part-time until you regain your pre-surgery energy level, which often takes 4-6 weeks after surgery. The goal is to control your stress level, according to experts at the California Surgical Institute.
Of course, managing stress also boils down to adapting a positive attitude in life.
- Use of bed wedge pillow or recliner bed
Head elevation all day long and during the night can keep swelling to a minimum and can also promote healing. Many patients have noted the convenience of using a bed wedge pillow or a recliner bed, as opposed to the soft standard pillows.
You may want to sleep alone in your bed and avoid pets and small children for the time being because even the slightest bump may cause bleeding or interfere with healing.
Other things to avoid while not yet fully healed include wearing eyeglasses, blowing your nose, making excessive facial expressions, and applying too much pressure when brushing your teeth. Moreover, it makes sense to wear button down shirts or wrap-around dresses during the initial healing stage to avoid accidental bumps on the nose.
Aside from consuming more fiber-rich foods and lean protein, it is important to follow a low-sodium diet. It is important to note that too much salt causes water retention, which can aggravate the amount of postop swelling.
Empty calorie foods laden with sugar and fats can also suppress your immunity and aggravate constipation, which is not uncommon after any type of surgery due to narcotic painkiller use.
Sun protection is one of the most critical rhinoplasty recovery tips. It is important to note that after surgery the nose is extra sensitive to UV rays and thus the risk of discoloration or hyperpigmentation is perceived to be higher.
If you cannot stay away from the sun, try to slather on sunscreen with at least SPF 30 or use a wide-brimmed hat.
Liposuction preparation aims to prevent complications and achieve optimal results from the surgery. While most patients already know about the importance of achieving their prime health and weight through superb diet and regular exercise, not everyone knows the importance of prepping up the skin.
It is important to note that skin quality, along with the surgeon’s skills and experience, will play a crucial role in the final results. First and foremost, the skin must shrink-wrap smoothly around the new contour to achieve a tight, natural-looking appearance.
Experts at the California Surgical Institute have provided a list of ways to prepare the skin before liposuction surgery.
Apart from increasing the risk of poor healing and skin necrosis, smoking causes skin dryness and premature aging and thus may preclude the patient from achieving optimal results from liposuction.
While the general rule of thumb is to discontinue smoking for three weeks before surgery and about a week afterward to reduce the risk of healing problems, complete cessation remains the best route to prevent premature aging of the skin.
- Avoid or at least cut back on alcohol
Alcohol causes dry skin (thus it appears ashy) and may aggravate postop bruises. A good rule of thumb is to avoid or cut back on alcohol three weeks before surgery.
Tanning booths, sunbathing, and even self-tanning products must be avoided for a minimum of three weeks before surgery. The goal is to help the skin achieve its healthiest and least sensitive state.
Patients undergoing facial liposuction are generally instructed to avoid facials, skin peeling, steaming masks, and other similar treatments for at least three weeks before surgery.
- Purchase “recovery” supplies weeks or days ahead of the surgery
Aside from dressing and compression garments, “recovery” supplies should also include sunscreen, protective clothing (with special fibers that offer SPF protection), and scar creams and silicone sheets.
- Ensure that the skin is in its optimal health
A prudent patient should immediately notify her surgeon’s office if she develops any skin infection or pustules, or if she develops any type of illness within a week prior to her surgery.