Rhinoplasty Preparation & Recovery

Posted May 22, 2019 in Rhinoplasty (Nose Surgery)

At Gilpin Facial Plastics, we want all of our patients to achieve the best results possible! In order to do so, we have provided these guidelines for a safe and pleasant experience for your rhinoplasty surgery. It’s a good idea to bring this guide with you on surgery day to begin following these instructions directly after surgery. And of course, feel free to contact our office directly with any questions.

Two Weeks Prior to Surgery

Prep for surgery success by following these steps!

Smokers should abstain from smoking six weeks prior to surgery and six weeks after because tobacco and nicotine slow healing and cause scarring. Many patients who smoke take this opportunity to quit altogether!

Having a sunburn while trying to recover from surgery is no fun and puts extra stress on your body. Wear sunscreen and avoid damage from UV rays for at least four weeks prior to surgery. We recommend wearing at least SPF 30 every day. And make sure to re-apply when spending time in direct sunlight!

Avoid medications and supplements including ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen, Vitamin E, herbal supplements, and any other anti-inflammatory medications which are non-steroidal.

Be sure to make arrangements for someone to drive you home from the hospital since you will not be permitted to do so yourself. You should have someone with you during the first 24 hours following surgery. Purchase the following after-care necessities prior to surgery: saline nasal spray, Aquaphor, and stool softener (to help constipation resulting from anesthesia and pain medicine.

Surgery Day

These are the things to remember on the day of your surgery to make sure that it goes smoothly.

  • No eating or drinking, including water after midnight the night before. For essential medications, drink only a sip of water.
  • Wear loose clothing with fasteners on the front or back.
  • Leave valuables, including jewelry, at home.
  • Avoid facial and eye makeup, as well as nail polish.
  • No contact lenses; glasses may be worn.
  • Clients who wear dentures should keep them in prior to surgery.
  • Don’t forget to bring a form of identification.

Post-Surgery Care

The recovery period is very important to make sure that you heal properly and get the best results possible. Here we have laid out some guidelines for your healing time.

  • Under the nose, the dressing should be changed until drainage ceases.
  • Avoid blowing your nose for two weeks, and open your mouth to sneeze.
  • Elevate your head when sleeping for the first week after surgery, to reduce swelling.
  • Apply a cold compress to the cheeks and eyes during the initial 48 hours. Avoid ice packs.
  • Moisten inner nasal cavity frequently with saline spray. To promote healing, spray twice per nostril, up to six times daily.
  • Do not touch nostril or skin stitches with fingers; instead, use a cotton-tipped applicator for applying ointment.
  • For the first week, avoid foods that require excessive chewing.
  • Keep your nasal cast dry and undisturbed until it is removed within 5-7 days. After showering, pat your cast dry.
  • Once the cast has been removed, the skin around your nose may be washed with a mild cleanser, and you can resume wearing makeup as soon as the cast is removed.
  • Restrict extreme physical activity, including aerobic exercise and weight training for four weeks. After one week, you may begin light walking, Avoid swimming for 6 weeks.
  • Avoid glasses and sunglasses resting on the bridge of your nose for at least six weeks. Contact lenses may be worn, and glasses may be rested on your nasal cast or taped to your forehead.
  • Only take medications prescribed by your doctor.
  • Expect swelling around the nose, upper lip, and eyes for one to two-four weeks, with mild swelling lasting up to six months.

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View Our Rhinoplasty Before & After Gallery Here!

Schedule a Consultation


If you have any questions or concerns during your preparation and/or healing time, feel free to contact our office. Our lovely staff at Gilpin Facial Plastics are more than happy to discuss any of your concerns with you so that you are comfortable and knowledgeable during your rhinoplasty procedure. Dr. Gilpin is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon who has immense experience helping many patients get their ideal shape, size, and proportion of the nose. If you are considering a rhinoplasty, contact our office by filling out this online form!


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