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Aftercare: Keep Your Nose Out of Routine Business

Rhinoplasty Aftercare | Dr. Nachlas | Boca Raton, FL

Sometimes athletes and fans alike can’t keep their noses out of other’s business. Fans of the Miami Heat may remember when guard Dwayne Wade apologized to basketball superstar Kobe Bryant after unintentionally breaking his nose during a hard foul in an exhibition display of all things – the NBA All-Star Game.

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"It's all I can do," Wade said in a message to the Los Angeles Lakers forward, who suffered a nasal fracture when evaluated by an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist) after the game. "He knows it's no ill intent of me to do that to him. Talk about me for taking the foul, but I never wanted that kind of outcome."

Bryant was bloodied, and said he had experienced other symptoms related to the broken nose injury. A neurologist later confirmed that he had also suffered a concussion. Bryant did miss the Lakers next practice, but was back in the lineup wearing protective headgear for a game against the Heat a week later.

Bryant didn’t need extra motivation to return to the court. That’s what 14-time all-star athletes are paid to do – play – especially in a return matchup against Wade and Miami. Others who have suffered serious nose injuries or have undergone any type of retransformation to the nasal area are encouraged to use their heads more wisely

Rest and Relaxation - It's Your Nose

Patients who have had rhinoplasty surgery – often called a nose job – should understand that their new look requires ample recovery time before returning to routine daily activities. At least 7-10 days of rest and relaxation are required of all patients after surgery.

It is important to know that rhinoplasty is considered major cosmetic surgery and should be treated as such. That means that, unlike Kobe Bryant who was unfazed by a broken nose, rhinoplasty patients are advised to forsake physical activity and allow the adjustments made to their cartilage time to heal.

People have rhinoplasty to change the shape or look of their nose, certainly not their daily routines – but that is exactly what patients must do following surgery. Certainly, driving a vehicle is not recommended for at least 24 hours or until anesthetics and medications can wear off.

Elevated Sleeping Patterns

Patients are also advised to sleep with their heads elevated for several days after the surgery. A reclining chair can offer an easy and convenient solution for resting elevated and comfortably. Although walking is allowed the day after surgery, running, jogging and other aerobic activity are off limits for at least the first week. Most cosmetic surgeons will encourage some light walking to prevent blood from clotting. In time, light aerobics can be added slowly to an exercise regimen.

It’s important for patients to avoid blowing their noses during their recovery. Patients who need to relieve the drainage in their nose should gently sniff backward instead to protect the sensitive structure of the nose. Remember that the stitches and bones are healing and that swelling in the nose will obstruct breathing and make intense exercise more difficult. For these reasons, individuals should refrain from swimming for up to six weeks.

As a rule of thumb, any activity that might pressure the stitches to pop should be avoided. Bending exercises including toe-touches and lifting of no more than 10 pounds should also be prohibited during the first week of recovery.

Sexual activity should be limited as well and partaken with caution. It might even be a good idea to sleep alone the first week following surgery to prevent against accidental movements from a bedside partner.

Easier, Softer Approach

The nasal septum is the most prominent cavity on the face and the most delicate to heal. The last thing anyone should do is tough it out and risk developing a crooked or bent nose that creates long-term breathing problems. An easier, softer way is the best approach for even the most hard-nosed athlete in all of us.

A reshaped nose may not be for everyone, but, for others rhinoplasty can play a significant role in bolstering confidence and self-esteem – especially after injury. If you are tired of your facial dissymmetry, you may want to do something about it. 

For more information or to request a consult with Dr. Nachlas contact Sandy Friedman, Director of Patient Relations at 561-939-0909.

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Tagged Blog, Nose, Plastic Surgery, Rhinoplasty, South Florida