For some, summer is the perfect time for rhinoplasty. You might be on break from school or have an extended vacation from your job. The more relaxed pace of life in the summertime can mean that friends and family are more available to help you out during your recovery.
While most people are able to get back to their regularly scheduled lives about a week after their surgery, scheduling the procedure during the summer can mean that you have to adjust your summer plans slightly.
The Sun and Your Nose
After your surgery, the nose will be more sensitive to the sun's rays. Sunlight can cause the incision area to discolor, leaving a more visible scar if you've had an open rhinoplasty procedure. The simple solution is to avoid sun exposure as your nose heals.
That doesn't mean you can't enjoy a day at the beach or by the pool. Just remember to wear your sunscreen, with an SPF of at least 30. Re-apply the sunscreen every few hours for the most protection. You can also shield your nose from the sun by donning a wide-brimmed hat or by relaxing under an umbrella at the beach. Keep in mind that the hat and umbrella should be in addition to, not instead of, the sunscreen.
It might seem like a good idea to put on a pair of sunglasses when you go outside. The glasses will shield both your eyes and part of the nose from the sun's UV rays. But the weight of the glasses on the nose can impact the healing. Typically, it's recommended that you wait about four weeks after the surgery before wearing any type of eyeglasses again, whether they are prescription, reading or sunglasses.
If you must wear glasses to see, your surgeon can give you advice on ways to put on the glasses without putting the weight on your nose. This typically involves taping the glasses to the forehead or adding padding to the bridge of the nose.
Keep Your Nose Dry
It's hot outside and you want to jump in the pool or swim in the ocean. But, after rhinoplasty, your best option is to wait for about three weeks, or until your surgeon gives you the all-clear. Swimming after surgery puts your nose in harm's way in several ways.
The activity and strain of swimming or diving into the water can jostle your nose while it's healing, affecting the final results. There's also the risk that someone else in the pool will bump into your nose with their elbow or feet, slowing your recovery. If you dive or jump into a pool or other body of water, the impact of jump can knock your healing nose out of position.
If the weather's too hot to bear, you do have some options when it comes to cooling off. Dip your feet into the shallow end of the pool, sitting away from any rambunctious kids or people who are actively swimming, to avoid being bumped. You can also walk along the edge of the ocean, so that the waves gently lap over your feet.
What to Wear
What you wear after your rhinoplasty surgery can have a direct impact on your nose's healing. Steer clear of sundresses that you need to pull over your head, as the process of putting on the dress can cause you to bump your nose. The same is true of pull-over T-shirts, tanks and other tops. Instead, look for dresses that you can un-zip or unbutton and step into to put on. Button front tops are also ideal for wearing while your nose heals.
Traveling After Surgery
Rhinoplasty in the summer doesn't mean you can't get away for a vacation. Flying is generally safe a few days after the procedure or after the incisions have healed. You should be fine in a car, too. If you're driving yourself, it's best to wait until you are off any pain medications that can make you drowsy.
If you do fly, nasal sprays can help relieve any discomfort due to changes in air pressure on the plane. A saline spray can also keep your nasal passages from drying out during the flight. Ask your doctor if it would be helpful to bring chewing gum on the flight to help relieve pressure.
Boca Raton board certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Nathan Nachlas specializes in rhinoplasty and sinus surgery. He can explain the recovery process to you and all the particulars of rhinoplasty recovery in the summer months.
For more information or to request a consult with Dr. Nachlas contact Sandy Friedman, Director of Patient Relations at 561-939-0909.