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How to Prepare for Rhinoplasty

Any type of surgery requires you to take certain steps to help ensure your procedure goes as smoothly as possible. Not only that, doing—or avoiding—some things can help you heal more quickly, while also reducing the risk of complications.

Rhinoplasty preparation is exactly what is sounds like. Before you have a rhinoplasty, we highly recommend you take the time to prepare for the procedure, and for your recovery period. Aside from the health benefits, your mind will be much more at ease knowing you're ready for your surgery, and for the next few weeks of healing.

What is
Rhinoplasty Preparation?

Surgery Blood Work

The first item on the list to prepare for rhinoplasty is blood work. Before you have surgery, we need to make sure your hemoglobin, electrolytes, creatine, and INR (blood clotting ability) are all within normal levels. There’s no need to fast before these blood tests.

We don’t perform blood work in our clinic, so when you come in to TCC for your initial assessment, we’ll provide you with a requisition form to take to the lab of your choice. We can also provide you with lab recommendations, if necessary.

If you’re over 50 years of age, you’ll also need to have an electrocardiogram (ECG / EKG) to ensure your heart is functioning normally.

If your blood levels are out of normal range, or your EKG reveals any concerns, we’ll contact you to discuss the next steps.

Two Weeks
Before Surgery

Your rhinoplasty preparation begins two weeks out. If you get an early start, you won’t be rushing at the last minute. Early preparation will also help ensure the necessary arrangements go smoothly.

Two weeks before surgery, you’ll need to arrange for:

  • a friend or loved one to drive you home from the clinic on the day of your surgery.
  • a friend or loved one to stay with you for at least the first 24 hours after surgery.
  • childcare, if necessary.
  • pet care, if necessary.

You’ll also need to make a few temporary changes two weeks before your surgery.

  • Do not drink alcohol.
    Alcohol thins your blood, which will prolong healing and increase bruising. Drink water instead to hydrate and nourish your body.
  • Do not smoke.
    Nicotine will prolong your recovery, and increases your chances of post-surgical complications. We also recommend you try to quit smoking altogether to avoid health problems in the future.
  • Do not take aspirin or ibuprofen.
    These drugs interfere with the body’s normal blood clotting ability. If you have a headache or other pain, take acetaminophen (Tylenol) instead.
  • Do not take herbal supplements.
    Several herbal supplements such as St. John’s wort, ginkgo biloba, green tea extract, ginseng, and garlic can interact negatively with anesthesia. We highly recommend you stop taking all herbal supplements two weeks prior to surgery.
    The only herbal product we recommend using prior to or after your surgery is arnica cream or ointment. This plant-based product is often used to reduce inflammation, soothe muscle aches, and heal wounds.

One Week
Before Surgery

As the day of your surgery approaches, you may want to cook and freeze meals for easy preparation while you’re recovering.

You’ll also want to go shopping to have the following items on hand:

  • lip balm, refrigerated beverages, and dry mouth lozenges; your mouth will get very dry because you’ll have to breathe through it
  • Laxative or stool softener (narcotic pain medication may cause constipation)
  • Pick-up tool to help you retrieve things from the floor without having to bend
  • Shirts that button in the front (to avoid having to pull anything over your face)
  • Comfortable robe and/or pajamas
  • Entertainment such as books, magazines, and movies to help keep you occupied while you rest
  • Food:
    • fruit
    • prepared meals (if you choose not to cook your own)
    • saltine crackers
    • gelatin or pudding
    • soup

    Make sure all foods are low in sodium so as not to increase fluid retention and swelling.

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Night
Before Surgery

The tasks you perform the night before surgery are some of the most important for rhinoplasty preparation.

  • Bathe and wash your hair; you may not be able to bathe for a few days to avoid getting your bandages wet.
  • Do not eat or drink anything during the final eight hours prior to your surgery. This includes sips of water and chewing gum.
    • If your stomach is not completely empty, there’s a chance you could regurgitate while you’re under general anesthesia. If this happens, food or water could enter your lungs.
    • If you eat or drink within eight hours before surgery, the procedure will have to be canceled for your own safety.
  • Get a good night’s sleep.

Day of
Surgery

A few final tasks will help you prepare for rhinoplasty, and help everything go as smoothly as possible.

  • Do not wear any jewelry, makeup or contact lenses.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing. Shirts that zip or button in front are preferred.

We’ll provide you with detailed pre-operative instructions before your surgery, and your surgeon will also give you instructions and recommendations. Following all of these instructions will help ensure your comfort, avoid complications, and speed your healing.

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