Once surgery is over, you’ll head home to start the initial period of your recovery.
A big part of that will be to get as much rest as you can for at least the first week or two. However, with the bandages, pain, and swelling, it can be hard to sleep like you did before the surgery. Here are a few suggestions to help you get the rest you need and make your sleep comfortable.
Get Your Home Ready
You’ll be feeling pretty groggy and sore once you get out of surgery. The first thing you’ll want to do when you get home is to get comfortable.
Prepare yourself for this by loading up your bed and couch with lots of pillows and blankets. The goal is to minimize your level of discomfort as much as possible, especially during your first week of recovery, when you’ll be especially sore.
Go shopping before your surgery and load up on everything you might need while you recover. You don’t want to get home and realize that you have to make a trip to the store. This is especially true for any medications your surgeon may prescribe for you. Make sure you have those prescriptions filled and available for when you need them. You should also have a good supply of vitamin sources, especially Vitamins A, C, and D.
Coffee or sodas may be a regular part of your routine, but they should not be a part of your recovery. Caffeine can interfere with your medications and could impede your ability to get the full amount of rest you need. You should be drinking lots of water, but if you need some variety, some caffeine-free herbal tea can help you relax so that you sleep better.
It’s very important to avoid banging or bumping your nose, particularly in the first week of recovery. You can help protect your nose by sleeping by yourself, especially if you or the person you sleep with is a restless sleeper. Make arrangements for your partner to sleep in the spare bedroom or on the couch for the first week or so.
Sleep at an Angle
The best way to minimize swelling during your recovery is to keep your head elevated above your heart. You can do this while you’re sleeping by propping yourself up on those extra pillows. If you can swing it, an adjustable hospital bed might be useful to keep you elevated without requiring additional cushioning. Sleeping flat won’t damage your nose, but it could delay your healing process by increasing the amount of swelling.
If you are a restless sleeper, you probably find yourself in multiple sleeping positions throughout the night. It can be difficult to prevent yourself from moving in your sleep, so practice lying still while you’re awake but resting. Controlling your impulse to move or fidget while you’re awake can help you do the same while you’re asleep. Don’t worry too much, though; the cast will protect your nose from any major damage if you roll over in your sleep.
Avoid Sniffing and Blowing
It’s our natural impulse to sniff or blow our noses when we’re congested. Your nose will feel like you have a whopper of a cold for several days until most of the swelling goes down and all the bandages are removed. Try to resist sniffing and do not blow your nose during your initial recovery, as it can cause some pain and increase your discomfort. When you sleep, just breathe through your mouth.
Sleep When You’re Tired
Your body will know how much rest it needs to get through your recovery. Listen to it. Don’t try to fight feeling tired or convince yourself that you don’t need to sleep so much. If you have to take three naps a day to get enough rest so your body can heal, then so be it. This first week of recovery can set the tone for the rest of the healing period, so give yourself whatever amount of rest and TLC you need.
Schedule an Initial Consultation
If you are interested in learning more about Asian rhinoplasty and want to consult with an expert, contact our office through our Patient Contact Page or by calling us at (310) 275-2467 to make an appointment. Dr. Paul Nassif specializes in Asian rhinoplasty and has been a plastic surgeon for over 20 years with a high level of satisfaction among his patients and a high level of respect from his peers.