Rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure that can reshape the nose and improve its appearance and function. Like all surgical procedures, nose surgery comes with the possibility of scarring. While working with an experienced facial plastic surgeon is one of the best ways to help minimize the risk of developing scars after nose surgery, there are also some important tips that you can follow during your rhinoplasty recovery.
Dr. Athré is committed to achieving excellent results for every patient and will thoroughly review a list of directions you can follow to achieve your best results with minimal or no visible scarring. While it’s true that a “closed” rhinoplasty requires incisions only on the inside of the nose, and therefore does not create an external scar, this technique is the right approach for only a minority of rhinoplasty patients.
Most of Dr. Athré’s nose surgery patients will have an “open” rhinoplasty, which requires an incision in the columella, the strip of skin in between the nostrils. When talking about scars after rhinoplasty, this should be the only area of concern. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at what you can do to minimize visible scarring after surgery.
Smoking and vaping can greatly reduce your body’s ability to heal efficiently, which can increase the risk of developing scar tissue after nose surgery. You will need to quit smoking at least 4 to 6 weeks before your procedure, and continue avoiding smoking for at least the same amount of time after your rhinoplasty, though preferably much longer.
Avoid Sun Exposure
Like smoking, the sun’s UV rays can hinder the wound-healing process and increase the likelihood and severity of scarring. Though the underside of your nose usually does not receive much direct sun exposure, it is still important to avoid sun exposure as much as possible for at least 2 months after rhinoplasty to help minimize the risk of developing scars. When you do go outdoors, make sure to apply ample sunscreen on your nose.
Don’t Touch or Pick at Incision
In the first 2 weeks after nose surgery, it’s crucial that you take steps to prevent infection and other complications that could both slow your recovery process and increase the risk of scarring. Avoid touching your nose as much as possible during this initial recovery period and do not pick at the incision as it heals.
Follow Rhinoplasty Recovery Guidelines
Dr. Athré will provide you with detailed rhinoplasty recovery guidelines. These will include instructions on when and how to clean the area, what to apply and avoid applying to incisions as you recover and more. Follow these guidelines as closely as possible and don’t miss your follow-up appointments to check on your progress.
For more information about the rhinoplasty recovery process or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Athré, call our Houston office at 281-557-3223 or contact us online.