To eat or not to eat: rhinoplasty recovery essentials
The aim of a rhinoplasty, AKA a nose job, is to improve the aesthetic, balance, and/or functionality of the nose. However, although nose jobs are an out-patient procedure that cause little to no pain, what you eat after rhinoplasty is something worth paying attention to. Although what foods you eat post rhinoplasty may not initially cross your mind, the reality is that certain foods can help speed your recovery, while others can hinder it.
What to eat
- Soft foods like mashed potatoes, oatmeal, and pudding can prevent pain caused by crunching and chewing, and you will probably have to stick to these for the first two days. You may not be able to open your mouth on the first day due to sedatives that are still wearing off.
- Smoothies and soups are also an excellent, nourishing choice. Make sure you drink them with a straw to avoid pressing your nose.
- Constipation is a common side effect of rhinoplasty (and other surgeries) due to the use of certain anaesthesias that can disrupt digestion. Fibre-rich foods reduce this risk. Berries, peaches, potatoes, and whole grain cereals are all great options—after those first 2 days.
- Inflammation is common, and lasts about a week, but consuming tomatoes, green leafy vegetables, salmon, and fruit can work to counter this.
- It’s common to feel anxious post rhinoplasty—you may be worried about your appearance, or about going out with a new look. Food can play a critical role in warding off anxiety. Top anxiety killers include avocado, asparagus, blueberries, milk, almonds, and oranges. All of these are rich in vitamin D, which has been proven to boost your level of relaxing
- Rhinoplasty can leave temporary marks on and around the nose. Protein-rich foods play a critical role in wound healing. These include: beans, eggs, chicken, red meat, and seafood.
- Always, always stay hydrated for a speedier recovery. The recommended daily dose of water is 2.5L.
What not to eat
- Spicy food after a rhinoplasty is not recommended as it can cause bleeding or other complications, or cause you to cough and have a runny nose, which is definitely not something you want. Very cold foods can also slow your recovery. Perfect “cooling” foods to eat include green tea, garlic, turmeric, sweet potatoes, and yoghurt, while spicy ones to avoid include chili or onions.
- Try to avoid processed foods and eating out. Home cooked is best whenever possible, as outside food tends to contain a lot of salt which can lead to water retention, thus worsening any swelling.
- Try to give coffee a break. Caffeine can cause your blood pressure to spike, which can lead to complications post-op.
- It’s recommended that patients reduce or eliminate alcohol for a few weeks before surgery as well as a few weeks afterwards, due to its blood-thinning quality, which can worsen bleeding.
- Avoid chewy foods, particularly for the first week. These include apples and steak! Be sure to cook any harder vegetables until they’re soft. Gum is a total no-no as it puts pressure on the jaw.
Wondering about best protocols post nose surgery or considering undergoing rhinoplasty but have more questions? Book a consultation at SpaMedica in Toronto to learn more!