If your doctor has told you that you have a deviated septum, he or she may have recommended that you undergo a rhinoplasty procedure to help restore effective nasal breathing. While most people sail through rhinoplasty surgery without any problems, certain lifestyle factors can affect your recovery. Here are three lifestyle choices that may slow your recovery after your surgery and what you can do about them:
Cigarette smoking can lead to capillary damage and poor circulation. While this normally affects the capillaries in your legs, feet, and cardiovascular system, it can affect the tiny capillaries inside your nose, too. Because of this, your recovery period may be prolonged because damaged capillaries can cause poor circulation. When circulation is sluggish, blood flow to the surgical site inside your nose may not be brisk enough to promote effective healing.
If you smoke, try quitting well before your surgery. If you are unable to quit on your own, talk to your doctor about smoking cessation treatments. He or she may recommend nicotine patches, gum, support groups, or even prescription medications that can help diminish your cravings.
If you take aspirin, you may be at risk for postoperative bleeding after your rhinoplasty procedure. Aspirin decreases the stickiness of your platelets, which can lead to prolonged bleeding after surgical or dental procedures.
If your doctor told you to take a daily aspirin to prevent a heart attack, do not stop taking it unless he or she has advised you to do so. Abruptly discontinuing aspirin therapy can increase your risk for a serious cardiovascular event. To reduce your risk for complications after your surgery, your doctor may allow you to take a lower dosage of aspirin, which will have a lesser effect on bleeding than a full strength dose.
If you have allergies, then you might be taking over-the-counter antihistamines. They are effective in treating watery eyes, runny nose, and scratchy throat. They can also cause significant dryness inside your nose. If your nasal cavity becomes dry and cracked as a result of antihistamines, the healing process may be slowed, and you may be at risk for infection after your procedure.
Natural alternatives to antihistamines that will not cause nasal dryness include steam inhalation and drinking water to help prevent the dehydration of the mucus membranes. If natural remedies fail to relieve your symptoms, talk to your doctor about alternative methods of allergy relief that will not cause problems after your rhinoplasty
If you are anticipating rhinoplasty surgery or another cosmetic procedure such as a brow lift, talk to your doctor about the above lifestyle factors. The more he or she knows about your daily habits, the less likely you will be to experience postoperative complications such as abnormal bleeding, poor circulation, or excessive nasal dryness.
For more information contact doctors like William M. Parell, MD, PSC.