Preparing For Rhinoplasty Surgery
There are many steps that you can take prior to your septoplasty surgery to help ensure that it is a safe, successful procedure. If you are nervous before surgery, being prepared can also help to ease your nerves and make you feel more relaxed about the process.
The consultation is the first step in the surgical process and it is an excellent opportunity to get answers to any questions that you may have. During this 1.5 to 2 hour appointment, you will learn about the surgery, the preparation process, the recovery, the cost, the potential risks and complications, and any other necessary details. You will be asked to provide a medical history and you will be examined by the surgeon in order to determine if septoplasty is right for you. You and the surgeon will discuss your goals and reasonable expectations, as well as factors which may affect the outcome such as your skin type, age, ethnicity and degree of nasal deformity. During the consultation, you will also be shown before and after pictures of previous patients.
After your consultation, you may choose to schedule your surgery and you may want to give some thought to the timing of your procedure. If you have important social engagements, remember that swelling can take up to 6 months to a year to fully resolve so you may want to schedule your septoplasty several months in advance. In addition, scheduling your surgery for a Friday will allow you an extra weekend of recovery if you need to return to work or school within a certain period of time.
Preparing in the Weeks Ahead
In the weeks prior to your surgery, you will need to schedule any required medical tests. Depending on your age and medical history, you may be asked to undergo a physical with your primary care physician and possibly an electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) or complete blood count (CBC). These tests will alert the surgeon to any medical conditions you have that may need to be monitored during surgery or may contraindicate surgery.
It is also a good idea to fill any medications prescribed by your surgery prior to your procedure so that you have these on hand for your recovery. These may include antibiotics, sleeping aids, anti-anxiety medication, pain medication, steroids, and/or vitamins. This is also a good time to purchase any items that your surgeon has recommended for your recovery, such as facial cleansers, hydrogen peroxide, antibacterial ointment, Vaseline, Q-tips, gauze pads, saline spray, and the like.
Prior to your surgery, you will need to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery. It is also recommended that you arrange to have someone stay with you for at least the first twenty-four hours after your surgery. This may be a family member or friend. You may wish to receive professional care by going to an aftercare facility or hiring a personal nurse. If you have children or pets, be sure to make any necessary arrangements for their care as well.
It is also a good idea to give some thought to what you would like to tell your friends and family regarding your surgery and the time that you will be recuperating. It is a personal choice whether you decide to tell people or not that you are undergoing surgery.
Days before Your Surgery
In the days before your surgery, you may want to set up a recovery area in your home. Because you will need to keep your head elevated as much as possible, be sure to have 2 to 3 pillows on hand. Also be sure to place everything that you may need at waist height so that you can avoid bending over. Make sure that you have items on hand to keep you occupied, such as books, magazines, movies, and the like. Complete all chores and errands such as cleaning, laundry, and grocery shopping. It’s a good idea to stock up on soft, easy to chew foods like soup, pudding, gelatin and protein drinks, as well as convenience foods that are easy to prepare.
On the night before your surgery, follow any specific instructions that your surgeon has given you regarding hygiene, including instructions on washing your hair and face. You will likely need to avoid eating or drinking anything after midnight on the night before your procedure to avoid any complications with your anesthesia. You may be allowed a light meal in the morning if your surgery is later in the day and you are not receiving general anesthesia, but be sure to follow your surgeon’s instructions. Plan to dress comfortably on the day of you surgery with clothing that zips or buttons up the front so that you do not need to pull anything over your head. Easy to slip on shoes and pants with an elastic waistband may also be preferred. Do not wear makeup and leave all jewelry at home.
Things to Avoid Before Surgery
You will be given a list of things to avoid in the weeks before and after your surgery, including certain medications, vitamins, supplements and herbs. You should stop smoking for at least 6 weeks before and after your surgery to help ensure proper healing. In addition, alcohol should be avoided prior to surgery according to your surgeon’s instructions, as well as overexposure to the sun, tanning beds, and sunlamps.