When it comes to surgery, there are some inevitable side effects that are caused by the trauma of the operation. Bruising is an extremely common phenomenon following surgery, particularly rhinoplasty. This bruising is concentrated on the nose and the eye area, and can take quite a while to fade, making many patients uneasy about leaving the house during recovery. While bruising cannot be entirely avoided following rhinoplasty, many patients are understandably interested in minimizing the bruising as much as possible. But is there a way to help prevent bruising as a patient? And can you help accelerate the rate of recovery for bruising that does occur?
Causes of Bruising
Bruising is caused by blood vessels breaking or tearing and leaking blood into the tissue. Bruising is visible under the skin and fade slowly over time. The trauma from nasal surgery often causes bruising in rhinoplasty that takes time to resolve. In the past, techniques used in preparing the nose for recovery, such as nasal packing, could actually make bruising worse, but modern techniques are much less traumatic to the patient and to the nose. While it is difficult to predict how much bruising each patient will have prior to the surgery, there are some ways to help prevent and treat postoperative bruising.
The best way to help prevent bruising before your surgery is to make sure you are keeping yourself as healthy as possible and heed any restrictions from your surgeon. For example, patients are not allowed to smoke or drink prior to surgery, and many over-the counter medications, prescriptions, and even herbal supplements are not allowed, as they can be a safety risk and compromise healing. Be sure to disclose all the medications and supplements you take to your surgeon, even if you only take them intermittently or they do not seem important to mention.
The Roles of the Surgeon & Customization
Rhinoplasty is an extremely difficult procedure, and the surgeon’s skill has an impact on the healing process as well as on the results of the procedure. Precision in surgical technique, experience, and the surgeon’s own style all have an impact on the side effects patients can experience. Additionally, some patients are just more prone to bruising than others.
Because rhinoplasty is an extremely custom procedure, there are many different techniques that may be used to yield the desired results for each patient. Some patients require extensive changes that involve breaking and resetting the bone, manipulating nasal cartilage, and altering the framework of the nose, while others only require simple changes to the nasal tip. Techniques such as breaking the bones are naturally more prone to extensive bruising after the procedure, but Dr. Donath is able to minimize or prevent this in almost all cases. Some people believe that the “closed” technique (no external incisions) produces less bruising than the “open” method (small incision between the nostrils) of rhinoplasty, however there are major benefits of the open technique, and it is appropriate for many different patients.
Post-Operative Prevention and Treatment
The first rule of reducing the side effects of the surgery, including bruising, is to follow all of your surgeon’s instructions as closely as possible. This will help hasten the healing process and keep you more comfortable during recovery. Avoiding excessive handling of the nose will also help keep bruising to a minimum.
Homeopathic remedies can help reduce bruising during the recovery period. Ice used continuously for the first few days is helpful, as is drinking pineapple juice (containing bromelain) and using arnica products. Dr. Donath also formulates the last piece of his exclusive Rapid Recovery Techniquesm into each patient’s recovery plan. At a patient’s one week post-operative appointment, they will be treated with the V-Beam Laser to help accelerate the bruising/healing process. The V-Beam Laser treatment delivers an intense but gentle burst of light to the skin that is absorbed by the blood vessels in the dermis. These blood vessels are reabsorbed by the body, allowing for a cleaner, more refreshed appearance.
There are some habits that can negatively influence the healing process, including smoking and drinking. Resuming these habits before healing is complete can compromise healing and safety, slowing down the resolution of bruising, and even compromising results in some cases. Smoking must be ceased weeks or months before and after surgery, while alcohol should be avoided just before surgery and during the healing process.
How Long it Lasts
Unfortunately, when it comes to bruising and rhinoplasty recovery, patience is often required. The time it takes bruising to heal after rhinoplasty depends on a number of factors, including the extent of the initial bruising and the quality of aftercare. Even most people without Dr. Donath’s laser treatment, see resolution of bruising within two to three weeks on average. Once bruising has begun to fade, it is usually possible to cover up the evidence with makeup, should you feel self-conscious about going out with visible bruising. Remember, you only have to deal with bruising for a few weeks, but your results will last a lifetime. Give yourself a break and let the body heal itself on its own time.
Advice from an Expert
If you would like to discuss the possibility of rhinoplasty with a qualified plastic surgeon, then it may be time to start setting up consultations. Because the procedure is so complex, it is strongly advised that you meet only with board certified facial plastic surgeons who specialize in rhinoplasty, like Dr. Donath. Dr. Donath has a passion for rhinoplasty and has proven his ability to help patients of diverse backgrounds achieve natural-looking, custom results. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Donath, call Donath Facial Plastic Surgery at (513) 891-5438 today.