You might be a bit hungry after you get home from surgery, or even right after the anesthesia or sedative wears off. Soft foods that are somewhat mild or bland are usually ideal right after surgery. Reach for the yogurt, oatmeal or not-to-hot soup. Depending on how nauseated you feel, you may want to stick with clear liquids right after surgery, just in case eating makes you throw up. Continue with the diet of soft foods for a few days after surgery, or until you feel well enough to add different textures to your diet.
Although you want to stick to soft-ish foods for a few days after rhinoplasty, it’s important to make sure you get a decent amount of fiber in your diet during those first few days. Constipation is fairly common after the surgery, due to a combination of the medications prescribed, not moving about as much as you usually do, and eating a limited diet. While you probably want to continue to take an medicines prescribed by your surgeon and should continue to limit physical activity, you can help move things along by adding some fiber to your diet. Soft fruits, such as peaches and berries, are good sources of fiber, as is oatmeal, very well cooked vegetables such as carrots, and whole grain breads.
Avoid Chewy Foods
Before you have surgery, place your hand on your nose while you chew a particularly chewy food, such as a steak or even a piece of gum. Your nose moves slightly with the chewing motion. While under usual circumstances, a little movement is fine, as your nose heals from surgery, you want it to remain as still as possible to reduce the chance of any complications. Hold of on enjoying a steak dinner, tearing into some taffy, or even popping a piece of chewing gum in your mouth until your surgeon says it’s OK to do so. Keep in mind that you aren’t limit to a diet of very soft, mushy foods for weeks after surgery. You just want to avoid the particularly chewy options.
Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine
Alcoholic beverages and caffeinated drinks, such as coffee or soda, are best avoided for several days after your procedure, if not for longer. Alcohol is a blood thinner and can increase your risk for post-surgery bleeding. It also increases your risk for hematoma, or a collection of blood beneath the skin, and can make swelling worse. Caffeine can increase your blood pressure, which can be problematic for some patients. Your surgeon will let you know if he strongly advises against drinking coffee or another beverage with caffeine after rhinoplasty and how long you’ll need to avoid it.
As you recover from rhinoplasty, relying on prepared foods can seem like the easiest option, since it requires only a minimal amount of effort to get them ready. But, you might be a bit concerned about the salt content in a prepared meal, such as a package of frozen macaroni and cheese, and how it will affect any swelling you have after surgery. While sodium intake can lead to water retention and make swelling worse, it’s usually not that big of a concern for many patients. If you are worried about it, or if you have a health issue that requires you to limit sodium, it’s best to speak with your surgeon before your procedure to find out what you should do.
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