Dr. Serhan Derin, born in 1982, is a seasoned ENT specialist who graduated from Ankara University School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Kocaeli University in 2010. Dr. Derin is a highly skilled surgeon specializing in functional and cosmetic nose surgeries, including Primary Rhinoplasty, Revision Rhinoplasty, Ethnic Rhinoplasty, Septoplasty, Septorhinoplasty, Nasal Valve Surgery, and Sinus Surgery.
Questions like “what should I eat after rhinoplasty?”, or “how long after rhinoplasty can I eat normally?” are boggling the minds of every rhinoplasty patient. In fact, these kinds of questions are much more important than you think. The key to a flawless recovery is to know what to eat after rhinoplasty, such as the sources of protein one can consume, or the types of vitamins that are good for rhinoplasty patients. Not just foods but the proper way of liquid intake also has a big impact on optimal healing.
In this article, we will try to give you an idea of what a diet of a rhinoplasty patient should look like. You will learn what type of nutrients you should consume and where to get them. You will also see that certain foods are not your friend and they actually need to be eliminated.
At the end of the article, you can find a printable diet list. Now, with the help of this writing, it is your time to tackle these issues once and for all.
What to eat and drink after rhinoplasty
If you are a rhinoplasty patient, you should know that your procedure doesn’t come to an end with the surgery. In fact, when the surgery ends, a new journey begins, and that’s the recovery period.
In a rhinoplasty procedure, the recovery timeline is as important as the surgery. A rhinoplasty patient has many duties to fulfill during his/her healing after surgery. One of these duties is to follow a diet that is prepared specifically for rhinoplasty recovery.
This diet will include a list of foods that are rich in:
And it will exclude:
Moreover, you should also gain a thorough knowledge of when to eat certain foods and when to avoid them. The first week after the surgery has special importance. During this time frame, you won’t be allowed to consume certain types of foods. Your doctor will give you the green light only after your cast removal is done, which takes place a week after the surgery. With that being said, let’s see what to eat after rhinoplasty cast removal.
Healthy foods that are rich in protein portray an indispensable part of your diet. Consuming protein-rich foods will help your body to heal the wounds quickly. Thanks to their chemical structures, proteins are very efficient in tissue regeneration.
This is how your shopping list should look in terms of protein-rich foods:
- Nuts (almond, cashew, walnut)
- Fish (salmon, cod, halibut, tuna, flounder, and snappers)
- Poultry (chicken, turkey)
- Soy based products
- Lean meat (beef, lamb, veal)
- Dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese)
- Brown rice
If you have lactose intolerance and are afraid of consuming dairy products, don’t worry. You can still have a small amount of milk products without experiencing any symptoms. To avoid any serious symptoms, you can consume milk with other meals or prefer eating yogurt and cheese which contain a smaller amount of lactose.
Vitamins and minerals
Consuming some of the vitamins and minerals after a nose job surgery can actually be very beneficial for your recovery period. Vitamin C and Vitamin A are known to have anti-inflammatory effects which means they reduce swelling and discomfort after surgery. Dietary Zinc also improves healing and tissue regeneration. Here are some of the products in which you can find these vitamins and minerals.
Foods that contain high levels of Vitamin C have reconstructive effects on the tissues in the skin and blood vessels. Citrus fruits are the best choice to find Vitamin C. Here are some of the foods that are rich in Vitamin C sources:
- Brussels sprouts
Foods rich in Vitamin A boost collagen production which speeds up the healing of the rhinoplasty incisions. You can get your Vitamin A intake from products like:
- Leafy green vegetables (kale, spinach, broccoli)
- Orange and yellow vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin)
- Red bell pepper
- Cantaloupe, mango
- Beef liver
- Fish oils
Zinc is an important mineral with various benefits for the body. Adequate consumption of zinc improves the immune system, wound healing, and physical growth. That being said, Zinc deficiency may cause skin problems, especially around the mouth. It has many benefits for rhinoplasty patients with its inflammatory effect that improves healing.
Some of the main sources of dietary zinc are:
- Dairy products
After the surgery, you will not be able to engage in too much movement and will be using different kinds of drugs. This can lead to constipation. You can take control of this situation by consuming high-fiber foods. High-fiber foods expedite bowel movement.
For a sufficient intake of high-fiber foods, your rhinoplasty diet may include:
After every rhinoplasty operation, patients experience swelling and bruising to some extent. It is a result of water retention under the skin. This is where foods that have anti-inflammatory properties come into play. They help to reduce swelling and bruising which makes your recovery time less discomforting.
Here are some of the foods that have anti-inflammatory effects:
- Fatty fish
- Olive oil
- Bitter chocolate
You will need a lot of energy during your nose job healing process and there is no better way than getting it from fats. They also boost the immune system. These together combined lead to a speedy recovery process.
Here are some examples of high-fat foods:
- Avocado oil
- Olive oil
- Whole eggs
- Fatty fish
- Bitter chocolate
So far, we have seen what foods to eat after rhinoplasty in general. But when can you eat normally after rhinoplasty? Now, let us try to answer this question.
Soft and easy-to-chew foods
Your first week after rhinoplasty is usually when you are the most vulnerable. Your doctor will give you certain instructions concerning what to eat post rhinoplasty, and you are expected to follow them perfectly. These instructions will help you understand what foods are safe to eat after rhinoplasty.
Due to the tenderness of the skin and the nasal dressings, your nose will need special care for the first couple of days. Your duties actually start right after the surgery. You won’t be allowed drink or eat anything for an hour. Drinking fresh juice an hour after the surgery can reduce the effects of anesthesia.
When you reach the second hour, you may consume soft foods like smoothies, yogurt, oats, and warm soup. During the first week, you should avoid excessive facial movements, which means you will fill up your menu with only soft and easy-to-chew foods. To name a few:
- Green vegetables
- Scrambled eggs
- Soft fruits
- Soft meat
- Mashed potatoes
These are among the foods you can eat in the first week.
When can I eat solid food after rhinoplasty?
Of course, you are not going to spend your whole recovery period eating just soft foods. The timing of getting back to eating normally is crucial. In order to prevent any major complications related to your eating habit, you should wait for some time.
The light at the end of the tunnel is near because now you are ready to get rid of your nasal splints and the swelling starts to dissipate.
After the first week and towards the second week you can return to your regular diet which consists of solid foods. But still, make sure that you are following a limited diet that provides all the nutrients you need.
Drinks to consume after rhinoplasty
In addition to foods to eat after rhinoplasty, drinks can also have positive effects on your recovery. Not just water, but also other sources of hydration should be consumed in order to get the maximum results.
- Plenty of water
- Pineapple juice
- Orange juice
- Protein shake
First of all, stay away from acidic juices because they disturb the balance of the stomach. What you can drink is non-acidic, soft drinks that are not too hot or too cold. Drinks that are rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin A are highly recommended. These kinds of drinks speed up the healing of incisions and bruisings.
Another important aspect of useful drinks is the bromelain intake. Bromelain is an enzyme that reduces swelling and bruising. Pineapple juice is known to be a good source for sufficient intake of bromelain. It also balances digestion and prevents congestion.
It is possible to get your protein intake from various drinks that are prepared with products rich in protein. You can mix up some peanuts, seeds, and almonds and blend them as a protein shake.
Importance of staying hydrated during recovery
Staying hydrated after rhinoplasty has various benefits. One of them is draining away the side effects of anesthesia. It also helps to ease the digestive system and treat constipation caused by the medications
Drinking plenty of water also helps the body to get rid of the toxins which are the causes of swelling and bruising. At the same time, It is important for transporting nutrients through the bloodstream.
Foods and drinks to avoid after rhinoplasty
Until this point, we have covered the majority of your diet in terms of what foods are safe to eat after rhinoplasty. But there are two sides of the coin. If one side depicts what to eat after nose surgery, the other side should depict which foods to avoid.
Avoiding certain foods is as important as eating. Some types of foods can be damaging to the recovery process. They can sometimes cause swelling or bruising, discomfort, pain, or prolonged healing of incisions. The foods to avoid after rhinoplasty comes in different kinds.
Then let’s take a closer look at them.
- Spicy foods: Spicy foods are a big “no-no” for rhinoplasty patients. You are not allowed to touch spicy foods until the second week after the surgery because of their unhealthy effects on the stomach which can cause nausea. Sneezing and nasal bleeding are also likely after consuming spicy foods.
- Processed foods: Processed foods contain high amounts of sugar, sodium, and saturated fats which are the number one causes of swelling and high blood pressure.
- Sour foods: Eating sour foods can get your face into weird shapes which results in excessive facial movements.
- Too cold/hot foods: Consuming foods that are too cold or hot can result in discomfort in the jaw, teeth, and the face
- Chewy foods: You shouldn’t start eating hard foods at least for weeks after the surgery. They can lead to so much discomfort and pain in the upper jaw, which may also turn into swelling.
- Foods rich in sodium: Foods rich in sodium are known to be the primary causes of swelling and bruising. So, you will be asked to kick the salt out of your life for a few months.
- Alcoholic Beverages: Consuming alcoholic drinks following a nose job procedure can impede the healing process and increase nasal swelling. You may also experience vomiting if you drink right after the surgery.
- Caffeinated drinks: Drinking caffeinated beverages may have negative effects on your healing process and recovery quality
Tips for eating and drinking after rhinoplasty
We may conclude this article by giving you some valuable tips on eating and drinking after a rhinoplasty surgery. These tips will help you get through your recovery process in the quickest way possible with the least problems.
Suggestions for meal planning and preparation
As you have seen, there are multiple options to choose from to get the nutrients that you need. Of course, you don’t have to make use of each of the products mentioned above. Just make sure that you are getting enough protein, vitamins, or minerals. A balanced dish that contains a little bit of everything may suffice.
Techniques for drinking and eating to avoid disturbing the nasal passages
Another important point in securing a successful recovery is to relax the nasal passages as much as possible. Here are some tips on how to achieve it.
- Cut your meals into little pieces. That way you can minimize jaw movement.
- Prefer puree-type foods during the first week
- Use a straw when you drink.
- Stay away from too hot or too cold foods or drinks.
- Chew less.
- Drink as much water as possible while you eat to soften the bites.
General advice for maintaining a healthy diet during the recovery process
A healthy diet is an inseparable part of the rhinoplasty recovery process. In order to get good results from this procedure, you must follow a well-planned diet. It would be a better idea to let your doctor prepare this diet for you. Because your medical history is also very important to determine what you can eat and what you should avoid eating.
Other than that, your diet after rhinoplasty has to include all the nutrients that are necessary to consume. Try to find a good balance between different kinds of foods. Keep your options fresh and maybe try new things that you haven’t tasted before. In this way, you will not get bored and feel used up.
After a rhinoplasty operation, your diet will be as important as the surgery while recovering. We are here to help you with the best recipes to help you. You might want to keep your diet rich by eating different foods every day.
There will be different needs at different times, especially in the first days you will need to have softer foods. Here we prepared a list of foods with their nutritional values, and then some recipes to help you recover fast and with a tasty mouth.
Get your rhinoplasty
(1) U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. USDA national nutrient database for standard reference, release 28. Released September 2015, slightly revised May 2016.