Rhinoplasty – commonly called a nose job – is one of the most popular forms of plastic surgery. Some people undergo this procedure to correct a medical issue, like a deviated septum, while others mainly occur by changing the aesthetic of their nose. However, if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, you may need to postpone your plans to go under the knife. Here’s what you should know about getting a nose job in pregnancy.
Can You Get A Nose Job While Pregnant?
In short, the answer is no. Most medical professionals advise against any unnecessary surgery during pregnancy due to the risks it can pose. You’d be hard-pressed to find a doctor willing to perform a nose job on you while you’re expecting. Mayo Clinic explains that some major (but uncommon) risks of a nose job include bleeding, infection, or an adverse reaction to anesthesia.
Some lower risks include:
- Hole in the septum
- Uneven looking nose
- Trouble breathing through the nose
- Permanent numbness in and around the nose
- Persistent pain, discoloration, or swelling
If you experience complications following a rhinoplasty, you may need additional surgery in order to correct it.
Why Surgery Is Riskier In Pregnancy
Most medical professionals try to avoid surgery on pregnant women at all costs. It’s preferable to wait until after delivery to perform a procedure on a mother or her baby. In some cases, labor may be induced early for this reason.
The body is more fragile in pregnancy because it’s responsible for sustaining two lives. It’s a time of many physical changes, which means the body reacts differently to trauma than it would when not expecting. For example, in pregnancy a person is more hypercoagulable, meaning their blood is more likely to clot, making surgery riskier.
In general, research has found that surgery and anesthesia increase the risk of miscarriage, premature delivery, low birth weight, and infant mortality.
When Can You Get A Nose Job Postpartum?
Even once you’ve given birth, it’s not a wise idea to rush to a plastic surgeon to get a nose job. Most doctors will tell you to wait at least a few months after giving birth before going under the knife. This allows your body to heal after delivery and pregnancy.
The time it takes for someone to recover after pregnancy and childbirth differs. If you had a c-section or labor complications, your recovery could take longer. You should be cleared by your OB / GYN before undergoing any surgical procedures.
What To Keep In Mind With A Postpartum Nose Job
Even if your doctor has cleared you for a nose job after labor, and you’re physically recovered, the timing may still not be right. A nose job is major surgery with a variety of factors that need to be considered and accounted for. Keep the following in mind when looking into rhinoplasty after having a baby.
The recovery is challenging
It may not be the most invasive surgery, but don’t let that fool you into thinking the recovery is smooth. It can take up to a year for all the swelling to go down and to see the final product. Plasticsurgery.org explains the pain and swelling are most pronounced in the first week after surgery. It’s normal to experience bruising on the face, but this will heal as time goes by.
The main thing to remember is you’re not going to be feeling your best. Some people say it feels like they’ve been hit in the face, or like they have a bad hangover that doesn’t go away for days. You’ll also need to wear a bandage over your face for at least a week, which will then be removed by your doctor at a follow-up appointment.
If you have a young baby, you’re likely going to need help caring for the infant while you recover from the surgery. Depending on how challenging the recovery is, you may not be able to do basic things like prepare a bottle, change a diaper, or play with your baby, at least for the first few days. You’ll need to plan ahead to ensure your baby is taken care of as you recover.
Additionally, depending on how extreme the nose job was, you may need someone to help meet your needs after the surgery. Your plastic surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to prepare.
Breastfeeding & medications don’t mix
Finally, you may not be able to breastfeed following rhinoplasty. You’ll be given medications to manage the pain and discomfort you’ll experience in the first week or two after your surgery. However, depending on what you’re prescribed, it may not be safe to take the medications and nurse simultaneously.
These medications are an important part of your aftercare following a nose job, so you can’t simply opt not to take them. It may be possible to pump and freeze breast milk for the time you will not be able to nurse, but it likely won’t be enough. You may have to consider supplementing with formula, making a full switch, or postponing your surgery until you’re not nursing.
For more information on rhinoplasty following pregnancy, please speak to your doctor.
Sources: Mayo Clinic, RCPCH, Very Well Family, Plasticsurgery.org,