Rhinoplasty recovery

Rhinoplasty Recovery Tips

You may have already decided to have a rhinoplasty or are doing research to determine if getting a nose job is right for you. An essential part of this decision is knowing what to expect post-surgery, immediately and a few weeks out. In this article, you’ll find general tips and information that can give you an idea of what rhinoplasty recovery will be like. Everybody’s rhinoplasty recovery process is slightly different, yet there are standard things that happen and things you can do to have a better recovery.

Rhinoplasty is usually performed under general anesthesia and takes over 2 hours to complete. Except in very rare cases with health-related complications, most patients can go home the same day as their procedure.

Recovery time from a rhinoplasty (nose job) will depend on the reason for your surgery. In general, recovery for cosmetic nose surgery is 7-10 days, but for some more serious surgeries, recovery can take up to 1 full year. Consult with your plastic surgeon to determine how long your recovery time will likely be.

Rhinoplasty recovery

Rhinoplasty Recovery Timeline

You can expect to be given a splint for the outside of your nose. The splint should supply sufficient protection for at least five days. Typically, in five more days, your nose will have healed enough to return to normal daily activities, including exercise. The only limitation your doctor will probably set is not to participate in contact sports, such as soccer or football, or engage in any heavy weightlifting where an injury to the nose or blood vessels in the nose can occur.

For the cartilage in your nose, along with all the tissue, to be fully healed takes about six weeks. But after ten days, there is little chance of serious problems emerging. You can expect some swelling and bruising, which can be easily concealed with cosmetics.

Here are some general tips to help you get through your recovery period and back to normal life as quickly as possible:

Make Time for Rest After Your Rhinoplasty

It might seem obvious, but the best thing you can do to speed up your recovery is to take the time to rest. Your body will need plenty of energy for the natural healing process. Stay off your feet as much as possible for a few days, but keep your head elevated and well-supported to prevent fluids from building up inside the surgical site. Always remember your goal is to allow your body to heal and recover fully.

Take a Bath Instead of a Shower

You don’t want the bandages, splints, and supports placed in and around your nose to get wet.  It would be best to use a damp cloth to clean your face around the bandages carefully. The bandages and other paraphernalia should come off the first week after the procedure, and you can return to your regular showering routine after that.

Keeping the Swelling Down

You will probably experience some swelling and discomfort following the rhinoplasty procedure. A flexible cooling pad or ice pack should alleviate swelling and puffiness around the surgical site. The cold of the ice will restrict blood flow to the nose and reduce swelling, which will aid in the healing process. This is most important during the first week of your rhinoplasty recovery.

Avoid Blowing Your Nose after Rhinoplasty

You must allow the support structures placed inside your nose by your surgeon to do their work. Blowing your nose could cause them to shift or dislodge, which could potentially injure the inside of your nose and set back the entire healing process. Wiping or dabbing your nose, if there is drainage, is acceptable as long as you do it carefully. Also, avoid using tweezers, Q-tips, or bunching up tissues to replace blowing your nose, as these items can disrupt the scabbing or stitches inside your nose during your rhinoplasty recovery.

Pay Attention to Your Diet

Attention to nutrition gives your body a big boost in healing and recovery. Eating healthy foods and drinking plenty of water will speed your recovery. Water is vital, it flushes out the toxins from anesthetics and reduces the chances of infection. Water also allows nutrients and oxygen to be delivered to your tissues and facilitates proper drainage.

To avoid irritation of your nose and sinuses, it is best to avoid food that is heavily spiced or peppery. By avoiding spicy foods, you can prevent your nose from swelling or running and eliminate unnecessary irritation. Salt is another good ingredient to avoid during rhinoplasty recovery. Salt increases blood pressure, which increases swelling and pressure around the surgical site.

Protein and vegetables are your best bet during recovery. Protein is an essential building block of skin, muscle, cartilage, and blood. Eggs, fish, nuts, meat, and yogurt are all protein-builders that will help the healing process. Vegetables are rich in vitamins. Adding vitamins A and C to your daily diet will also benefit your body in ways that support healing and recovery.

Only Take Medications Prescribed by Your Doctor

You will experience some pain and discomfort immediately following your surgery. It is crucial to cooperate with your plastic surgeon to ensure a full recovery. Taking medications without consulting your surgeon could slow your recovery and introduce issues that might otherwise have been avoided.

Ensure during the pre-surgery visit, you are fully transparent about any prescriptions you are taking and any other substances you are using. The surgeon is not concerned with illegal drug use beyond how it can potentially affect the anesthesia. Not disclosing any use of non-prescription drugs or medication could create severe complications during surgery.

Before taking any OTC or previously prescribed medication for pain or inflammation, talk to your doctor to ensure the prescription and dosage are correct, as some can thin the blood and affect coagulation.

Best Practices Post-Rhinoplasty

Your plastic surgeon will issue a complete list of instructions you should adhere to during your recovery. It is essential to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully, but it is equally important to keep communicating with your surgeon throughout the recovery process. Be sure to make time for follow-up exams, so your doctor can provide necessary, ongoing care.

It is also important to listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right, do not hesitate to contact your plastic surgeon. They will want to know how your recovery is proceeding and will be able to assess any unexpected issues that might come up post-op.

Stress can slow down the healing process, so it is essential to be patient and try to reduce stressors during your rhinoplasty recovery. At times you will feel frustrated with your progress. Your body will heal in its own time. The best thing you can do is follow your doctor’s instructions and help your body by getting plenty of rest and keeping healthy.

Learn More About Rhinoplasty

To get your questions answered during your discovery process, your questions are best answered by a Board Certified plastic surgeon with experience performing rhinoplasties. When you speak to your doctor, be honest about your health and aesthetic goals, and keep your expectations realistic.

Dr. James Aronovitz has over 25 years of experience with Facial and Reconstructive surgeries. He is Board Certified and is a member of the American Academy of Facial and Plastic Reconstructive Surgery.

Schedule a consultation today and get the answers you’re searching for about rhinoplasty.

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