While rhinoplasty surgery can produce dramatic results for many individuals, rhinoplasty recovery does require some patience. The typical recovery time for rhinoplasty surgery is about two weeks. Because nose reshaping surgery makes significant changes to the bone and cartilage of the nose, it will take some time for the body to heal and adjust to these changes. It is important to keep in mind that recovery time will vary patient to patient, based on a several factors, including:
- Extent of surgical changes
- Quality of post-operative care
- Overall patient health prior to surgery
After the nose job procedure, your surgeon will provide you with post-operation instructions. Since rhinoplasty is one of the more complicated forms of facial plastic surgery, a good rhinoplasty result is dependent on these instructions being conscientiously followed. It is recommended that patients have a friend or family member to help them with certain tasks immediately after surgery. These instructions will also help minimize pain and discomfort during the recovery period:
- Stay hydrated
- Use cold compresses to reduce swelling
- Rest as often as possible
- Avoid strenuous activities and exercise
The First 48 Hours of Recovery
For many patients, the first 24 hours following surgery are the most difficult part of the recovery. During this time patients may still be experiencing the affects of anesthesia, and may experience mild discomfort. Your surgeon can prescribe medication for pain management, although some patients need only over-the-counter remedies. Among some of the issues patients may deal with during the rhinoplasty recovery period are:
During the first 24 hours following surgery, it is best for patients to rest and remain in bed with their head elevated. Your face may feel puffy, your nose will ache, and a dull headache may be present. Bleeding is also common, especially in the first 48 hours of recovery. It is important not to blow your nose, however, as this can adversely affect the results of the rhinoplasty surgery.
Increased Comfort after One Week
At a follow-up appointment about one week after surgery, your surgeon will track your progress. If nasal packing was placed, this will be removed, as well as a splint and/or stitches. By this time, bruising will be subsiding, and swelling should only be minor.
Many patients are able to return to work and a more normalized routine one week after nose reshaping surgery. It is important, however, that patients are cautious and avoid strenuous activities. Patients should not participate in sports or return to weight lifting for two weeks after rhinoplasty, and should not take part in any activity that may result in a blow to the nose for about eight weeks. Airline travel is also not recommended immediately following surgery.
For most patients, the benefits of rhinoplasty surgery greatly outweigh any discomfort that they may experience in the days and weeks following surgery. Most of the side effects felt during the recovery period are mild, and subside within the first two weeks. It is important to note, however, that some minor swelling may persist for several months, and the final results of surgery may not be visible for up to a year.
Visit the DocShop gallery to view rhinoplasty before and after photos.
Photo credit: Pacific Plastic Surgery
Many Patients Want to Know …
Can I Wear Eyeglasses Following Surgery?
During the days and weeks following surgery it is important to do everything to help maintain your nose’s new shape. Patients who wear glasses will have to have them taped to the forehead or propped on their cheeks for approximately six to seven weeks. Patients who wear contacts, however, will be able to wear them whenever they feel up to it. This is necessary to ensure a good, healthy rhinoplasty recovery.
Contact a Surgeon
Contact a local plastic surgeon to find out if you are a good candidate for rhinoplasty.