What To Expect When Recovering From Rhinoplasty

The recovery process for rhinoplasty can be both challenging and exciting. For many people, post-procedure healing entails a considerable amount of discomfort and swelling. For those who are patient and willing to follow their doctors’ orders, however, each new day can bring a series of positive changes in their general condition, impressive aesthetic improvements, and progressive relief. As an outpatient surgery, this treatment allows patients to return home on the very same day. The average person can expect to experience between one and six weeks of downtime. Following is everything you can expect when healing after rhinoplasty.

Patients May Be Required To Wear A Nasal Splint

When considerable, structural changes have been made to the nose bridge, the nasal passages, or the nostrils, patients are often required to wear nasal splints for at least one week following their procedures. Nasal splints can play a major role in determining the outcome of treatment given that they’re designed to help the nose retain its new and improved shape and position. To keep the splint in position and to avoid any unwanted shifting or other changes in the treatment area, patients are advised to rest with their heads elevated and to take it easy. One of the bigger challenges during this time is learning how to cough, sneeze, and make other involuntary actions without causing significant movement or stress in the treatment area. As such, before returning home from surgery, the treating doctor will share a list of tips and tricks for minimizing movement at and around the nose. For instance, if you sneeze when healing after rhinoplasty, you’ll want to be sure to open your mouth. This will allow you to expel air and moisture from your mouth, rather than allowing the extraordinary force and pressure of the sneeze to pass through the nose. 

Swelling And Bruising Around The Eyes

Rhinoplasty procedures that produce significant changes in the nasal structure can cause a considerable amount of local trauma. Due to this fact, post-treatment facial bruising is quite common. Many patients develop dark, noticeable bruises at the upper cheeks and around the eyes. When paired with a nasal splint and any supplementary bandaging, these developments can make it difficult for patients to clearly see and fully appreciate their results. This is where patience comes in. Within just seven to ten days, nasal splints and bandages are removed, and significant decreases in local and general facial swelling will occur. After this time, a special nasal spray is often applied to prevent crusting and excessive dryness throughout the treatment area and to further support continued healing.

How To Expedite The Healing Process

In addition to diligently following the instructions of their doctors, there are several things that people can do to expedite their healing after rhinoplasty surgery. For example, although you may be used to sleeping on your stomach or side, you should sleep on your back with your head slightly elevated instead. You may even want to keep your head propped in a comfortable and appropriate position with several pillows to avoid making lateral movements or position changes that upset the treatment area. Elevating the head helps limit and reduce facial swelling while bolstering it in place ensures that no sleep-related movements damage or disrupt the new positioning of the nose.

There are also several basic, daily changes that people can make throughout the recovery process to further support their healing. For instance, patients are advised to avoid drinking and smoking while recovering. Maintaining proper hydration and consuming foods that are rich with phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals will give the body everything it needs to efficiently repair itself. It will take time for the full range of aesthetic and functional improvements that rhinoplasty produces to manifest. Patients will not be able to fully appreciate their new noses until all immediate swelling, residual swelling, bruising, and other signs of trauma have abated.

Understanding The Timeline For Rhinoplasty Recovery

Dr. Daniel G. Becker specializes in rhinoplasty in New Jersey covers a timeline of how one’s rhinoplasty recovery will go. Some people have a much more extensive range of work performed than others, and some essential surgical techniques cause more trauma. However, there is a general timeline for recovery from this procedure. For instance, most patients can expect to wear nasal splints for a period of seven to 10 days. After their nasal splints have been removed, many post-op patients will feel well enough to return to work, school, and other moderate activities. This remains true even when slight bruising and swelling remains.

Throughout the first month that follows surgery, patients will need to sleep only on their backs. Those who wear glasses should exclusively use contact lenses instead. This ensures that no significant and continuous pressure is being placed on the bridge of the nose by eyewear. This is also a time to avoid all strenuous activities, as well as low-impact or non-impact exercises that include partial or full-body inversions. 
After six full weeks have passed, all residual bruising and swelling will have likely abated. Given that the timeline for individual recoveries can vary, all patients should consult with their doctors before returning to work or resuming any other activities. The individualized and needs-specific recommendations that people receive from their providers will always trump generalized recovery tips and suggestions. One of the best things that people can do to support the success of their treatments is to promptly schedule follow-up visits. With each check-in, most people find that they are significantly closer to their cosmetic and functional goals. Ultimately, however, it can take up to six months or more for the surgically enhanced or refined nose to attain optimum positioning, stability, and appearance.