A rhinoplasty, also known as a nose job, is a fairly straightforward procedure. One would expect the rhinoplasty recovery process to be just as candid, but just as each nose isn’t the same, so, too, is one’s experience pre- and post-procedure.
During an initial surgical consultation, your plastic surgeon will make it clear exactly what you should expect during rhinoplasty recovery, including the expected rhinoplasty recovery time and any other pertinent details. Below, we’ve laid out some recovery points so you can go into your consultation with a bit more awareness and ask any questions that you may have about the procedure and your recovery.
What to Expect Immediately After Rhinoplasty Surgery
The first stage of rhinoplasty recovery begins right after surgery. Rhinoplasty is performed under general anesthesia at an accredited surgical facility. The surgery typically takes 2-3 hours, and since rhinoplasty is an outpatient procedure, the patient will return home after the surgery.
Immediately following the procedure, patients should expect to feel some mild discomfort. If the level of discomfort seems to be more, then medication will be prescribed to help patients manage the pain. There will also be some bruising and swelling in the area impacted by the surgery and the areas surrounding the nose, but you can expect to see a noticeable decrease in swelling and bruising after 2-3 days.
Rhinoplasty Recovery Time in a Nasal Splint
For the first week following rhinoplasty, patients will likely be required to wear a nasal splint in order to promote proper healing. During this time, patients should expect to have some bloody nasal discharge and annoying nasal stuffiness. After a week of rhinoplasty recovery time, the splint will be removed and the nose should look mostly normal.
While the nose might still be a little swollen, this will really only be noticeable to the patient. Expect any residual swelling to go down gradually over the next 4 to 6 months, and for the nose to continue to improve in appearance for up to a year.
How Long Until a Full Rhinoplasty Recovery?
As mentioned above, it can take between 4-6 months for nasal swelling to completely subside. However, recovery will be complete far before that. After 3-5 days, patients should be healed enough to return to work. After 4 to 6 weeks of rhinoplasty recovery time, patients can resume exercise and vigorous physical activities without limitation. Your plastic surgeon will be checking in on you at various stages of the recovery process, giving you the green light for any activities or letting you know of any concerns he may observe. Generally, once you can return to exercising, rhinoplasty recovery is complete and you can go on with your normal, everyday life.
Rhinoplasty Recovery Tips
Now that you know what rhinoplasty recovery entails, here are some rhinoplasty recovery tips to make sure your recovery is as successful as possible.
Listen to Your Plastic Surgeon’s Postoperative Instructions
The number one recovery tip is to follow your plastic surgeon’s postoperative care instructions. They know exactly what you need to do to make sure your rhinoplasty recovery is successful, so take their word as law and follow all instructions precisely.
Make Sure You Have a Ride
Arrange for a friend, family member, or somebody else to drive you to surgery and pick you up after the surgery is complete.
Take Care of All Errands Before the Surgery
You should focus on your recovery, not about what you need to cook for dinner. If you have the time, meal prep prior to surgery, and run any other errands you may think of that need to be taken care of during the initial 2-3 days of recovery.
Avoid Smoking Tobacco
Smoking and chewing tobacco can have a negative effect on your blood circulation, so make sure to avoid smoking six weeks before your scheduled surgery and for the first six weeks of rhinoplasty recovery.
Keep Down Swelling By Elevating Your Head
The goal in the first week following surgery is to minimize swelling. To do so, try sleeping with your head elevated. These steps help to slow blood flow around the wound, leading to less swelling.
Try Not to Blow Your Nose for Two Weeks After Surgery
In the time immediately following surgery, your nose is somewhat fragile. If possible, try to avoid blowing your nose during the first two weeks after surgery, as blowing your nose can hurt the healing process and cause bleeding. To help avoid blowing your nose, sneeze with your mouth wide open to keep the nose protected.
Do Not Rest Glasses on Your Nose for One Month
During the first month of rhinoplasty recovery time, avoid resting glasses on the bridge of your nose. You will likely want to opt for contact lenses or some kind of device to keep the pressure off your nose.
Schedule a Rhinoplasty Consultation with Dr. Lapuerta
Dr. Leo Lapuerta, a plastic surgeon with over 20 years of treating patients in Houston, Katy, and Pearland, Texas, is known for his ability to clearly communicate with patients and answer any questions they may have. If you are interested in learning more about the rhinoplasty recovery process or any rhinoplasty recovery tips, schedule a consultation today.
During the consultation, Dr. Lapuerta will partner with you to help you best achieve your cosmetic goals. Contact us today to request a consultation.