Did you know that rhinoplasty is the most popular plastic surgery procedure in America? So, if you’re considering reshaping your nose, you’re in good company.
Rhinoplasty can help to balance your features, give you more facial symmetry, and smooth out lumps and bumps at the bridge or tip.
Another reason many opt to have the procedure is that they have a deviated septum. A deviated septum can cause breathing difficulties due to the nose being out of alignment. By correcting the alignment, patients can breathe more easily.
Whatever the reason you are contemplating rhinoplasty surgery, your recovery process will be the same. So, what should you expect during recovery? And how long will it take?
Here’s what to expect, so you can prepare for rhinoplasty, and have the most successful aftercare possible.
The first thing you’ll notice as soon as you look in the mirror after surgery is the swelling in your nose and around your eyes. The tissue in and around your nose has received a trauma during the surgical procedure, and so it will swell up to protect and heal the area.
First Few Days
Swelling will be the worst during the first 72 hours. Cold compresses help to bring down nasal swelling, but don’t hold it to your nose!
Rather, you can gently apply a cold compress to your cheeks. The cool temperatures will help to draw away heat and puffiness from the area and reduce some of the puffiness in your nose.
First Couple of Weeks
Once your surgeon removes your splint, you’ll see that your nose looks very bruised and swollen. This acute swelling is temporary, but by the end of two weeks, the worst of it should have subsided.
Swelling Takes Time to Disappear
Nasal swelling after a rhinoplasty procedure can take up to one year to disappear. The good news is, it will be far less noticeable after three months. Keep tabs on your progress, and if you don’t feel the swelling is going away then discuss this with your surgeon.
Keep Your Face Dry
While your nose splint and dressings are in place, you’ll need to keep your nose dry. The best way to do this is to have a bath instead of a shower.
Clean your face with a damp face cloth. But be careful not to apply any pressure to the area, and don’t get your nose wet.
Prop Your Head up at Night
When we sleep at night, we get increased blood flow to our nose and nasal passages. That’s why your nose can sometimes feel stuffier at night. But increased blood flow to your nose after a nose job isn’t good because it will also increase swelling in the area.
To avoid this, keep your head elevated at night. You can do this by using two to three pillows, or a wedge-shaped pillow to help you sleep at an angle. Keep this up until the worst of the swelling is gone.
Get a Lot of Rest
One of the best ways to heal after any surgery is to rest. Resting gives our body the chance it needs to focus all its energy on tissue repair and reducing inflammation.
Rest is especially important for the first six weeks. During that time, limit your exercise to gentle walking, and don’t lift anything heavy. After six weeks you might be able to get back to your regular workout routine but check with your surgeon first.
Stay Out of the Sun
This may seem like an odd one, but when the sun’s out, it gets hot. Heat leads to increased blood flow, and greater blood flow leads to more swelling.
To reduce your facial swelling as quickly as possible, you’ll want to stay cool, so stay out of the sun for the first few weeks of recovery.
Drink Lots of Water
Staying hydrated can help the body detox, and get rid of waste products in your blood. After surgery, you’ll still have some of the medications and anesthesia in your system, so drinking water can aid in flushing it out.
Drinking lots of water also helps the body to fight inflammation. So again, it will help reduce swelling after your rhinoplasty procedure.
Don’t Blow Your Nose
This one can be really tricky, but you won’t be able to blow your nose for six weeks after your nose job. What is rhinoplasty known for? Delicately restructuring the bones and cartilage in your nose to reshape and realign it.
When you blow your nose, you squeeze it and apply a lot of pressure to the area. This could undo your surgeon’s work, damage your nose and ruin your results.
Instead, gently dab at the area to dry it, and imagine your beautiful new nose in the process – it’ll be worth it.
Run All Medication by Your Surgeon
Because rhinoplasty surgery recovery is a unique process, you’ll need to run all medication past your plastic surgeon. This includes painkillers, which may increase swelling in the area.
Temporary Loss of Smell
Another annoying side effect of a nose job is that you may lose your sense of smell at first. This is because the tissue in your nose is inflamed and puffy, which blocks your airways.
Rest assured that your loss of smell is temporary, though it can last for a month or so. If you do experience this side effect, let your surgeon know. They can give you more information on how to manage it, so you’ll know what to do.
What to Expect From Rhinoplasty Surgery Recovery
When you prepare for rhinoplasty surgery, it’s not just what you do beforehand, but what you do afterward that matters. Once your surgeon has sculpted your beautiful new nose, it’s up to you to look after it, especially in the first few weeks.
You’ll have gathered by now that the major side effect of your surgery will be swelling, so do all you can to reduce inflammation at the procedure site. Stay cool, drink plenty of water, and keep in touch with your surgeon throughout the process. The result will be a stunning new nose that’ll have you grinning all day long.
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