As a board certified plastic surgeon and ENT surgeon I perform a lot of rhinoplasty surgeries. Because the nose is constantly visible for public view, I find prospective rhinoplasty patients typically have the most questions during the consultation. Nose surgery patients are more likely to return for a second consultation before deciding to undergo a rhinoplasty. The majority of their questions surround the recovery process and what to expect after surgery. Here are a few tips I tell my prospective rhinoplasty patients when they are considering surgery.
1. Maintain a Good Lifestyle
It may sound like a no brainer, however most cosmetic surgery patients dismiss the importance a solid, healthy lifestyle has on their recovery following surgery, as well as the final outcome. A healthy balanced diet, with adequate protein and a multivitamin, as well as refraining from smoking, sets your body for healing after surgery.
2. Be Realistic
This may be the most important tip I can provide. It is extremely important you understand that there is no such thing as a “perfect result.” If you fully understand the limitations of the rhinoplasty procedure, as well as the possible outcomes, complications, etc., you’ll have a better state of mind before and after your nose surgery.
3. Plan for Enough Downtime
It is essential that you allow adequate time off for your initial recovery following your rhinoplasty. I typically recommend patients take at least 7-15 days for recovery if they have a non-strenuous work environment. It’s also important to keep in mind your level of comfort with appearing in public with some facial bruising. While every patient bruises differently following a rhinoplasty, bruising and “black eyes” are possible, and if you experience this, it may take up to two weeks or more to fully go away. Often the worst of the bruising can be covered with makeup after the first week. However, it is really dependent on your personal choice and comfort.
4. Expect Swelling
In the first days and weeks following your rhinoplasty procedure, your nose will not look perfect. There will be some swelling as part of the healing process. I typically remove internal and external splints at six days post surgery and have the patient continue to self tape their nose at night for the following week or two to help reduce swelling. Keep in mind that while the initial swelling diminishes after the first few weeks, the final results of your rhinoplasty may take 6-12 months to emerge as the remaining swelling diminishes. The length of time for swelling is:
- 2 weeks — 80% of swelling is gone
- 6 weeks — 90% of swelling is gone, but tip swelling is typically still present
- The last 10% takes up to 12 months to go away fully
5. Have Peri-Operative Touch Therepy
Occasionally we have patients who elect to not have their Peri-operative treatments following surgery, however we have incorporated this lymphatic stimulating massage therapy for a reason. When conducted in the first week after surgery the initial swelling and discomfort is greatly reduced.
6. Keep Your Nose Moist
Everyone of my rhinoplasty patients is give is crucial homework assignment: do not let the nose dry out and have crusts form. At Colorado Plastic Surgery Center, we give out a nasal rinse kit to help you keep the nose clean and moist on the inside following your nose surgery. You’ll thank us for this.
Other Things to Consider:
- Pain is usually not severe. Expect to feel stuffy, like a bad cold.
- As with nearly any surgery, you are expected to walk several times each day after your nose surgery.
- Return to more vigorous physical activity is generally started around week three.