Rhinoplasty, or nose job, is a plastic surgery basically conducted for nose reshaping. As it is also a type of cosmetic surgery procedure, it improves the shape and size of a person’s nose by bringing it into better proportion with the rest of the face. When performed by a qualified cosmetic surgeon, rhinoplasty is mostly a very satisfying procedure that patients notice their overall appearance has improved, with a natural look of their noses.
Throughout the years, rhinoplasty gained a position as the most popular plastic surgery with thousands of patients every year deciding to have this treatment done.
However, while the wonderful effects of this rewarding nose surgery remain in the spotlight, the recovery process is being neglected. We have decided to fill this gap in popular knowledge.
In this article, you will find a quick guide to being aware of the facts about recovery from rhinoplasty.
Rhinoplasty Recovery Time
Rhinoplasty recovery shouldn’t be perceived as a short time but rather as a series of steps. During rhinoplasty recovery, patients usually wear a nasal splint for the first week. You can expect swelling and some bruising around the eyes after surgery that will begin to decrease after the third day. It can, however, last up to two weeks.
After the surgery, your nose may have a little swelling, which probably only you and your surgeon will notice. This effect will go away over the next six months. You will probably see the final shape of your nose after it has completely recovered.
Additionally, there are several restrictions and suggestions as for what should and shouldn’t be done during each of these periods.
Rhinoplasty Recovery Tips
Especially in the first days after the rhinoplasty surgery, it is expected to not engage in strenuous activities and rest with the head placed higher than the chest in order to avoid unnecessary bleeding. The same advice should be taken into consideration while sleeping. It is hard to follow, but facial expressions like smile aren’t advised throughout this first period. Also, an extensive tooth brushing and such activities of this sort may affect the rhinoplasty recovery process because you use muscles surround your newly reshaped nose while doing them.
Another unwelcome activity after rhinoplasty procedure is smoking and even blowing the nose. Additionally, in the first weeks, it is better to take showers than baths. Later, the sun becomes a main concern of patients after rhinoplasty surgery. They should wear caps and use sunscreens not to irritate fragile skin on the nose. You may keep a rhinoplasty recovery diary to follow your progress on healing and to compare the change in your appearance before and after the surgery.
Time to Get Concern During Rhinoplasty Recovery
While rhinoplasty surgery due to its popularity is a rather safe procedure, there are certain things on which we should focus during the recovery period. As with all operations, there are risks involved in rhinoplasty, as well. After the surgery, there may be an altered sense of smell or change in nasal breathing. Minor bleeding is common, but heavy bleeding is very rare which can be severe. In some cases, pain does not stop for a number of weeks. You may feel light irregularity in the bone or cartilage.
We should first pay attention to the level of pain. If pain remains intensive or becomes unbearable after the first 2-3 days, it may point a possible infection. Extensive, continuing swelling and bruising also should make us concerned, together with nose changing its shape in an unexpected way. In these cases, you may talk to your surgeon without worrying much and wasting more time.
Breathing During Rhinoplasty Recovery
For the patients who chose rhinoplasty surgery for purely aesthetic reasons, the first weeks after the procedure may be connected with problems with breathing due to swelling of the newly reshaped nose. However, the situation is quite different for patients who decided for rhinoplasty due to previous problems with breathing. Despite the common swelling time which is needed to pass, you will feel immediately after the procedure an improvement in the way they breathe. For improving breathing, turbinate reduction surgery is also commonly performed for those who undergo septoplasty, which is a type of surgery to correct a deviated septum. Turbinate reduction itself doesn't add much to the recovery of rhinoplasty.
Rhinoplasty Surgery and Scars
In most of the cases, the scars after rhinoplasty are literally invisible to others since they are placed inside of the nostrils. Therefore, they aren’t of concern for potential patients. Only sometimes, especially in the case of rhinoplasty aimed at repairing the damage caused by accidents or previous medical conditions, rhinoplasty surgery may be of such a large scope that it will indeed include external cuts. In some cases, the surgeon uses rib cartilage to improve the proportion of the nose, and grafts become visible under the skin and recovery time may get longer. In this case, patients should observe their scars. If they remain extremely visible or their color gains intensity throughout the recovery period, it is advised to get an opinion from the specialist.
This content is edited by Flymedi Medical Editors in April 2019.