What to Expect After Rhinoplasty Surgery
Rhinoplasty patient discusses her rhinoplasty recovery experience 1 week after her procedure performed by New York rhinoplasty surgeon Dr Andrew Jacono
When considering a rhinoplasty surgery which is also known as a nose job, patients will have a lot of information and concerns that need to be addressed. Some of areas they should consider are related to which surgeon should they choose, how much the rhinoplasty, how long rhinoplasty recovery time will be, and what results should be expected.
Prospective patients should do as much online research as possible to help them determine what surgeon they should consider. Careful examination of rhinoplasty before and after photos are a great way to gauge a surgeon's skills. Once a surgeon has been chosen the next step would be to setup a consultation with that surgeon to ensure they are good fit for the patient and the patient is a good candidate for the surgery. During the consultation process, the surgeon should discuss all of the available options and what their specific recommendations would be to address the patients concerns. This is also a great time for the patient to ask questions regarding the pre rhinoplasty surgery and post rhinoplasty recovery instructions.
Rhinoplasty Recovery Timeline
Like any other surgical procedure, a patient’s recovery time will vary. Everyone's body heals a little differently and patients will need to take into consideration things such as:
- Their current health
- Their age
- Are they a smoker
- Do they consume alcohol
- How much time they spend in the sun
- Complexity of the surgery
- General or local anesthesia
While it is true that recovery time will differ patient to patient there is a common timeline of events that all patients will experience after their nose job.
Week 1 Post Rhinoplasty Instructions
During the first week of recovery, patients should expect the following events to take place. They will feel congested for the first few days from swelling of the inside of the nose, but Dr. Jacono does not use packing in the nose. Dr. Jacono suggests using a humidifier in the room to prevent your mouth getting dry. The nose will be covered in a cast which will remain on for the first week. In many cases some bruising and swelling will occur, but Dr. Jacono does not break the nasal bones so most bruising is minimal and usually resolves in a few days. Dr. Jacono will place a small piece of gauze taped under our nose to help catch excess blood and fluids that try to escape. This is usually required for the first day or two.
Patients should avoid physical activity during the first week and get as much rest as possible. You should keep your head elevated on a few pillows when sleeping to help prevent swelling. Patients should also avoid blowing their nose during the first 2 weeks or recovery.
Dr. Jacono encourages patients to stay out of the sun and consider taking the first week off from work so when the cast is off usually there is minimal or no bruising and the swelling is not noticeable. You will want to avoid physical contact with the nose so avoid bumping it. For patients who do light activities with no heavy lifting and are ok being seen with some swelling / bruising, should return to work as soon as they like. Just keep in mind that rest and relaxation during the first week will help speed up the recovery process.
Week 2 Post Rhinoplasty Instructions
By the end of week one, your surgeon will remove the hard cast from the nose and do an examination to see how the nose is recovering. Your bruising and swelling will improve enough to where patients will feel comfortable being seen in public again. Most patients can return to normal daily activities but should continue to avoid physical activities and exercise.
If you had an open rhinoplasty, the sutures that may have been used should begin to dissolve on their own. Any bruising and redness from the incision will be easily hidden with makeup.
Week 3 Post Rhinoplasty Recovery
Week three should allow patients to return back to all normal activities including exercise. Patients should still avoid bumping the nose as much as possible. Patients should begin to see the subtle changes in their nose since most of the swelling should be gone by now. Blowing your nose gently is also doable after week two. Patients should use sunscreen on their nose to make sure they do not get any damage from the sun. Sun burn will delay the healing process and make it more uncomfortable then it needs to be.
Week 4 Rhinoplasty Recovery Time
Week four and beyond is when most of the swelling has gone down except for a small amount that may linger at the tip of the nose. You will still have a slight loss of feeling in your nose and should use sunscreen anytime you will be out in direct sunlight. Patients may continue to see subtle changes in the shape of their nose for up to a year.
This is the exciting time for Dr. Jacono’s patients as they truly begin to see the subtle natural results he delivers for each patient.
Top 10 Rhinoplasty Recovery Tips
- Avoid physical activities during the first two weeks of recovery and avoid bumping your nose.
- Keep your head elevated when laying down or sleeping. This will help to decrease the swelling.
- Get as much sleep as possible. A healthy dose of sleep will help to promote faster healing with less swelling.
- Have a low-salt diet to help prevent fluid retention.
- Monitor your medication schedule if you are experiencing a lot of pain.
- Try to eat soft foods for the first two weeks.
- Begin to blow your nose with caution after week two.
- Avoid wearing glasses for the first four weeks. If it is necessary to wear glasses for seeing, it is recommended to attach the glasses to your forehead using tape or to position a foam cushion placed between your nose and the glasses frame.
- Patients are encouraged to wear hats and sunscreen following rhinoplasty surgery. Avoid getting sun damage which will slow up the healing process and increase the swelling.
- Your final results can take up to a year to be fully seen. Patience is encouraged during this time frame until you are fully healed.
To learn more about rhinoplasty recovery time please contact Dr. Jacono to schedule your consultation today.