Recovering from Rhinoplasty
If you’re recovering from a rhinoplasty procedure, congratulations! This stage means that you’ve decided to proceed with a rhinoplasty and have successfully undergone surgery. Surgery isn’t always a walk in the park, even if the procedure is a common one.
Recovering from plastic surgery can be made easier by following a few best practices. Of course, your surgeon and their staff will walk you through the ins and outs of recovery after you’ve finished the surgery, so be sure to pay close attention when they’re chatting with you. Whether it’s a revision rhinoplasty or an initial rhinoplasty, recovery is an incredibly important stage in which you ensure that the nose will heal in as pain-free a manner as is possible. Keep in mind that when the surgery is finished, maintaining the delicacy of your newly corrected nose is completely your responsibility.
There are a few things that will happen after each rhinoplasty procedure, as Minneapolis Plastic Surgeons (and nose job specialists!) explain: “Following your nose surgery, you will be cared for by the nursing staff in the recovery room. When you are fully awake and comfortable, you will be released to the care of a family member or friend with a list of after-care instructions.”
So you’ve been released, surgery has gone well, and you’re home on your own. What’s next?
What Not to Do After Your Nose Job
The sad truth is that after a rhinoplasty, there’s a lot more of “do-nots” than “dos.” First, do not forget to follow up with your plastic surgeon, even if you aren’t experiencing intense pain. The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery notes that “the majority of patients do not experience any significant pain, however, analgesic medications can be given as often as needed for post-operative discomfort…follow up care is crucial to success in rhinoplasty. Any concerns regarding your post-operative course such as excess bleeding, unexpected swelling, fever, or significant pain should be reported to your surgeon immediately. It is essential that you keep your follow-up appointments with the surgeon.”
Here are a few other “do-nots” to remember in the post-surgery weeks and months.
- Do Not sleep with your head at a flat angle. Any time you are reclining, sleeping, or lying down, keep your head propped up at an angle by using a pillow or neck brace. This is hugely important because any time that you relax by lying flat, you are risking increased swelling, pain levels, and harmful-bleeding related side effects. Discuss with your plastic surgeon how long you should keep your head elevated for as part of the healing process.
- Do Not exercise too soon. If you love to exercise as part of your daily routine, that’s wonderful. This can be one of the most challenging parts for recovering patients, but it’s imperative that you make peace with the fact that your traditional fitness routine will need to be postponed for a few weeks. Even when you start feeling better, take it easy longer than you think.
- Do Not wear your glasses without a cast. During the first week when you’ve got a cast on, there are no limits to wearing your glasses. However, Rhinoplasty in Seattle explains, “you should avoid wearing glasses (including sunglasses) directly on your nose for a total of 6 weeks after surgery. This is to avoid having the weight of your glasses shift your healing nasal bones.” When your face is malleable, it’s just not worth it to wear anything that could affect the healing process.
What To Do After Your Nose Job
First of all, stay healthy! Just like with any other surgery, your recovery time will increase significantly if your immune system is weak. Make sure to pay attention to each and every restriction from your plastic surgeon: This isn’t the time to go rogue! Finally, it’s important to ensure that you’ve worked with a surgeon you trust who has experienced the process hundreds, or even thousands, of times. If they specialize in rhinoplasty, all the better! This will help to make your recovery process as quick and painless as possible.
In terms of recovery time, surgeons say to expect that you might want to take some time off work to recover. In the first seven days, cosmetic surgeons note that patients who don’t mind being seen with some swelling on their face take one week off from work, as long as their job doesn’t require any physical labor. After their cast is removed on day seven, they’re ready to go! On the other hand, patients who want to keep their surgery a secret usually take two weeks off work, after which time it’s much easier to hide any incisions with makeup. Note, however, that you’ll most likely continue to see subtle changes in your nose for up to one year.
We wish you the best of luck with your own recovery process, and congratulations on attaining the nose of your dreams!