Tips for Recovering from Rhinoplasty Surgery
Whenever you choose to undergo a cosmetic surgery procedure, you will need to give some careful consideration to the recovery process. Every surgery is different, and therefore what you can expect, how long your recovery will take and what you need to do during the process can vary widely. Healing and recovery rates can also differ from patient to patient.
If you are planning or have been scheduled in for rhinoplasty, you will undoubtedly want to make a recovery that is as smooth and fast as possible. Doing so will minimize the discomfort and side effects of your procedure, and help you get back to living your life to the full. To help aid this process, we have put together the following guidance and top tips for recovering from rhinoplasty surgery.
Immediately after your rhinoplasty surgery
As soon as you come around from the general anesthetic, you will notice that your nose will feel blocked and breathing through it is very difficult. This is because the inner lining of the nose will be swollen, which will constrict the airway and make inhaling and exhaling through your nostrils much harder. You will need to rely heavily on breathing for your mouth for around a week while the swelling in this area subsides.
You will have a dressing and bandage placed over your nose. This usually needs to be changed in the first 24 hours after your surgery. If you are staying in hospital the night of your procedure, your nurse will do this for you. However, if you are discharged home, you will need a friend or relative to do this for you.
You will also be given specific aftercare instructions by our surgeon. These should be followed to the letter, as doing so will drastically reduce the likelihood of any post-surgery complications, boost your recovery time and tell you what you should do if you have any post-operative concerns.
Keeping your nose clean
Like any surgical wound, it is essential that you keep your nose as clean as possible during the initial recovery period. Before you are discharged home, your nurse will show you the best way to do this, which will involve douching it with saline solution. You should expect to do this 6 times a day for 6 weeks after your surgery, and this will prevent the wound from crusting over or becoming infected.
Infection is a serious concern after any surgical procedure, and particularly those which are carried out in areas of the body where there is likely to be a high bacteria count – such as the mouth and nose. You will be given 7 days of antibiotics to take after your surgery, which will help reduce the likelihood of developing an infection. To experience the full benefits of the medication, you must take them as directed and finish the course.
Your first post-operative visit to our surgeon
Our surgeon will keep a close eye on you during your recovery period and will schedule a number of visits so that he can check on the progress of your healing. Your first appointment will be schedule around 6/7 days after your surgery, with the intention of removing the rhinoplasty splints and any sutures around your nose. This will allow you to use cosmetics again if you so wish.
You can expect further follow-up appointments at 2 and 6 weeks after your surgery, then again at 3, 12 and 18 months following your rhinoplasty procedure.
It is very normal to feel fatigued in the days after your procedure. Healing requires a great deal of your body’s energy. However, after around a week you should be feeling much less tired, and we encourage you to do a gentle form of exercise such as walking, which will get your heart to improve blood flow around your body, further encouraging the healing process.
Significant swelling is to be expected in the days and even weeks after your rhinoplasty. In fact, in some patients, there may be some mild swelling for a year or more. The most obvious swelling occurs under the eyes and across the cheeks, and this tends to dissipate within 14 days of your surgery. You can help improve post-operative swelling by sleeping propped upright and using ice packs on your face around your nose.
How long will I need off of work?
Every patient is different and how quickly you will be able to return to work will depend on the progression of your healing, and what your job entails. However, most patients find that they can return to their usual activities around 14 days after their rhinoplasty surgery.
Top tips to aid your rhinoplasty recovery
- Avoid physical activity during the first couple of weeks after your procedure. This will help prevent bumping your nose and causing pain and possible damage.
- Sleep as upright as possible. Doing so will reduce swelling more quickly and make it easier to breathe through your nose in the early days after your rhinoplasty.
- Get plenty of sleep. Sleep = healing.
- Avoid wearing glasses for up to 4 weeks after your procedure. If you are reliant on them to see, use a small foam pad or piece of sponge to protect your nose from the frame of your glasses.
- Try and stick to a soft diet for a few weeks after your rhinoplasty. This will reduce the amount of movement needed by your upper jaw, and subsequently keep your nose stiller.
- Eat a diet low in salt too. This will help reduce the risk of fluid retention.
- Don’t blow your nose and try and avoid sneezing for the first couple of weeks.
- Sun damage can slow healing, so ensure that you wear adequate sunscreen and invest in a cap or wide-brimmed hat.
- Stay in touch with our surgeon. Our surgeon has extensive experience in performing this type of surgery, so make sure you get in contact with them if you have any worries or concerns. Contact us today for further advice.