WHAT HAPPENS DURING RHINOPLASTY RECOVERY?
One of the most daunting aspects of undergoing rhinoplasty is its recovery. Many patients are excited to consider all the wonderful changes that rhinoplasty can achieve in terms of their appearance, but once they begin contemplating the recovery, they may hit the pause button on their procedure.
In truth, rhinoplasty recovery can be manageable and stress-free if you are well prepared in advance and you know what to expect. Below, we will explore the different phases of rhinoplasty recovery so that you can move forward with your nose surgery feeling informed, educated, and empowered.
The first week of recovery
The first week of rhinoplasty recovery is the most intense. After surgery, you will be placed in a recovery suite where the effects of anesthesia will slowly wear off. You will then need a friend or family member to drive you home and look after you for the first 24 hours.
You may have a splint or a cast on your nose, and you may experience drainage. You can treat the incisions with hydrogen peroxide to gently remove any crusts or residue that have built up. Your surgeon will provide you with antibiotics as well as pain medications to help keep you comfortable during your early recovery. You should apply an antibiotic ointment to your incisions twice a day.
At night it’s recommended that you sleep with your head elevated to minimize swelling. You can use a humidifier to make sure that your nose is well-hydrated. As long as you protect your cast and bandages, you are permitted to shower during your first week.
As you heal, you can use a cold compress or a frozen bag of vegetables to alleviate discomfort in your nose. After about 3 days, you can switch to a warm compress, which will help combat bruising.
You will return to see the doctor after about a week and have your sutures removed. While there will still be a lot of swelling and bruising, after one week, you will see your new nasal shape slowly emerging.
The first month of recovery
After a few weeks, many clients are ready to return to work, provided that their job is not physically demanding. If you have a strenuous vocation, it may be wise to take more than two weeks off of work so that your body has enough time to heal and recuperate.
Many clients are eager to start exercising again after rhinoplasty, but it is suggested that you wait three to six weeks before resuming your routine at the gym. Your plastic surgeon will clear you for exercise on a case-by-case basis. Any fitness exercises that require you to be inverted, such as yoga, should be off-limits for at least six weeks. You should avoid lifting more than ten pounds for your first months of recovery.
During this phase of your recovery, it’s very important that you protect your nose from prolonged exposure to the sun’s harmful rays. You should wear sunscreen and a large sun hat whenever you are outdoors. You will attend a one-month follow-up appointment with your plastic surgeon to make sure your healing is on track.
The first year of recovery
It’s important that rhinoplasty patients understand just how long swelling will persist. While the majority of swelling will die down within a few months, you may have minor swelling for up to one year. For this reason, it’s essential that you not judge your rhinoplasty results too early. External swelling will subside sooner than internal swelling.
During your recovery, connecting with and checking in with other rhinoplasty patients can be helpful. You may find their experiences comforting, and they can reassure you that everything is as it should be when you feel anxious and unsure about your results.
After one year, you will attend a follow-up appointment with your plastic surgeon who can answer any remaining questions you might have about your recovery. Most patients find that after one year, their final results are fully visible and they can feel confident and secure in their new appearance.
What is the takeaway?
There are so many aspects of undergoing rhinoplasty that it can be overwhelming. The best way to proceed is to break rhinoplasty down into the different stages of your procedure. The first step is to undergo a private consultation, during which time your nose will be evaluated and you may undergo 3D imaging to project your results ahead of time.
The next step is to thoroughly understand what will be required of you in terms of recovery so that you can carefully plan ahead. You will want to have friends and family lined up to assist you with basic chores, and you will want to prepare your living space for your recuperation, stocking up on movies, towels, food, and comfortable pillows. If you are well prepared, rhinoplasty recovery can be smooth and transpire without incident. Call Dr. Heil today to get started with your personalized rhinoplasty.