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Proper rhinoplasty recovery is an incredibly important part of the overall surgical process. Failing to follow recovery directions can negatively affect the results, result in infections, make post-surgical marks more prominent, and more. To ensure optimal rhinoplasty recovery, Virginia patients are encouraged to follow our directions as closely as possible.
Preparing for Recovery from Rhinoplasty
Be very careful with your health and hygiene before your procedure, since a simple cold may postpone the surgery. Arrange for time off work, and arrange for someone to take care of the driving, housework, shopping, and childcare while you recover.
It’s also important to ask someone to drop you off, pick you up from the facility, and stay with you for at least 24 hours after the procedure.
If you are a smoker, you should stop using nicotine-based products for at least four weeks before your rhinoplasty. Nicotine will negatively affect your ability to recover.
How Long Is Recovery?
The initial recovery phase after rhinoplasty is around seven to 10 days. Swelling and bruising will gradually reduce over this period. After one week, you can wear makeup to hide signs of the nose job, and you can resume daily activities. After two weeks, the majority of the swelling will have subsided.
After three to six months, any abnormal sensation in your nasal skin and nose will have been resolved. After a year, all swelling will have fully ameliorated, and you’ll be able to enjoy a fully refined nose.
Rhinoplasty Aftercare and Recovery Tips
Here are some tips you can use to hasten your recovery after a rhinoplasty:
- Use a cold compress to keep the puffiness and swelling down.
- Avoid anti-inflammatory medications unless prescribed by the doctor.
- Do not blow your nose for two weeks to avoid injuring the healing nasal tissues. Dab or wipe it gently instead.
- Make sure to go to all follow-up appointments.
- Keep your head above your chest for the first 48 hours after surgery to minimize swelling.
- Do not eat foods that require prolonged chewing.
- Use a soft toothbrush.
- To prevent swelling, it’s best to avoid sun exposure, tanning beds, and sun lamps for six weeks after the procedure.
- Avoid wearing eyeglasses or sunglasses for six weeks to give your nasal bridge a break.
Is Rhinoplasty Recovery Painful?
Most patients will tell you that the pain during rhinoplasty recovery is fairly mild. It should subside a few days or a week after the procedure and can be addressed with pain medication as directed. The skin on your nose’s tip may feel numb. You may feel itching pain as the feeling slowly returns.
Taking Care of Incisions
Clean incision lines using a Q-tip and hydrogen peroxide to remove any crusting. Clean the stitches inside with peroxide and do it as gently as possible. Don’t forget to apply Vaseline on the site four times daily. Once the stitches are taken out, wash the site with soap and water. Make sure to dry the area gently.
When Can I Go Back to Work?
Most patients are able to resume work or school a week after their rhinoplasty, provided they avoid strenuous activities. By this time, there will only be barely visible signs of sutures.
When Can I Exercise Again?
Some patients are advised to ease into their workout routine. You can take light walks a week after your rhinoplasty, because these can reduce the risk of blood clots and improve blood flow, facilitating your healing process. Move on to light treadmill exercise after two weeks. You may also be able to start lifting light weights after three weeks.
The Follow-Up Appointment
You will have a follow-up appointment a day after your rhinoplasty so the doctor can remove nasal packing and check your recovery progress. You will also have a second appointment five to seven days after the surgery to have the sutures and cast removed and to ask questions about any concerns you may have.
You may need seven to 10 appointments within the first three months after the surgery to check if your nose is healing properly. After this period, you may need a follow-up appointment every six months until the final results are apparent.
About The Choe Center
The Choe Center specializes in plastic surgeries of the face or head in Virginia. It is led by Dr. Choe, a double-board-certified facial plastic surgeon who has written several publications that are used as reference and teaching materials for aspiring facial plastic surgeons. Rely on his expertise in the field—contact us today to book your consultation.