Whether you are considering having a rhinoplasty done or have just been through a rhinoplasty, understanding the healing process is essential towards making sure that it proceeds smoothly and that your nose appears exactly how you want it to. Although a rhinoplasty is a straightforward surgery in comparison to some others, the healing process can be a lengthy one. By understanding what the healing process entails, you will be able to ascertain when it’s not going according to plan and can contact your surgeon about any issues that you are experiencing.
What Does the Healing Process Following Rhinoplasty Entail?
When you’re wondering about what the healing process for rhinoplasty entails, it’s better to separate the process down into sections based on the timeline following the surgery. For instance, there are things that you can expect to occur immediately after the surgery, one month after, and three months after. When taking a look at what to expect immediately after the surgery, the symptoms that you experience will be at their worst right at the beginning of the recovery process. Standard bruising and swelling will occur within the treatment area and slowly dissipate over the course of 2-3 weeks. You will likely be provided with a medication or two by your plastic surgeon to assist with recovery from the swelling. Make sure that you have enough vitamin K in your diet in order to thin out the blood and keep clotting from occurring.
Some of the additional types of discomfort that you can experience in the weeks after the surgery include issues with breathing, nose bleeds, pressure and tenderness in the nose, and a nasal drip. Make sure to avoid nasal sprays throughout recovery and try to avoid bending over for at least a couple of weeks after the procedure. You also shouldn’t engage in strenuous physical exercise that will cause your heart rate to increase substantially for at least a month. Right after surgery, your nose will appear to be swollen and wider than it should be. The nose can also look lifted and at a higher point on your face than it actually is.
After a month has passed, nearly all of the swelling should be gone, which means that the size of your nose should also be shrinking. As the nose shrinks, you may notice that there are some small bumps or hard surfaces that appear. This is normal and only indicates that the cartilage inside of the nose has yet to heal fully. The nose may also feel numb, which can be an odd sensation. Your breathing should have improved substantially by this point in time.
Once three months have passed, the very tip of your nose should be the only portion of the nose that may still be experiencing swelling issues. The new size and shape of the nose should be mostly visible by this time. You can start to exercise regularly without fear of developing issues with the shape and healing process of your nose. Even though you can resume all of your normal activities, it’s recommended that you don’t engage in any high contact sports or risky activities for around six months to a year in order to avoid impact with the nose.
Are There Any Complications That Can Occur During Recovery?
If any of the aforementioned symptoms of recovery seem to linger longer than they are supposed to, it’s important that you contact your surgeon immediately and notify them about these problems. During the recovery process, there are a variety of complications that can take place, especially if you have not strictly followed the guidelines that were set forth by the surgeon on how to take care of the treatment area.
There are some things that you should be on the lookout for. For instance, make sure that you contact your surgeon or a doctor in the event that you start to suffer from a temperature that raises higher than 100 degrees or if your nose won’t stop bleeding after 5-10 minutes have passed. You should contact your surgeon if the nose has been impacted due to the fact that this could create problems with the healing process. You should also make sure to contact the surgeon if ever the pain increases substantially for no apparent reason.
What Can Be Done to Shorten Recovery?
If you want to do everything you can to shorten recovery time, there are several steps you can take that should at least expedite the process. Contact the surgeon immediately if anything causes concern, which will allow a small issue to be caught before it turns into a larger one that only increases your recovery time. Try to rest as much as possible and watch for infection. Ice packs are a must during the recovery process in order to mitigate the issues caused by swelling and bruising. Consider making use of a wedge pillow to keep your head upright when sleeping at night. By following these guidelines, you should at least avoid prolonging the recovery process.
What Is Revision Rhinoplasty?
Even when the healing process goes as smoothly as it can, you may simply not like how your new nose looks. Although this isn’t exactly common, it can occur and there are a variety of options that you can explore to fix the issues that you have. The most effective option is to make use of a revision rhinoplasty. This is very similar to a standard rhinoplasty but is generally a more delicate procedure that requires a surgeon who has received extensive experience in providing revision rhinoplasty surgeries. Make sure that you wait at least a year after the initial procedure before requesting a revision surgery.
Dr. Andrew Frankel, MD, FACS offers both rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty surgeries. He has earned numerous awards over the years that highlight the work that he has done and the research that he has performed centering around rhinoplasty procedures