It is very important that at every postoperative visit, evaluation be made about how the septum is healing and how the operation has improved the air flow through the nose.
Typically, most rhinoplasty surgeons see the patient at five to seven days after the operation. If there has been some nasal packing or an airway placed, these would certainly be removed by that time. Then, follow-up examinations are typically done at several weeks later, and then, perhaps, another month or so later.
This schedule presumes that all is well, and the surgeon is merely observing to make sure that, indeed, there are no problems occurring that you could not detect.
The best judge of the success of the surgery is you! If you now recognize that your breathing is better than before surgery, and that you are not having any problems with:
- Blocked sinuses
- Postnasal drip
- Whatever else caused you to have the surgery
Then, the surgery is deemed successful.
If for some reason you notice that the improvement is not what you expected, then, this calls for reevaluation by the surgeon. Certainly, it is hard to make the call in the first 10 days after surgery. But, after that, swelling goes down rapidly, and you should see the kind of breathing that you wanted to have.
We generally consider 100 days to be the basic healing for any operation on the body - whether that be nasal septoplasty, rhinoplasty, turbinate resection, (or even inguinal hernia, or cardiac surgery.) There is something magic about that 100 day, or three-month, mark, by which time Nature has finished its basic healing work.
Robert Kotler, MD, FACS
Facial Plastic Surgeon
Author, SECRETS OF A BEVERLY HILLS COSMETIC SURGEON
Author, THE ESSENTIAL COSMETIC SURGERY COMPANION