Rhinoplasty Post-Surgery Timeline

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Post-Surgery Expectations

Your doctor should set all of your recovery expectations and give you an idea of how long the recovery process will take. Every individual recovers differently when it comes to the time and the healing process. This guide is to give you a general understanding of what to expect post-surgery after Rhinoplasty. Generally, the average recovery time is about two to three weeks. Keep in mind, that the time can vary from patient to patient depending on the extent of the surgery and other factor. The surgery takes a few hours and you are allowed to go home the same day. Right after the surgery, you are placed in a recovery room until you awaken from the general anesthesia and then you may have someone take you home. Depending on how your body reacts to the anesthesia, nausea may be a common right after the procedure. You will feel discomfort, stuffiness, tired and tenderness right after as well. Other common symptoms are pain, swelling and nosebleeds. You will not be able to blow your nose for about a week following the surgery. Blowing your nose can disrupt the healing process and can even re-open the incisions that were made during the surgery. Now, let’s discuss some of the symptoms in detail that you may experience post-surgery and the timeline on when you will be back to your normal daily activities.

  • Pain – Following the surgery, you may or may not feel pain. It will all depend on when the anesthesia wears off. Your doctor will prescribe you pain medication to take while you recover at home. Generally, the medication is only used for the first few days. It is very important that you follow the exact instructions when to take your pain medication given to you by your doctor. If you experience pain with the medication or continuously weeks after your surgery please let your doctor know right away.
  • Swelling – This is a common symptom after your surgery. It can last days or weeks. As stated before it will on depend on how your body reacts to the healing process. Swelling may also bring bruising or black eyes. You will feel puffiness around your face and eyes because you had Rhinoplasty. The swelling will go down after a few days.
  • Nosebleeds – Bleeding is common through the first few days of the recovery process. It is very important not to blow your nose. As we stated above, blowing your nose can open incisions or stitches.
  • Stuffiness/Headaches – Stuffiness is common and scabbing will form. Like the nosebleeds, try not to blow your nose for a few days. Depending on how your body reacted to the general anesthesia you may experience headaches post-surgery. Ask your doctor before taking any over the counter medications because decongestants and aspirin can thin the blood and cause excessive bleeding which adversely affects the surgery. You will have follow-up visits scheduled with your doctor. Your doctor will help clear the stuffiness you may experience. 
Listed above were some of the more common symptoms you will experience post-surgery. There can be other symptoms that could cause a delay in your recovery process like infections, excessive nosebleeds, excessive pain and others. It really depends on how well your follow your intrusions given by your doctor and how your body reacts to the surgery. 

Tips for Recovery

Now that you have an understanding of some common symptoms, here are some tips that you can do to help your recovery. Rest is one of the most essential parts your body needs to recover after Rhinoplasty. Resting as often as possible will be a big help to recovering. When resting, try to remain in an elevated position to avoid applying pressure to the nose. It also is important to stay hydrated because you will be taking antibiotics and other medications that can cause you to get dehydrated. Placing ice packs or a cold compress can help with decreasing the swelling or black eyes you may get. Avoid any strenuous activities or playing any contact sports. If you are a smoker, try to avoid smoking because it can delay and cause damage to the healing process. Although, you may be able to return to your normal activities within two weeks, your nose will be very sensitive and tender for a long time. The sensitivity and minor swelling can sometimes take a few months or even up to a year to completely heal in its new shape.

Rhinoplasty Nose Surgery

Your doctor plays an important role throughout the entire process of your Rhinoplasty surgery. Remember to follow all the instructions provided by your doctor for the most successful recovery. Individuals will experience different intensities of the symptoms described above. Some experience all of the symptoms while others can experience limited symptoms. Rhinoplasty typically takes two to three weeks for the recovery, but the complete process can take up to a year. When you experience any symptoms outside of the common ones described by your doctor, call your doctor immediately. There will be a few post-surgery visits to the doctor because he will closely monitor how well your nose is healing.

Article by
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon