Rib cartilage graft recovery time for weightlifter?
Doctor Answers 6
Rhinoplasty recovery: heavy lifting after a rib cartilage graft
Rhinoplasty is a surgery to change the shape of your nose for breathing or appearance.
For some rhinoplasty patients, cartilage grafts that are long and strong may be harvested from the rib. I do not find that this adds to the recovery. I keep my chest incision to less than 1 inch and avoid cutting the pect muscles. This chest recovery period may also be because I am conservative regarding the nose itself. I ask all of my rhinoplasty patients to avoid strenuous activity for 6 weeks. After 2 weeks the risk of nosebleed decreases. At 3-4 weeks light activity may be started. Once they reach 6 weeks, they can resume any activity including heavy lifting. Each patient is unique, so I recommend following your surgeon's instruction and keep your follow-up appointments, so you can stay on track for safe and happy outcome.
The good news for you is that we no longer need your own rib for complicated rhinoplasties. Instead, we use an organ donated rib graft that acts safely as your rib cartilage. This means no delay in recovery. Please see examples of patients below who have used donated rib graft.
Rib graft recovery?
In more than 35 years of rhinoplasty including revisions I have not had to use rib and therefore avoid the pain, scar and much added cost. You can get all the cartilage needed from the ear and septum..
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Exercise and rhinoplasty
We minimize any cutting of muscle and use a small incision for rib grafts. Athletes and weightlifters can resume light lifting with lots of reps and cardio in 3 days. Heavy lifting can commence in 2 weeks. You will be back to your pre-surgery form in 3 to 3.5 weeks after surgery. Best wishes.
Rib graft rhinoplasty
In my practice I'd say no lifting weights for 6 weeks. And then starting small and building back up. However I'd add in, that rib graft rhinoplasty is a complex (usually secondary or tertiary) procedure with serious risks and pros and cons to be considered. For most people contemplating one, they're in pretty bad strife one way or another. If time out of the gym is even a significant concern for you (let alone a deal breaker), I'm not confident you're a good candidate for a rib graft rhinoplasty.
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