Rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure that will change the shape of your nose by changing the bone, cartilage, or the skin of the upper structure of the nose. It is often done to change one’s appearance, but it is also used to improve breathing.
It can also be used to change the shape of all three elements of the nose, including cartilage, skin, and bone. If you are an eligible candidate for rhinoplasty, your plastic surgeon will create a customized plan to help you get the nose you want.
During the surgery, you will experience local anesthesia or general anesthesia depending on the plan your surgeon has created for you. The surgery may be through an external incision at the base of your nose or from inside the nose.
After the surgery, the dressing will often stay in place for a full week. Your surgeon will place a splint on the nose to support the new shape and to protect it. You can expect some slight drainage or bleeding for a few days after your surgery.
However, many people will want to heal as fast as possible. That’s why we’ve gathered the top ways to speed up your recovery after rhinoplasty.
Listen to Your Doctor
First, you will need to make sure you are following your doctor’s orders with precision. Nothing you read on the internet will be as valuable as the information your personal plastic surgeon provides to you. Your doctor will tell you what medications you will need to take and when to take them. Your surgeon will also discuss how to take care of your nose properly to prevent any infection.
The physician will also discuss when you need to go for a follow up to check-in.
There are several recovery milestones you will generally reach. The recovery time for rhinoplasty is up to a year, though you will start feeling better within three to four weeks.
After one to two weeks, you will be able to remove the splint and you will not show noticeable signs of the surgery. Within two weeks, your swelling should subside and the bruising should be healed. Within a month of surgery, you should be able to return to your exercise routine, including jogging and swimming. At six weeks, your bones will be stable and you can do resistance training, blow your nose, and wear glasses. In six months, all abnormal sensations, including numbness, should be resolved. After a year, you will have your nose’s final shape and refinement.
To make recovery smooth, make sure you also follow the following.
Use Cold Compresses
Cold compresses should be used within the first three days of the rhinoplasty according to New Jersey-based rhinoplasty expert, Dr. Daniel Becker. The cold compress will help reduce swelling by restricting the blood vessels. You will want to ensure that you apply the compress to your cheeks instead of your nose. Otherwise, you could indirectly shift the bones or cartilage of the nose.
Get Enough Rest
To heal fully, it is also important to get plenty of rest. It might be difficult to fall asleep because of the congestion right after surgery, but resting is a necessary part of the recovery process. As you heal, your body uses energy to recover. Make sure you are sleeping at least eight hours each night to keep your body fully rested.
Listen to Your Body
It’s also important to listen to your body after you have surgery. It is important to tell your doctor if something doesn’t feel entirely right. Your surgeon will be able to see how recovery is progressing on the outside, but the doctor won’t be able to tell if there is internal distress. I
t’s very important to be aware of how your body is feeling and discuss any issues with your physician.
A healthy diet is important in recovering from rhinoplasty because it will fill your body with the nutrients it needs to heal. Protein should be a staple of the diet because it is a building block for blood, muscle, skin, and cartilage. Your body needs protein to rebuild the tissue that was damaged around your nose.
It’s also important to get vitamins and minerals to boost your immune system and fight off infection. Vitamin C is vital because it helps boost your collagen production, which helps your skin tissue heal.
Keep Your Head Elevated
Directly after surgery, it is important to keep your head elevated to prevent swelling. If you sleep on your side, you could cause additional swelling or bruising. It can even shift the bones or cartilage in your nose. Keep your head elevated for six weeks after the surgery to ensure that you heal properly.
Simply prop your head up with a foam wedge or extra pillows. If you turn or toss in your sleep, you can use a travel pillow to keep your head still.
Avoid Heavy Exercise
It’s also important to avoid exercise for six weeks after the surgery. You want to ensure the bones in your nose are healed before exercising. Even harmless exercises like bending over or lifting can cause swelling in your nose. Wait to exercise until your doctor has given approval.
Don’t Wear Glasses
Any kind of glasses should be avoided after surgery, including prescription glasses, sunglasses, and reading glasses. Glasses put pressure on the nose, which can cause bruising, swelling, shifting of the bones or cartilage and even indentations.
Your plastic surgeon will tell you when it’s okay to wear glasses again. If you have prescription glasses, wear your contacts. If it is impossible to wear contacts, make sure you wear the lightest possible frames on an as-needed basis.