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What Can I Expect During My Rhinoplasty Recovery?

May 01, 2023
What Can I Expect During My Rhinoplasty Recovery?
If you’re getting ready to undergo a rhinoplasty, chances are you’re anxious to see what your new nose will look like. While it will take time for your nose and face to recover, you can promote faster healing by learning what to expect.

Whether you’re getting a nose job (rhinoplasty) for cosmetic reasons or to surgically treat an injury or congenital defect, you’re in good company. More than 350,000 Americans reshape their noses with this surgery every year.

Once your procedure is complete, the board-certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons at Advanced Specialty Associates in Baxter and St. Paul, Minnesota, know you’ll be anxious to see your new nose. 

You should know, however, that it will take some time for the final shape of your nose to emerge, because it takes time for the face to heal after this type of surgery. But, you can speed the healing process by understanding what to expect and following all post-op instructions.

What happens after my rhinoplasty?

At Advanced Specialty Associates, almost all rhinoplasties are performed as outpatient procedures. This means you can expect to return home the same day. 

Your nose will be covered in bandages and protected by a splint, and our team will also place a gauze bandage under your nose to help catch any drainage. 

Since the surgery will cause your nose to swell, it may be difficult to breathe through your nose at first. This usually improves within a week, though your nose will still be swollen. Some people also get bruises under their eyes, which should resolve as you heal. 

You’ll need to rest and recover at home for about a week, and you can expect to have some temporary pain and discomfort. Most people are cleared to return to work or school about a week after their surgery. 

The majority of your healing and reduction of swelling should take place in the first 4-6 weeks after your rhinoplasty. When you return to our offices to have your splint and bandages removed, most swelling and other temporary side effects should be gone or nearly gone.

Do know, however, that it can take up to a year for all swelling to resolve and for your nose to fully heal.

How can I help my nose heal? 

Before you go home from your rhinoplasty, your provider will give you detailed instructions on how to care for your nose and face. However, here are some general tips you can follow that should be able to help your nose heal as fast as possible.

Take time to rest

You’ll need to take it easy and give your body a rest. This will help your body focus its resources on the healing process. This means you’ll need to limit your physical activity for several weeks. As you rest, you’ll need to:

  • Avoid putting pressure on your nose and face
  • Apply cool compresses to help with swelling, but not directly on your nose
  • Keep your head elevated

Once you’re cleared by your surgeon to engage in light exercise, you should be able to take gentle walks and perform similar activities. However, you shouldn’t jump into strenuous physical activity too soon, because this could set back your recovery. 

Eat well

You can also help accelerate your healing by eating nutritious foods and staying away from junk food. So, stock your pantry beforehand with healthy soups and snacks, and be sure to drink plenty of water.

Stay in contact with your provider

Finally, you shouldn’t hesitate to call your provider at Advanced Specialty Associates if you have a question or concern about your recovery. And, if you notice any of the following issues, you should call us right away or head to urgent care or a local emergency room:

  • Severe or worsening trouble breathing
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Signs of infection, such as fever or green or yellow discharge
  • Severe or worsening pain
  • Uncontrollable nasal bleeding

Do you need a rhinoplasty, or do you want to see if one could help you? Get the expert care you need by booking an appointment online or over the phone with Advanced Specialty Associates today.