Rhinoplasty, commonly referred to as a nose job, is a surgical procedure that improves facial features by re-shaping the nose. It is also recommended for people who suffer from impaired breathing due to structural defects in the nose.
Every surgical procedure involves three main phases: the diagnosis, the actual procedure and the recovery period. If the first two stages are concluded smoothly, but the healing period is not tended to properly, the chance for an overall successful rhinoplasty surgery is lowered. It is important to note that rhinoplasty recovery time may be different for each individual, depending upon their overall health conditions
We will explain the rhinoplasty recovery timeline, to provide you with a detailed insight into what recovery from nose surgery entails.
Recovery from Rhinoplasty
From week 1 to week 6
After your surgery, the nose is covered with a splint, that helps to maintain the new shape and keep the nasal bones in their place during the process of healing. The splint is usually removed after a week, and you can move in public without any prominent signs of surgery. However, sometimes there is bruising around the eyes, which may take up to two weeks to resolve.
By your second week, the facial swelling and bruising should be gone. It is safe to resume daily activities, but not strenuous exercise yet.
The period of three to four weeks is relatively easy, and your doctor may allow you to resume high-stamina activities such as jogging and cycling etc.
By the end of the sixth week, the bones of your nose stabilise, and you are allowed to wear glasses.
From 3 to 6 months
During three to six months post-operation, the sensory feelings of the nose return, with no complaints of bruising and numbness. Any irritation of the nasal skin is mostly resolved by that time.
Once you reach a year post-op, the healing process is completed, and the shape of your nose should be fully refined with no signs of swelling.
Are you thinking about how to speed up the recovery timeline? Well, there are actually quite a few things that can take you easily through the recovery period. Let’s look at some tips to fasten the recovery:
9 tips to recover quickly after rhinoplasty
Follow your doctor’s instructions
The first golden rule of quick healing is to follow your doctor’s instructions religiously. You can scroll through hundreds of web articles, but there is nothing compared to the information and guidance you can get from your surgeon. For the first few weeks, you will be prescribed antibiotics to prevent infections and pain medicine, along with specific care instructions to follow. Make sure never to miss the post-surgical follow-up visit with your doctor.
Listen to your body
There is no need to push yourself to resume daily chores if you feel tired and exhausted. Your doctor can examine your healing process from the outside, but only you know how you’re feeling. Notice if there is anything wrong and consult your doctor immediately.
Adjust your sleeping position
Sleeping on the side after rhinoplasty is very uncomfortable and can end up stretching your recovery time by weeks, causing excessive swelling and bruising. It can even displace the nose from its given position. It is strongly suggested to keep your head high and straight for at least 6 weeks after surgery. You can do this by using an additional pillow or maybe sleeping on a recliner.
In the first three days after the surgery, a cold compress is very useful to reduce swelling but do not apply it directly on your nose lest you accidentally shift any bone or cartilage. A cold compress can be applied to the cheeks for relief.
Give your body rest
It is common to feel congested after rhinoplasty, and it often disrupts a peaceful sleep. The human body requires energy to heal itself, and a proper six to eight hours of sleep can give your body the energy to heal and eliminate headaches.
Maintain a healthy diet
Eating a well-balanced diet that is packed with proteins and vitamins is essential to a healthy recovery process. Proteins are essential to building skin, cartilage, muscle and blood. Rhinoplasty damages the tissues in your nose, which will only rebuild naturally if you take protein-rich food such as nuts, eggs, fish, meat and yogurt etc.
To fulfil the requirement of vitamins, there is nothing better than leafy greens loaded with vitamins A, C and K. These vitamins are immunity boosters and prevent infections after the procedure. Vitamin C regenerates collagen, which is essential for connecting the skin tissue. Take lemons, oranges and broccoli to increase your vitamin C levels.
You might feel tempted to take a steamy shower or a hot bowl of soup, but these are not good for your swollen nose. The tissues of your nose may swell up drastically after exposure to heat, so it is best to stick to a cool or room-temperature diet, take lukewarm showers and cut off maximum heat exposure at least until the first six weeks. You should also avoid long exposure to the sun as your nose is prone to sunburn following the surgery.
Don’t blow your nose
After surgery, it is common to experience swollen nasal tissue. Try not to blow your nose, and ask your doctor about using a saline spray to moisturise your nose. You cannot blow your nose till you smoothly complete six weeks after surgery.
Sneezing will be painful, but you can’t control it. It is suggested to sneeze with your mouth open, so there is less pressure on the nose.
Quit smoking before and after the surgery, since the nicotine in tobacco limits the blood flow making it difficult for the blood to circulate in the nasal tissues.
If you are having difficulties in your recovery from rhinoplasty, book your appointment with Dr Alan Evans or call (02) 9158 6375 to find out how we can help you.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.