The way you handle your rhinoplasty recovery period can help you to heal faster. Even though swelling will have improved significantly after the first week, it can take up to a year for your nose to settle into its final shape and size. Knowing what to do after rhinoplasty surgery can minimise complications and ensure a smooth recovery. Here are our tips on what to do after nose surgery.
What To Do After Nose Surgery: Your Rhinoplasty Recovery Timeline
Day one to three after rhinoplasty surgery
Ensure you follow your plastic surgeon’s post-operative recovery guidelines strictly, as these have been provided to minimise discomfort and ensure your recovery goes smoothly. Once the anaesthetic has worn off, it is common to experience discomfort.
Pain and discomfort during rhinoplasty recovery usually peak between days three and six after your surgery. Take any pain medication that has been prescribed as directed. Make sure you attend any follow-up appointments scheduled by your surgeon.
For the first few days after your nose job, your nose will be packed and bandaged in a splint to protect it. Most patients return to their plastic surgeon after the first week to have the bandages removed. If you have a lot of bruising under your eyes, your surgeon may recommend keeping the bandages on for a bit longer.
One to two weeks after rhinoplasty surgery
By the end of the second week after rhinoplasty surgery, most of your bruising and swelling should have subsided. After the second week, most people feel ready to return to work. If there is any visible bruising, it is usually minimal and possible to cover it up with makeup.
Weeks three and four after a nose job
By the third week after a nose job, most people can resume physical exercise under the guidance of their plastic surgeon. It’s usually advisable to start off light and ease back into your fitness routine.
Week six after a rhinoplasty
The six-week mark is a significant milestone as you should be able to return to full fitness, including cardio and weight training. This is because your nasal bones should have stabilised by this point but, as always, make sure you get the go-ahead from your surgeon first.
Three to six months after rhinoplasty surgery
Three to six months after your procedure, the majority of swelling will have gone down, and you should have a good idea of what your new nose shape and size is going to look like. Any numbness or unusual skin sensations around your nose should be gone by this stage. If there is still some swelling, it will be minimal and likely only noticeable to you and your surgeon.
One year after your nose job
By the twelfth month after rhinoplasty, the healing process is complete. There should not be any redness, swelling, bruising, or tenderness.
What To Do After Nose Surgery: Recovery Tips
Proper rest gives you the best chance of making a full recovery, so be prepared to sit back and relax while you recover.
Do not blow your nose
You should not blow your nose for the first six weeks of your rhinoplasty recovery. This will be difficult as your nose may feel blocked, stuffy or uncomfortable. Instead, use the saline nose spray provided by your doctor.
Your nose will be sensitive during the recovery and should not bear any weight. This includes glasses, sunglasses and even face masks for the first six weeks. You will even need to brush your teeth gently so you do not put pressure on your top lip.
Keep your head elevated
When you are resting and sleeping, make sure you keep your head elevated. This prevents blood from pooling, which can worsen the swelling and bruising. Prop your head up when sleeping and make sure you sleep on your back, as sleeping on your side can dislodge your splint and bandages.
Be vigilant of side effects
Your side effects should improve in the days and weeks following your rhinoplasty surgery. If you notice any of them worsening or you do not meet your recovery milestones, alert your doctor as soon as possible.
Manage swelling with a cold compress
Swelling is a common side effect after rhinoplasty surgery.
Make sure you take your pain medication on schedule, as it is likely to have anti-inflammatory properties.
If you need extra help to manage the swelling, hold a cold compress gently to your face during the first two to three days of your rhinoplasty recovery.
Maintain a healthy diet
Eating a wholesome, nutritious diet and drinking plenty of fresh water will give your body the fuels it needs to recover. Make sure your diet is fibre-rich to avoid constipation.
Protect yourself from the sun
When your bandages have come off, the skin on your nose is very sensitive to the sun. Make sure you use SPF30 and protect it by wearing a hat.
Always follow your plastic surgeon’s advice after a nose job. To find out more about what to do after nose surgery and how to speed up healing, please contact us for a confidential appointment: (02) 9158 6375.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHILE RECOVERING FROM A RHINOPLASTY