Rhinoplasty is recommended for patients who are unhappy with the appearance of their nose and would like to make cosmetic changes to improve the size, shape or position of this prominent feature. Since it is possible to change various elements of the nose, exactly what will happen during your rhinoplasty will depend on those areas of your nose that you would most like addressed. Nevertheless, a rhinoplasty is a fairly invasive procedure and you will need to give yourself plenty of time to heal and recover.
So, what is the recovery process from rhinoplasty surgery, and what elements are most important to understand? Here is our guide to what you need to know about your rhinoplasty recovery.
Recovering from the general anesthetic
One of the most important things to be aware of is that you will be given a general anesthetic ahead of your rhinoplasty surgery. This puts you to sleep so that you are neither in pain nor aware of what is going on. However, it can take a number of hours for the effects of the anesthetic to wear off, even after you have come around. Dizziness, nausea and confusion are common side effects of a general anesthetic. For this reason, your surgical team will insist that you have someone to drive you home and stay with you for at least the first 24 hours after your operation.
Bruising and swelling
Immediately following your procedure, you will find that your nose is covered with a dressing. Your face will feel tight and swollen and be bruised, and this will extend across your nose and cheeks and around your eyes. The extent of these will depend on the type of rhinoplasty you have had. For example, patients who have only had the tip of their nose altered will experience very little bruising. The bruising and swelling associated with rhinoplasty could potentially last several months, however it will fade over time.
It is fairly common to experience some discharge from the nose in the first 48 hours following your procedure. This may be mucus or could even be bloody. The dressing which is placed underneath your nose is designed to absorb this, and your surgeon will give you advice on when and how to change it regularly. You may also have had surgical splints placed inside your nose. These are used to support the new shape of your nose and must be left until your surgeon decides it is time to remove them.
Time off work
Exactly how long you will need to wait before you can go back to work will depend on how well you recover and of course, the type of job you do. Many people find that they can return to a desk job around a week after their rhinoplasty, while more physical labour will require you to take longer away from work. Speak to your surgeon regarding how much time you should schedule away from work and follow their advice.
Getting used to sensory changes
Your nose is packed full of nerves, and how well these function may be temporarily disrupted in the days and weeks after your rhinoplasty. You may notice that your sense of smell and how things taste may be a little different until your nose heals.
Top tips to help with your rhinoplasty recovery
Your surgeon will inevitably give you a great deal of advice regarding the best way to look after yourself in the days and weeks after your rhinoplasty surgery. Following your surgeon’s instructions is crucial if you are to obtain the best cosmetic result and enjoy a smooth, complication-free recovery period. However, to help aid your recovery further, here are our top tips to help with your rhinoplasty recovery.
Take your pain medication as prescribed by your doctor. This will prevent you experiencing severe and debilitating discomfort.
Use any other medications given to you, such as saline spray or antibiotic ointment.
Avoid blowing your nose for up to 14 days after your surgery.
Sneeze with your mouth open so that the majority of the air is expelled this way rather than forced through your nose.
Sleep on your back for at least the first week after your surgery.
Make sure you contact your surgeon with any concerns that you have during your recovery.
If you have further questions about the recovery process after rhinoplasty, please do not hesitate to contact our experienced cosmetic surgery team.