Best Tips for Rhinoplasty Recovery

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Rhinoplasty Recovery

Article At A Glance

  • Avoid bumping or touching your nose, as this can disrupt healing.
  • Keep the surgical site clean and dry to prevent infection.
  • Apply ice packs to the nasal area to reduce swelling and discomfort.

What is Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is a cosmetic procedure that involves reshaping the bone and cartilage structures of the nose to alter the appearance and function. Also known as nose job surgery, this procedure improves the shape, size, and contour of the nose.

Rhinoplasty is also used to improve breathing. Conditions like a deviated septum or a broken nose can impair a patient’s ability to breathe. With rhinoplasty, these issues can be properly addressed.

If you’re considering having a nose job, you may be eager to not only learn how the procedure can give you a new look but the recovery process as well.
To achieve the results you want, it’s important to choose a board-certified cosmetic surgeon such as Dr. James Wang. You’ll also want to know the dos and don’ts of recovering from the procedure.

Additional Read: Improve Your Appearance with a Rhinoplasty Procedure

Recovery Process Overview

While every patient heals at a different pace, on average, it takes about a year to recover from rhinoplasty. By following all the post-op care instructions and taking proper care of your nose, you may be able to speed up your recovery time.

Most patients see immediate results after undergoing rhinoplasty surgery. However, you should expect swelling, redness, and bruising for at least a few weeks post-op.

Here’s what you can expect from week one to one year after undergoing the procedure.

Week 1

Your nose will be bandaged on the outside and stuffed with material or splinted. This is needed to support the new structure and shape of your nose. Within the first week, most patients are cleared to have the splint removed.
During the first week, you may experience minor bruising around the eyes, along with swelling and slight discomfort near the incisions. Within a few days, most patients can resume their normal daily activities.

It’s extremely important to be mindful of your activities. Avoid being in the sun and don’t lift heavy objects or put any kind of pressure on your face.

Week 2

Week 2 is when most patients see a drastic decrease in bruising, swelling, and redness. Any discomfort should subside during this time.

While you may feel and look better, you still want to take it easy and avoid strenuous activities.

Weeks 3, 4 & 5

This is when most patients are cleared to resume their workout activities. While you will still want to avoid lifting heavy objects, low-impact exercises, such as running, light jogging, and yoga are all safe.

Week 6

Patients can resume strength and resistance workouts. By week 6, the bones in the nose should be stable and well into the healing process. Before resuming strenuous activities, consult with your surgeon to get medical clearance.

3 to 6 Months

At this point in the recovery process, any numbness felt around the nose should disappear. This is a pivotal time, as you’ll start to see the true results of your new nose.

One year

One year post-op, the healing process should be finished. at this time, you shouldn’t experience any bruising, redness, swelling, or discomfort. Patients should be able to see the full results of rhinoplasty treatment.

Now that you know what to expect the weeks following the procedure, let’s talk about rhinoplasty recovery.

Tips for Rhinoplasty Recovery

The recovery process after undergoing a nose job is relatively easy. While you will experience bruising, swelling, redness, and discomfort, all of the post-op side effects are relatively minor.

To improve your recovery time, there are some tips and tricks to know about to support your body in the healing process. Here are some top dos and don’ts when recovering from rhinoplasty.

Don’t Blow Your Nose

Blowing your nose is something you do naturally. But, if the inside of your nose is being supported by structure, such as a splint or packing, blowing your nose could cause them to dislodge or shift.

Blowing your nose, even softly, could injure the inside of your nose while also compromising the healing process. It can also lead to increased redness, swelling, and inflammation.

After the procedure, you may experience congestion due to nasal blockages. Ask your doctor about using a nasal spray to clear congestion.

If your nose is draining, gently wipe or dab it. Be as delicate as possible!

Elevate Your Head

Whether you’re watching TV or sleeping, keep your head elevated and in a straight, upright position. Doing so ensures that the nose is getting the proper blood flow it needs to heal.

The head should be elevated for at least the first few weeks post-op. While sleeping in an upright position may not be the most comfortable, it’s the best way to protect a healing nose.

Lower Your Salt Intake

Who doesn’t love a good salty snack, especially if you’re stuck on the couch healing? The bad news is that eating foods high in salt will cause your blood pressure to increase. This leads to increased swelling and pressure near your incisions.

For the first few weeks post-op, avoid eating salty foods. You also want to be mindful of adding salt to your food.

Eat a Nutritious Diet

What you eat after undergoing rhinoplasty plays a huge role in your body’s ability to heal. When recovering from any kind of surgery, it’s crucial to eat a diet of nutritious foods, especially those that are high in calcium, protein, vitamin C, and vitamin D.

Eating foods that are high in antioxidants, such as citrus fruits and leafy greens, will help to minimize swelling.

Stay Hydrated

Just as it’s important to give your body the nutrients it needs to heal, it’s also important to stay hydrated. Water improves recovery by ensuring nutrients and oxygen are delivered to the tissues to promote proper healing.

Drinking plenty of water reduces the likelihood of infection and helps to flush toxins left in the body from anesthesia.

Choose an Experienced Surgeon like Dr. James

Undergoing rhinoplasty is a life-changing decision. Loving how you look is a huge part of being confident and happy. And the ability to breathe freely without any sort of blockage offers much-needed relief.

If you’re interested in rhinoplasty in Chicago, look no further than Dr. James is an internationally recognized expert in facial plastic surgery. He strives to meet every patient’s vision while also creating a new nose that looks entirely natural.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation. We look forward to helping you get the nose you’ve always wanted!

About The Author

Dr. James Wang - Facial Plastic Surgeon

By Dr. James Wang MD PhD

Dr. James C. Wang, MD and Ph.D., is the Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He graduated with Honors from the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Sciences Program at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas.