Rhinoplasty healing stages

Rhinoplasty healing

Healing Process after Rhinoplasty

How long is the healing process for rhinoplasty?

You’re having rhinoplasty and you know that you’ll need to devote some time to healing and recovery afterwards. It’s a good idea to think of your recovery period after rhinoplasty surgery as a long distance run, not a sprint. You’ll want to make some adjustments to your habits and activities for a month after your procedure. Take a look at the timeline below to get a sense of what to expect immediately after your rhinoplasty and in the weeks and months to come.

Rhinoplasty healing stagesDay of Surgery

Recovery begins on surgery day, as soon as you’re taken to the recovery room. There you’ll be awakened from anesthesia gently. You may not remember these early hours after surgery, later on. You will be bandaged in a nasal splint. You may have packing in your nose.

If packing isn’t needed, you’ll have an attractive drip pad taped below your nostrils to catch the blood (a small amount) that may appear on your first night post-rhinoplasty. You’ll feel some pressure around your nose, and sinus congestion as your rhinoplasty recovery time begins. Later on at home, you may take pain medication if needed when your surgical pain meds wear off. Use the package of frozen peas to decrease swelling and relieve pressure.

When dripping stops, you’ll start cleaning your small nasal incision (using hydrogen peroxide) regularly. You’ll use ointment to keep crust from forming under your nostrils. You might eat something if you feel like it. Your loyal pal will get you glasses of water, food, etc. Some grogginess from surgery may persist and we don’t want you to fall, or bang your newly completed nose on anything! Let your friend help.

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Rhinoplasty healing stages

2 – 3 Days Post-Rhinoplasty

The first couple days of rhinoplasty recovery time, you’re in what we call the “uncomfortable” phase. Right now, you may not be breathing through your nose and you probably can’t smell anything. You keep your phone next to your recliner, just in case you need to call your surgeon about anything.

This can be a miserable couple of days, though not usually painful. (Pain is rated by most patients as 3 – 4 on a pain scale of 10. Be sure to use your medication to relieve any pain). You may be feeling nauseous. Your mouth-breathing may make it hard to sleep. Nasal irrigation, from your post-surgery instructions, will help you feel better.

Sleep propped on two big pillows (or your wedge), supporting your torso to minimize swelling. This also helps with bruising and limits bleeding.

You may now return to light activity. Please don’t bend over, blow your nose or try to lift anything over about 5 lbs. Don’t take Aspirin, Advil or Motrin.

If you have packing in your nose, you’ll visit your surgeon to remove it on about day 2 or 3.

End of Week 1

The nasal splint and stitches are typically removed by the end of the first week. You will still have some swelling, but you can better visualize the new appearance of your nose at this point. Most patients return to work after a week, but continue to avoid strenuous activities.

At this time it’s important to limit your sun exposure either by wearing a hat or avoid exposure altogether for at least two months.

Week 2 Post-Rhinoplasty

In about the middle of this week, 10 days after your rhinoplasty procedure, bruises have usually faded significantly. In another week or less, generally, swelling and bruises aren’t noticeable to a casual observer. You return to work or school on about day 8, but some patients are instructed to take 2 weeks off for rhinoplasty recovery time.

3 – 4 Weeks Post-Rhinoplasty

Between weeks three and four, you can expect to return to your normal exercise and activity levels, although moderate intensity. You should take at least another month off from contact sports or very strenuous exercise. If you’re willing to wear a protective mask, you can resume sports earlier. Always check with your plastic surgeon. Much of your swelling is gone now, with the tip taking the longest to subside. You’ll notice your nose becoming more refined as the days pass.

2 – 3 Months Post-Rhinoplasty

By this point, any swelling around the bridge of the nose should have subsided completely. You may still experience some numbness at the tip of the nose. This is normal and the feeling should gradually return. The scar from an open procedure will begin to fade.

Conclusion: 1 Year Post-Rhinoplasty

At one year, rhinoplasty swelling resolves completely and there are no tell-tale signs that any surgery took place, other than the change to the shape or symmetry of the nose. Every patient is different, so healing times are not guaranteed. If you do have concerns about how long it’s taking for your swelling to decrease, call your plastic surgeon.

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About Iranian Surgery

Iranian surgery is an online medical tourism platform where you can find the best Rhinoplasty Surgeons in Iran. The price of a Rhinoplasty in Iran can vary according to each individual’s case and will be determined based on photos and an in-person assessment with the doctor. So if you are looking for the cost of Rhinoplasty in Iran, you can contact us and get free consultation from Iranian surgery.

13 Tips to speed up your Rhinoplasty Recovery time
  1. Listen to Your Doctor

First and foremost, follow your doctor’s instructions. You could read 100 web articles like this one about rhinoplasty recovery, but nothing compares to the information you’ll get from your facial plastic surgeon. You will receive specific instructions on what medications to take, when to take them, how to care for the surgical site to prevent infection, and when you’ll need to come back in for a follow-up exam.

  1. Listen to Your Body

Your plastic surgeon will be able to see how your rhinoplasty recovery is going from the outside, but only you will know how you’re feeling. Listen to your body – if something doesn’t feel right after surgery, discuss it with your doctor right away.

  1. Keep Your Head Elevated

Sleeping on your side after rhinoplasty isn’t just uncomfortable – it can prolong your recovery time by causing additional bruising and swelling. More frighteningly, it can displace your nose. To avoid this, you’ll need to keep your head elevated at night for 6 weeks following surgery. One of the easiest ways to do this is to prop your head up on two or three pillows or use a foam wedge. Sleeping in a recliner also works well.

If you tend to toss and turn, you can keep your head in place with a travel pillow or by surrounding yourself with rolled up towels.

  1. Use Cold Compresses

In the first 72 hours after surgery, using a cold compress can help reduce swelling. Just be careful not to apply the compress directly to your nose. Instead, apply it to your cheeks so that you don’t accidentally shift any bones or cartilage.

  1. Get Plenty of Rest

The congestion you feel after surgery may make it more difficult to fall asleep, but rest is a vital part of the recovery process. Your body uses energy to heal itself, and getting a solid seven or eight hours of sleep each night gives your body time to restore that energy.

  1. Maintain a Healthy Diet

What does eating your vegetables have to do with recovering from a nose job? A lot, actually. Eating a balanced diet post-surgery can help to speed up your recovery by giving your body the nutrients it needs to heal itself.

Protein is an essential building block of skin, muscle, cartilage, and blood. A diet consisting of nuts, meat, eggs, yogurt, fish, and other protein-rich foods will help your body rebuild the damaged tissue in and around your nose.

You’ll also want to make sure you’re getting plenty of vitamins in your diet, namely Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Vitamin A, which is commonly found in dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale, it is a great immune booster that can help you fight off infections after surgery. Vitamin C plays an important role in the regeneration of collagen, the protein that connects your skin tissue. Good sources of Vitamin C are citrus fruits, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli.

  1. Stay Cool

Steamy showers, hot bowls of soup, and relaxing saunas might feel good, but they’re not so good for your swollen nose. Heat will cause the tissues in your nose to swell even more, which is why it’s best to stick to a diet of cool and room-temperature foods, take lukewarm showers, and stay out of the heat in the weeks after your nose reshaping procedure.

  1. Don’t Blow Your Nose

After surgery, you’re going to experience some congestion for a few weeks, maybe even a few months. This feeling is caused by swollen nasal tissues. Resist the urge to blow your nose and talk with your doctor about using a saline nasal spray to gently moisturize your nasal passages until the swelling goes down. You can resume blowing your nose after 6 weeks from surgery.

What about sneezing? You can’t just choose not to sneeze. Instead, try to sneeze through your mouth instead of your nose. It sounds gross, but it’s better than damaging your fragile nasal passages and slowing down your rhinoplasty recovery time.

  1. Avoid Vigorous Exercise

In most patients, it takes roughly 6 weeks for the bones in your nose to heal following surgery. During this time, you should avoid strenuous exercise. Even movements that seem harmless like stretching, lifting, or bending over can increase nasal swelling. Wait until your doctor gives you the green light to resume normal activity before you begin to ease back into your workout routine.

  1. Don’t Wear Glasses

Sunglasses, reading glasses, prescription glasses – anything that puts pressure on your nose as it is healing can cause additional bruising, swelling, or even indentations that will require revision rhinoplasty down the road.

Your facial plastic surgeon will advise you on when it’s safe to start wearing glasses again. In the meantime, switch to contacts, if you can. If you can’t, wear the lightest possible frames, and only wear them when you absolutely need to. Our staff will give you the splint that was on your nose following surgery. This can be placed on the nose below any glasses if it is necessary to wear them.

11. Stay Out of the Sun

It’s always a good idea to protect your skin from getting too much sun exposure, but this is especially important after a nose job. Not only is your nose more prone to sunburn in the weeks and months following the procedure, but too much sun can also cause any scarring you have to darken and swelling to increase.

12. Don’t Smoke

Both before and after surgery, it’s important that you don’t smoke and avoid secondhand smoke if possible. The nicotine in tobacco products limits blood flow, making it more difficult for your body to heal itself and interferes with your plastic surgery recovery.

13. Be Patient!

Above all, have patience. You will heal, and you will have the rhinoplasty results you want – it just takes time. Following the steps above won’t turn a year-long recovery process into a week-long one, but it will help speed things up and improve your post-surgery experience.

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