Rhinoplasty or a nose job is a common procedure that can fix aesthetic and functional issues. It can help improve the shape and size and the overall balance of your face. When it comes to rhinoplasty, the recovery process is a journey. You need time to recover from rhinoplasty and heal, so you can see the best results. The surgery involves planning some downtime and being ready for the rhinoplasty recovery process.
What is Rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty is a type of nose surgery. There are two main techniques in rhinoplasty: closed and open rhinoplasty. Rhinoplasty surgery can help correct bumps, shape, and size and relieve breathing problems in the nasal passage and fix a deviated septum. Depending on your desired results, your surgeon will advise the best technique.
Like all surgeries, rhinoplasty has some potential risks, including:
- Bruising and swelling
- Airway issues
- Temporary loss of smell and taste
- Inadequate straightening
- Nasal septal perforation
How Long is Rhinoplasty Recovery?
The recovery process after undergoing rhinoplasty takes time, and you should be patient to achieve the final product. It’s essential to understand the recovery and healing process after rhinoplasty surgery. That way, you can pencil in enough downtime, take any time off work and prepare yourself for a more comfortable recovery journey.
Rhinoplasty Recovery Week by Week
After your procedure, your surgeon will place a nasal splint on or inside your nose, which they will remove after a week. You will experience swelling, bruising, and discomfort after your surgery. This is entirely normal. You also will feel congested because of the swelling and may have a little difficulty breathing through your nose.
Stick to a soft food diet and sleep in an elevated head position in the first few days. Many patients return to work after 6 or 7 days. Although you want to rest and recover, it’s important to get moving after your surgery. A light walk around the garden or hallway is perfectly suitable.
The bruising and swelling will have improved in the second week after your surgery. You can resume normal daily activities and light exercise. The sutures will be coming out, and any nasal congestion should gradually improve.
By this time, your nose has almost fully healed. You will continue to see improvement in the swelling. You should be able to return to exercises like jogging and swimming. It’s good to wait until 6 weeks post-op to start weight training.
At six months post-op, you should be able to see the final result. There will be a significant improvement in swelling, and you can usually resume more heavy physical activity.
After one year, the healing process is complete, and you should be able to see your new nose. The swelling should be fully gone.
The initial recovery of rhinoplasty takes around 5 to 7 days. This is when you feel like it impacts your day-to-day life the most. Although the healing process takes up to one year, your face will look normal after three to four weeks, and you will feel comfortable going about your everyday life.
Rhinoplasty Recovery Tips: How To Optimise Your Rhinoplasty Recovery Time
The first few weeks following your rhinoplasty procedure are crucial as they will determine your results and how long the recovery time takes. With that in mind, it’s very important that you follow all your surgeon’s post-operative instructions.
Your recovery depends on the type of procedure done. For instance, open rhinoplasty recovery can take up to a year or longer, while closed rhinoplasty recovery tends to be slightly faster. Here are nine tips to follow as you recover from the procedure.
1. Follow All Your Surgeon’s Instructions
After any cosmetic procedure, the most important thing you can do is pay attention to everything your doctor tells you. You can read every online article about what to expect during the rhinoplasty recovery day by day. However, the best piece of advice regarding your rhinoplasty recovery timeline is the one that comes from your doctor. Your plastic surgeon knows your individual case and will give you specific recommendations.
2. Watch Out for Complications and Side Effects
After your nose surgery, you can expect slight bruising and redness around the surgical site and eyes. You may also experience soreness and slight discomfort. These should subside within two weeks following your procedure. However, if that doesn’t happen, consult your plastic surgeon. If the pain, discomfort, redness and bruising persist, it could be a sign of infection which needs addressing immediately.
3. Elevate Your Head
Following your procedure, you must keep your head elevated in an upright position. Doing that helps facilitate proper blood circulation while preventing further injury to the surgical site. So, for the first six weeks after your procedure, make sure you sleep in an upright position and avoid turning on your sides or back. Doing that can displace your nose, which only sets you back in your rhinoplasty recovery.
4. Use A Cold Press to Reduce Swelling
After your surgery, you will experience redness and swelling on the surgical site. Use a cold press for the next 2 to 3 days to reduce these. However, ensure that you don’t press the cold press directly to the surgical site, as this can displace the nose. Instead, apply the cold press to your cheeks. While at it, make sure that you don’t touch your nose altogether, as you can introduce germs to the site leading to an infection.
5. Eat A Healthy Diet
Like any surgical procedure, what you eat is crucial to your recovery. Whether you are recovering from a minor or major procedure, you want to maintain a healthy diet. Eat lots of nutritious foods rich in protein, calcium, vitamins C and D and anti-inflammatory properties to reduce swelling and enhance healing.
6. Don’t Blow Your Nose
Blowing your nose, especially during the initial rhinoplasty recovery stages, can undo all your surgeon’s work. So, for the first six weeks, avoid blowing the nose. After rhinoplasty surgery, you will experience a lot of congestion because of the blockage in your nasal cavity, which might make you want to blow your nose. Your surgeon might recommend using a saline-based nasal spray to clear the mucus build-up and congestion.
7. Avoid Wearing Glasses
As you are recovering, avoid wearing glasses of any kind, no matter how difficult that is. You want to avoid putting unnecessary pressure on your nose. If you have to wear prescription glasses, you might want to think about wearing contacts during your rhinoplasty recovery days. You also want to avoid wearing things like face masks or scratching the area, no matter how itchy it gets.
8. Limit Sun Exposure
You can support your rhinoplasty recovery time by limiting sun exposure to the surgical site. If you have to go outside, wear broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 35. You also want to make sure that you are wearing a cap. Stay away from the sun because UV rays damage existing collagen and slow down the production of new collagen. Sun exposure can also darken scars permanently. At the same time, exposing the surgical site to the sun can elevate blood pressure while worsening the feeling of nasal pressure and swelling.
9. Stay Cool
As you are recovering, staying cool will go a long way in speeding up your recovery, especially during the first 3 to 4 weeks. Because of this, your surgeon will advise you to stay away from intense activities like cardio during recovery. Avoid taking hot steaming showers, steam rooms, dry saunas and eating steaming bowls of food or soup. When you bathe, make sure you do that using lukewarm water and keep the faucet no higher than your neck level.
Rhinoplasty Recovery Q&A
How long will the inside of my nose be swollen after rhinoplasty?
After rhinoplasty, the swelling inside your nose may take 3 to 4 weeks to reduce. This is often unique to every patient, and the procedure since patients are different and the procedures conducted are different too. However, most of the swelling in the majority of cases subsides within the first month.
Is my nose still swollen 4 months after rhinoplasty?
By the 4th month, after undergoing rhinoplasty, 90% of all the swelling is often reduced, and most patients start seeing the nose taking the anticipated shape. However, specific areas of the nose, such as the tip and a bit of the bottom, often remain a little swollen. Although the recovery process may be a bit slow and frustrating, it is vital to remain patient throughout the process.
Is rhinoplasty hard to recover from?
With the right nose job aftercare, it is not hard to recover from rhinoplasty. Sometimes the hardest part of recovery is doing nothing and taking it easy to allow your body to heal. However, it is important to note that every patient’s recovery process differs. This is because surgical rhinoplasty is a complex procedure that involves the change of the bone, cartilage, or skin, which forms the upper structure of the nose. In addition, most patients are often able to resume their normal activities about 2 weeks post-surgery.
How long does it hurt after a nose job?
After a nose job, you may experience pain for the next 36 to 72 hours, after which the pain subsides. Sometimes, it may last longer, especially if you manipulate or bump your nose. However, as part of the recovery care, you may receive a prescription for pain medications to help reduce the pain. Although the pain may reduce, the tenderness and sensitivity of the nose may persist for up to 3 months.
What helps with nose job swelling?
There are various things that you can do to help with the swelling that results from a nose job, and they include;
- Listening to your surgeon on all matters about implementing nose job aftercare to prevent you from interrupting the healing process.
- Eating healthy equips the body with the nutrients it needs.
- Ensure you rest well and avoid intense activities, especially during the first few weeks.
- Stay hydrated and avoid caffeinated drinks.
How long should I take off for a nose job?
Recovering from rhinoplasty requires adequate time before resuming your normal daily routine. Therefore, you may take about 3 months based on the recovery procedure. Most patients take a couple of weeks off work during the recovery. Although your nose is still healing after this, most patients can usually work at this point, depending on the level of activity their job requires. During this period, you should ensure that you take care of yourself to reduce the swelling and any pain that may be present.
Rhinoplasty at The Harley Clinic, London
At first glance, rhinoplasty might seem like an extensive procedure. While the recovery can last up to 6 weeks, most people feel okay with returning to normal duties within the first two weeks.
To ensure that you are recovering well, follow all your surgeon’s post-operative instructions, like sleeping with your head elevated, limiting sunlight exposure, and avoiding blowing your nose. Planning for your downtime before the procedure will make the recovery much easier.