Rhinoplasty Recovery: Everything You Need To Know

A rhinoplasty (nose job) can really reconstruct or change the shape of the nose. The nose is extremely complex because it not only balances out the rest of the face, but it also has to continue to be functional. Depending on what is being addressed during your own individual rhinoplasty will determine your recovery. Some rhinoplasties are more invasive than others and this is what determines the healing process. The more complex the change, means a prolonged recovery.

A rhinoplasty can address many issues ranging from a small change like a small bump or divot to improving an individual’s breathing and changing the shape of the nose at the same time. Here is everything you need to know about rhinoplasty recovery.

Following Rhinoplasty Surgery

Our rhinoplasty surgeries are performed in the operating room while the patient is asleep. Once the surgery is complete and the patient has recovered, they will likely find a cast on the nose. When an open approach is done, there is a small incision under the base of the nose with a few stitches in it.

During the rhinoplasty recovery process, most individuals experience tenderness, swelling, and bruising with the nose for a period of time after surgery. The first few weeks following surgery, the patient’s nose may appear larger than before surgery. This is completely normal and is due to swelling. Patients should expect their nose to heal and can fluctuate in swelling for at least a year following their rhinoplasty surgery. However, after a few months most swelling subsides, and patients have an idea of what the nose is shaping up to look like.

After the first week, the patient is scheduled to come into the office to remove any stitches, splints, or casts that they have. Patients can expect to have a few follow ups over the next year to ensure everything is healing properly and there are no concerns. We recommend that patients sleep with their head elevated as much as possible, this helps reduce swelling. Other ways to minimize swelling include limiting sodium intake and sun exposure. As far as pain goes, it varies from patient to patient and just depends on how invasive each surgery is. For the most part, patients feel like the pain is extremely tolerable, but typically take pain medication the first 5-7 days to help with the discomfort.

Rhinoplasty Recovery Supplies

We recommend having a few things on hand to be prepared and make recovery easier. These items include:

  • Gauze
  • Medical Tape
  • Nasal Saline Spray (non-medicated)
  • Antibiotic Ointment
  • Humidifier
  • Broad Spectrum SPF

Rhinoplasty Restrictions

There are a few restrictions after rhinoplasty surgery that patients need to follow for 2-3 weeks. These things are very important to follow to ensure your recovery goes as smooth as possible and there are no complications. It takes a full 6 weeks for the nasal bones to fully heal.

  • Bathing instead of showering for 1 week until cast is removed
  • No strenuous activities
  • No lifting heavy objects (nothing over 10 lbs. for the first 2 weeks)
  • No jogging or running or any type of activity that will increase blood pressure
  • Limited sun exposure and use of SPF diligently for 1 year
  • Eating and brushing teeth gently while incisions are healing
  • No blowing the nose for the 1-2 weeks to avoid causing a bleed

Recovery can be different for each patient and it is best to follow up with your rhinoplasty surgeon if you have questions or concerns while you are recovering.

Further Reading on Rhinoplasty

To learn more about rhinoplasty, rhinoplasty revision, or septoplasty surgery near Layton, Salt Lake City, or Draper Utah schedule a rhinoplasty consultation or call Utah Facial Plastics at 801-776-2220.

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