Recovering from a nose job is not the most glamorous process. There will be swelling, mouth-breathing, painful absentminded itching and awkward sneezes. During your recovery, your nose will be more sensitive than usual, and it will be vital to take great care of it.
But, in the end, your new nose will be worth it — after a week or two, bruising and swelling will subside and you’ll be able to reveal your results to the world. To help you survive your recovery and make sure your nose heals as quickly as possible, we describe the best ways to ensure your post-rhinoplasty experience is as uneventful as possible.
Your plastic surgeon is your best recovery resource. Plastic surgery is as much art as as science, and most surgeons have slightly different recommendations based on their experience and techniques. Your surgeon can suggest ways to reduce swelling and bruising, keep scarring to a minimum and ease sensitivity. He or she will also be the one to advise you on pain management, infection prevention and what to do in the event of complications.
During your consultation, do not hesitate to ask your surgeon every question you can think of so that you are prepared and worry-free. The Dr. Andrews Plastic Surgery staff advises keeping your surgeon’s phone number in a conspicuous place, like added to your phone contacts or stuck on your refrigerator, so that you can get in touch with their office easily should anything arise.
During your first week or so after your rhinoplasty, you will likely have bandaging or splints in and around your nose that could partially block your nasal airways. Until these are removed, you’ll feel congested and may have difficulty breathing through your nose. This means you’ll possibly be breathing through your mouth, which, if you’ve ever had a bad head cold, you know can be extremely drying.
To help soothe the discomfort associated with this, it’s a good idea to stock up on chapstick or Vaseline for your lips, and keep plenty of water or other hydrating beverages handy to prevent your throat from drying out completely. You should also plan on eating soft, easy-to-chew foods during this time — breathing through your mouth while eating is much easier said than done.
Your nose will be more sensitive and injury-prone after your surgery. Minor movements or contact you might take for granted — itching or blowing your nose, drinking from a cup without a straw — may now result in a jolt of pain while your nose is still swollen or bruised. And, while bruising should fade within two weeks and initial hypersensitivity will subside in the first month, the delicate bones of the nose take longer to recover — sometimes up to six months — and are more prone to injury during this time.
In the weeks leading up to your surgery, be vigilant about every time your nose is bumped. Take stock of these situations and make sure to protect your nose from potential bump threats as it heals. Heed your surgeon’s instructions about when you can resume activities like exercising or contact sports and be extra careful around unpredictable pets or small children.
Although you’ll be able to see the majority of your results within four to six months, it can take a year or two for your nose to heal completely. You will continue to see small changes in scars, skin and shape for quite some time after your surgery. Since you’ll likely be looking at your nose on a daily basis, you may not notice these changes, but it’s vital to remember that they are happening and that your results could still change without proper care.
The Dr. Andrews Plastic Surgery team stresses the importance of wearing sunscreen or hats to reduce scarring and skin damage, and watching out for signs of infection or internal injury. It’s also fairly common to require revision surgery if something isn’t healing as expected — your surgeon can help you determine this around the one-year mark.
Your rhinoplasty recovery can be uneventful if you work with your plastic surgeon to make sure you are prepared and taking good care of yourself as you heal. Finding a surgical team that is prepared to comfortably guide you through the process can make all the difference. For our readers in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area, you can learn more about rhinoplasty and rhinoplasty recovery from the Dr. Andrews Plastic Surgery staff by visiting our website or calling 319-382-8230 today.