Of all the facial plastic surgery procedures available, the most popular is rhinoplasty. Your nose is a prominent — and therefore, important — feature on your face.
Many people wish to correct a nose that’s too wide, long, crooked, bulbous, humped, or out of balance with the face. But they may hold off on rhinoplasty because of fear or uncertainty about the recovery. If this is you, here’s what you should know about the days, weeks, and months after a rhinoplasty.
The first days after surgery
As with any surgical procedure, you will experience some swelling, bruising, and pain in the first couple of days after your procedure. Pain is not severe and should be manageable with medications. This should be a time for healing and rest at home. You’ll have a cast or splint on your nose for five to 10 days, depending on what your surgeon recommends. You may be able to go back to work within just a few days.
With rhinoplasty, there is a lot of variation in how the procedure is done. Whether it’s done open or closed and if the surgery involved your bones or the tip can have an impact on how quickly you’ll recover and how much bruising you’ll have. You’ll want to keep your head elevated and may want to use ice packs for swelling during this initial period.
A few weeks after surgery
You’ll continue to have some swelling in the weeks after surgery, and this is normal. This will be more noticeable to you than to others. By about four months, the vast majority of the swelling should be resolved and people won’t be able to tell you had surgery.
Your surgeon may advise you to wear special tape on the nose. This can help with swelling and proper healing. You may also have some nasal congestion. If this bothers you, your surgeon can recommend a sleep aid for night time, as well as gentle saline mist and using a humidifier.
You’ll need to be diligent about sun protection for your nose and face. Wearing a hat is a good idea in addition to liberal application of sunscreen. This will help you avoid skin discoloration during healing.
One year after surgery
For most patients, the new nose has taken on its beautiful shape at the one year mark. Does this mean it takes a full year for you to look great? No. It simply means that this is the time when you’ll be able to see your complete, final result. In the months prior, you’ll still be able to go out, get photos taken, and carry on with life. It simply takes time for your nose to fully heal.
This is an overview of what life is like for most rhinoplasty patients post-surgery. For more details, consider talking with a qualified plastic surgeon who is experienced in nose procedures. Then, you can get customized information to help you decide if and when rhinoplasty might be right for you. We encourage you to request a consultation with Monarch Plastic Surgery, or call us today at (913) 663-3838 for our Lansing, Leawood, and Lee’s Summit offices, or at (816) 436-3262 for our North Kansas City location to learn more about your options for plastic surgery.