Nose Surgery (rhinoplasty) is a practical and complex surgical procedure that allows you to quickly return to your daily routine. Patients usually feel slight pain and ache after rhinoplasty. Some patients only complain of nasal congestion, swelling, and facial bruising caused by swollen facial and nasal tissues. Rhinoplasty is a safe and very popular surgery that can transform your facial aesthetics and eliminate breathing problems.
As with most surgeries, the recovery process after rhinoplasty varies from person to person. The first recovery process is usually completed within one week. This period helps you not to be too late from work or school. Sleep with your head high, apply ice to your nose and watch a lot of your favorite TV shows. At the end of the first week (sometimes at the end of the second week), patients generally report being satisfied with the results. We have compiled what you need to know about the recovery period after rhinoplasty for the average patient.
The healing process begins when you are taken to the recovery room after the surgery. You may not remember this process immediately after the surgery due to the effect of anesthesia.
At this stage, you may have a splint on your nose and a tampon inside. In cases where a tampon is needed, a special pad is attached under your nostrils to collect the small amount of bleeding that may occur on the first night after the surgery. It is normal to feel sinus congestion and a slight pressure around your nose. Then, when the effect of the pain medication given for the operation wears off, you can use the painkillers recommended by your doctor at home if you need them. You can make an ice compress to reduce swelling and relieve pressure.
It is essential to regularly clean the small incision in your nose with oxygenated water when your doctor recommends it. You may be advised to use an ointment to prevent crust formation under your nostrils. You can eat something if you want. Mild fatigue from surgery is typical for this reason, water, food, etc. We recommend bringing a friend along if you need anything. Your support will prevent you from falling or hitting your nose.
These two days can be a little difficult but usually not painful (most patients define the pain level as 3-4 out of 10. Be sure to use your medications to relieve the pain). You may feel nauseous. Breathing through your mouth can make it difficult to sleep. Nasal washing with salt water can make you feel better.
Sleep with two large pillows to minimize swelling. This also helps reduce bruising and limits bleeding.
You can return to light activities after the first day. Don't bend over, don't sniffle, and try not to lift anything over 2 kilograms. Do not use aspirin and ibuprofen.
If you have a tampon in your nose, you should visit your surgeon on the 2nd day to have the tampon removed.
Fear not; from this point on, things will only get better!
During these times, you will feel your splint loosening. Your splint will most likely be removed, along with your stitches, by the end of the first week.
At this stage, you can see the basic structure of your new nose. The swelling will continue. However, the swellings are usually symmetrical. For this reason, you can visualize the final shape of your nose even at this early stage.
You can go back to work (or school). However, it would help if you did not lift heavy and avoid strenuous activities. However, in some cases, patients may be asked to take two weeks off for recovery. To prevent sunburn, you should avoid the sun for at least two months or wear a hat.
By the middle of the second week—10 days after rhinoplasty—the bruises usually decrease significantly. Usually, one week or less after this, swelling and bruising become almost unnoticeable. If you are one of the patients recommended to take two weeks’ leave, you can return to work or school on the 14th day.
Surgeons usually allow patients to return to their regular exercise and activity level at the end of the 3rd week.
It would help if you waited at least one more month for contact sports or very heavy exercises. If you wear a protective mask, you can return to sports earlier. Follow your surgeon's recommendations throughout the entire healing process.
Most of the swelling will be gone by this time. However, it will take longer for the swelling at the tip of the nose to go away. As the days pass, you will notice that your nose is getting more elegant.
Your Healing Process Is Almost Complete!
You will start to look better every day. The swelling in the bridge of the nose is usually completely gone by this time. The tip of your new nose may still be somewhat numb. But the feeling at the tip of the nose will return to normal more and more every day. If you have had open rhinoplasty, your scar will continue to fade.
Twelve months after your rhinoplasty operation, all (or almost all) of the swelling in your nose will be gone. Your surgical scar (if any) will be almost completely obscured.
Your surgeon should examine you to evaluate your surgery result and control of scar tissue at this stage.
Ask questions: Call your surgeon if anything worries you between your follow-up visits or if you have questions about nasal care. Contact your surgeon if you bump your nose, have new bleeding, or notice excessive swelling after day 3. Communicating with your surgeon will also make you more comfortable during the healing process.
Avoid excessive activity: If you do not follow post-operative instructions, such as not bending over, not lifting anything heavy, and not exercising to the degree that raises your blood pressure, you are at higher risk of experiencing postoperative complications. Such activities can cause bleeding. Walking at home is recommended to keep circulation regular. But it would help if you didn’t even do moderate-intensity exercise until your surgeon allows it. You will likely need to avoid strenuous activity for six weeks or longer. If you forget to keep your head elevated while sleeping, swelling may increase. Your surgeon may recommend that you avoid salty foods so that the swelling dissipates as quickly as possible.
Get help from your friends: A friend or family member should support you in getting you home from the hospital after surgery. It should also stay with you for 24-48 hours after the operation. You must not remove anything or anyone. For this reason, it may be good to arrange a sitter for your child or pet for 1-2 weeks.
Avoid bumping your nose: Small children or pets can accidentally bump into your healing nose. So be very careful when holding them or when they are on your lap. You do not want your surgery results to deteriorate or your healing process to be prolonged because of such a thing. If you wear prescription glasses or sunglasses, your glasses should not stay on the bridge of your nose until your surgeon allows them.
Watch out for infection: If you develop a fever, nausea, or notice excessive skin redness or discharge from your nose, contact your surgeon immediately. These could be signs of infection. No matter how qualified your surgeon is, your responsibility is to keep the area clean to prevent post-operative infection.
Arnica and Bromelain: These food supplements can help against swelling and bruising. Ask your surgeon for their opinion of these supplements and when to use them before/after the operation.
Accept compliments: Someone who doesn't know you've had rhinoplasty may notice a change in you but may not fully understand what the difference is. After the operation performed by a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon, your nose looks natural and more compatible with your face.
Enjoy your new look: Rhinoplasty operations performed by a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon generally increase self-confidence. You don't have to avoid taking pictures as it will be more compatible with your face. Most people feel more photogenic after a successful rhinoplasty.