What to Expect After a Rhinoplasty

Plastic Surgeon & Medical Spa Serving Norman, Edmond, Oklahoma City & Nearby Central Oklahoma

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Posted: April 21, 2020
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Recovery from rhinoplasty is different for every patient. Yours will be influenced by your body’s natural healing ability, the type of nose surgery you have had performed, and how closely you follow pre and postoperative instructions. 

Preparing your body for rhinoplasty means:

  • No Tobacco. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor and cuts off the blood supply to your tissues. This causes thick scarring, increases risks for infection, and significantly slows the body’s healing response
  • No Blood Thinners. This includes alcohol, aspirin, and aspirin compounds
  • No Vitamins or Supplements. Vitamins and herbs such as Gingko Biloba can interfere with healing
  • No to Certain Medications. This may include hormone or birth control pills

Many herbs, supplements, and medications can cause excessive bleeding during surgery. 

Following these directions may also improve your healing time by reducing swelling and bruising.

To see fantastic Rhinoplasty results, check out our before and after photos.

Post-Surgical Recovery Time

Most nose reshaping procedures require a cast, splint, or taping to remain in place for up to 10 days. During this time, you can expect some swelling, bruising, and numbness. The extent of your bruising and swelling will depend on the exact procedure used. It is not uncommon for there to be excessive, bulbous swelling on the bridge and tip of the nose following surgery. Do not fear--this swelling will go down over time. 

In addition to swelling, bruising, and numbness, rhinoplasty may cause congestion and breathing problems for the first week. It is also extremely common to have trouble smiling for the first few weeks after surgery. Your smile will return to normal after the swelling subsides.

Emotional Recovery from Nose Surgery

For the first one to two weeks after rhinoplasty, you may experience post-operative depression. This is normal and should pass quickly. However, if you have a history of anxiety or depression and you do not notice a decrease in these emotions after several weeks, it is a good thing to mention during your follow-up visits.

Rhinoplasty Recovery

Moderate bleeding is normal for the first several days after rhinoplasty. Keep incisions dry and clean to avoid infection. Dryness in the nasal passages in also normal. Saline lubrication of nasal cavities can assist with this. Bacitracin ointment can be used during this time to combat infection, but if you notice an unpleasant odor, you should consult your surgeon as soon as possible. Though this is usually caused by the wound “crusting,” it could be a result of infection.

Keep your nose completely out of the sun for four to six weeks and use a sunscreen for the first six months after surgery whenever you are outdoors. Otherwise, your skin may become blotchy and red and/or burn much more easily.

Exercise Limits

For the first four weeks of recovery, you should avoid jogging, weight lifting, and similarly demanding activities. When you exercise, your heart rate increases, resulting in a blood pressure increase. When your blood pressure increases, blood clots that have formed to help the healing process can “pop off” and cause bleeding and swelling.

Swimming is also contraindicated during the healing process.

Light activity, such as walking, may begin a few days after surgery. Taking walks can help improve blood circulation and may assist in the healing process. It can also reduce swelling.

Do You Have Questions?

Do you have questions about rhinoplasty? Call Genesis Plastic Surgery & Medical Spa at 405-340-9949 or 405-310-6767 to schedule a virtual consultation today.

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