What to expect after rhinoplasty
Rhinoplasty can strikingly, yet delicately, alter the appearance of the nose and refine its relationship to the rest of your facial features. If you are one of the millions of Americans who have decided to undergo a rhinoplasty procedure, learning about the recovery process can help you understand how to best manage your healing and protect one of your most distinctive traits.
What to Expect after Rhinoplasty with Dr. Furze
Just as every nose is unique, no two rhinoplasties are exactly alike. While the recovery timeframe can vary from person to person, there are some typical healing milestones:
- Weeks 1-2: For the initial days, you will experience bruising and swelling. You will feel congested and may require medication for pain management. You can expect to return to most of your regular activities within 7-10 days. Please keep your nose out of harm’s way and do not put any excessive pressure on the nose.
- Weeks 2-4: Major bruising will be gone, swelling and discoloration will continue to fade. After about a month, any obvious traces of your surgery should not be visible.
- After Week 4: You will begin to see the initial results of your surgery. However, your nose will still continue to subtly heal. It is important to note that it will take months for your nose to fully settle into its new form. Be patient as your nose takes shape.
- After Month 3: Most of the swelling will have subsided and you will see start seeing some definition to your nose.
- Months 9-12: The nose will fully stabilize and you will be able to see the final results.
Helpful Hints to Speed Up Your Recovery
It is important to follow your personalized post-operative instructions. Whatever your instructions, there are a few basics DOs and DON’Ts that are part of any recuperation plan.
- Eat well and drink plenty of liquids. Stock up on fruits and vegetables and have plenty of water at your disposal. After any surgery, the body’s resources will be depleted as it kicks into healing mode. To give your body a boost, make sure you fuel up on nutrient-rich foods and stay hydrated with a steady supply of water – both before and after your surgery.
- Relax for week. It is best to schedule your surgery around a holiday or take time off. The aim is to keep stress levels low and give your body all the space it needs to recover.
- Protect your skin from direct sun exposure. The healing skin on your nose will be especially susceptible to the harmful effects of the sun’s rays. To minimize the risk of permanent discoloration from tanning or burning, stay out of the sun and tanning salons for at least 8 weeks after your rhinoplasty.
- Sleep in a comfortable position. Sleeping with the head slightly elevated will help reduce swelling and ease your ability to get adequate rest.
- Don’t smoke or use any nicotine products. Patients who currently smoke or use tobacco or nicotine products (patch, gum, or nasal spray) are at a greater risk for significant surgical complications of skin dying, delayed healing and additional scarring. Plan to quit at least 4 weeks before and after your rhinoplasty. Better yet, use your surgery as incentive to kick the habit altogether. Individuals exposed to secondhand smoke are also at potential risk for similar complications attributable to nicotine exposure. Additionally, smoking may have a significant negative effect on anesthesia and recovery from anesthesia, with coughing and possibly increased bleeding. Individuals who are not exposed to tobacco smoke or nicotine-containing products have a significantly lower risk of this type of complication.
- Don’t overexert yourself. To facilitate healing, you should avoid strenuous activities for 2 weeks following your surgery.
- Don’t participate in certain sports. Contact sports, swimming, and other activities that can expose your nose to injury or put an extraneous burden on breathing should be discontinued until you are advised otherwise.
- Don’t sleep on your stomach. Sleeping facedown can increase the risk of placing undue pressure on your nose.
- Make sure you let Dr. Furze know what current medications and herbal dietary supplements you are taking. There are potential adverse reactions that may occur during surgery as the result of taking over-the-counter, herbal, and/or prescription medications. Aspirin and medications that contain aspirin interfere with clotting and can cause more bleeding. These include non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as Motrin, Advil, and Aleve. It is very important not to stop drugs that interfere with platelets, such as blood thinners. Please notify the physician that put you on any medications to make sure its ok to stop the medications before surgery. Notify your doctor at least 2 weeks before surgery in case you need to be put on a different medication before surgery.
- Travel Plans? Please let Dr. Furze know of any travel plans, important commitments already scheduled or planned, or time demands that are important to you, so that appropriate timing of surgery can occur.
- Body-Piercing? Individuals who currently wear body-piercing jewelry in the surgical region are advised that an infection could develop from this activity.
- Are you on birth control or estrogen supplements? It is important to let Dr. Furze know if you use birth control pills, estrogen replacement, or if you suspect you may be pregnant.
Your Consultation with Dr. Furze in Orange County
A specialist in facial and plastic reconstructive surgery, Dr. Furze regularly performs rhinoplasty at his Orange County practice. If you would like to learn more about what rhinoplasty can do for you, contact his office to schedule a consultation. Dr. Furze can guide you through all the steps of the procedure, from preparation to follow-up care.