As we mentioned in our earlier article titled Facts About Rhinoplasty, there are two general techniques for making the incisions.
- Open Rhinoplasty
The incisions are made outside the nose with a small access incision on the underside of the nose between the nostrils that then connects with other incisions hidden inside the nose.
This technique fully opens the nose, providing better visualization of the nasal structures; when it heals the small scar at the base of the nose is visible.
- Endonasal Rhinoplasty
The incisions are made inside the nasal passages, so they are invisible after surgery.
Immediately after Rhinoplasty
After surgery you may be asked to wear a nasal splint to protect your nose while you sleep and shield it from accidental bumps. Nasal packing will be placed inside your nose for additional support; it is an internal splint to keep everything in place and to keep the airway clean. Some surgeons insert a small tube in each airway to allow the patient to breathe more freely when the packing is in place. Expect some swelling and bruising and possibly some discomfort. Your face will be puffy, and the areas around your nose and eyes will be bruised and swollen after surgery. Your surgeon may recommend cold compresses to help minimize the swelling and reduce pain. You may need to keep your head elevated and relatively still for the first few days after surgery. Your doctor may prescribe a pain medication to deal with any pain you may experience. You will have to limit your activities for a few days to weeks.
Recovery time frame after Rhinoplasty
Detailed instructions about the normal symptoms you will experience and any potential signs of complications is provided by your doctor. The amount of time needing for recovery varies greatly among individuals. Exercise or athletics will be done after several weeks.
The first two weeks
All surgical packing within your nose will be removed within 4 – 7 days after surgery, a week to ten days for the splint and bandages on your nose. Most of the swelling and bruising improves after about 10 – 14 days. Your return to work or school depends on how much exertion your job or your school activities require. Most normal activities and exercise can usually be restarted within three weeks. You should avoid strenuous exercise, straining, bending, and lifting until having permission from your plastic surgeon.
After the first two weeks
Minor swelling of your nose may persist for up to a year but most likely will not be noticeable to others. You can expose your reshaped nose to direct sunlight after a few months, and wear glasses after a number of weeks without special support, such as tape, if the bones in your nose were altered.
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