What To Expect After A Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty recovery time might vary from patient to patient. We have noted down some of the common scenarios that you may expect after your Rhinoplasty procedure.

Pain or discomfort: There will be a possibility of mild to moderate amount of pain after the surgery. Doctors recommend some pain killers to control the pain and the discomfort associated. It is important to inform the doctor beforehand if you are prone to allergy to any particular type of pain killers. The pain should subside within 3 days. If you continue having the pain, you must inform the doctor.

Bruising and swelling: Some amount of bruising and swelling is expected after the surgery. In normal cases, the bruising and swelling becomes more evident on the following day of the surgery. It is advised to rest in bed soon after the surgery by keeping the head elevated. This stops the swelling and bleeding. Swelling from the surgery will reduce more quickly on the bridge than on the nasal tip. It will take a year for the swelling to go down completely and you will get to see the final result of the surgery better.

Splint and Stitches: Doctor tapes a small splint on the nose after the surgery which helps to support and protect the new shape of the nose. Plastic splints are put inside the nose too. These will be kept for 7 days. Internal sutures will normally dissolve on their own. External sutures, which are not dissolvable, will be removed after 7 days at the time of splint removal.

Congestion: It is common to feel the nose congested after the surgery. The stuffiness most likely will be annoying. It is advised not to blow the nose at least for 7 days even if you have the irritation. While sneezing, open your mouth to sneeze which will reduce the disturbance within the nose. Do not take a decongestant without being prescribed by the doctor. Certain decongestants contain chemicals which could cause bleeding. Things will be better once the internal splints are removed after a week.

Discoloration: To avoid the permanent discoloration of the nose, use sunscreen when you are going outside. This should be continued for minimum 6 months. Some temporary black-and-blue discoloration can occur on your eyelids for 2-3 weeks after the surgery. This is because most swelling occurs around the eye. Some bruising may be on the cheeks too which can discolor the cheeks as well.

Bleeding and drainage of Mucus: Slight bleeding and drainage of mucus are common for few days post the surgery. Due to internal splints, the mucus are produced more than normal. This will become normal once the splints come off in 7 days. During this time doctor may put a ‘nasal drip pad’ under the nostrils to collect any blood that may drip from the nose. Change the pads as instructed by the doctor. Avoid pressing it tight against the nose. In the first 24-48 hours, the dressing can be required to change 10-20 times. This is quite normal, thus don’t get too worried.

Numbness and Nausea: Nasal surgery causes temporary disruption of certain nerves in the affected area. This cause a temporary numbness around the nose and mouth. Sensation will return over few weeks. Sometimes it might take few months to return to normalcy. The disruption of the nerves also creates temporary changes in the sense of taste and smell. A nauseating feeling is common post the surgery especially for patients who were under general anesthesia during the surgery. Prescription medicines can help control this.

Temperature: Having high fever is not normal after a Rhinoplasty. However, if you do, then you should immediately report this to the surgeon. This could mean a possibility of infections which can be treated with antibiotics.

Some precautionary measures one should take before and after the surgery:

  • Avoid smoking for 2 weeks before and after the surgery as smoking can reduce bloody supply thereby increasing the risk of infection and prolonging the recovery process.
  • It is important to sleep on your back for few weeks to avoid any impact on the nose.
  • It is important to be careful to avoid any accidents that could hurt the nose. Do not bump or squeeze the nose.
  • Avoid any vigorous exercises like weight lifting, aerobics and jogging for minimum 3 weeks.
  • Take baths instead of showers as long as the bandages are in place. Do not wet the bandages.
  • To avoid constipation which can put pressure on the nose, include high fiber fruits and vegetables in your diet.
  • Be gentle while brushing your teeth to avoid any pressure in the mouth.
  • Avoid wearing glasses or sunglasses for around 4 weeks to prevent any pressure on the nose. Alternatively, you may use contact lenses during this time.
  • It is better to take around 10 days to get back to work.