As with all cosmetic procedures, the recovery period following your rhinoplasty procedure is vital. The excitement to realize the final results is understandable.
You obviously want to have the best possible outcome from your nose job recovery. In order to help ensure that happens, there are some things that you can do to help speed up the healing process and to make your recovery less painful and more manageable.
Read on to learn what you can expect during your rhinoplasty recovery and the top 10 tips for minimizing your pain and maximizing your healing.
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How Long Does Rhinoplasty Recovery Take?
The short answer is a year. Before you panic, it is important to understand that one year is the benchmark for your recovery to be considered complete. That does not mean that you will be experiencing discomfort, swelling, or other symptoms for a full 12 months.
In fact, quite the opposite. Your nose job recovery will feel less intimidating when it is presented in smaller increments of time. Everyone’s experience will be different, but you can expect the process to follow this schedule on average.
- After 1 week: At this point, the splint is removed, and for most patients, bruising has subsided. In some cases, when bruising forms around the eyes, this can take another week. Your daily living tasks are generally considered safe to perform
- After 2 Weeks: You can expect to have minimal swelling at this stage of recovery, and any additional bruising, including your eyes, should be healed.
- After 1 month: At this point in your nose job recovery, you can expect to be able to safely participate in cardiovascular activities.
- After 6 Weeks: The bones in your nose have now stabilized. It is generally considered safe at this time to start blowing your nose and wearing glasses. You can also resume any resistance training.
- After 3-6 months: You can expect any tingling, numbness, or other sensations to have subsided and healed.
- After 1 Year: Congratulations! You’re healing is complete. Your new nose shape should be free of all swelling and looking well defined.
What Are the Most Common Side Effects After a Nose Job?
Typically, rhinoplasty procedures come with minimal risks, pain, and side effects. However, you may experience some symptoms that you weren’t expecting and may leave you feeling concerned about your nose job recovery.
Knowing what you can expect to experience will help put you at ease so you can focus on attention to the healing process.
These are the most common side effects of rhinoplasty:
- Pain – You will experience some discomfort following your procedure. This generally only lasts for a few days, and after that, it should be tolerable with over-the-counter pain medications.
- Bruising- Bruising is generally standard after most cosmetic procedures. You should see your bruising subside after a week or so. If you experience bruising under your eyes, you can expect that bruising to take a little longer to heal.
- Swelling- Swelling is unavoidable due to the nature of the procedure. Every patient will experience different levels and severity of swelling, but it generally only lasts for a few weeks.
- Bleeding- Not everyone will experience minor bleeding from their nose following a nose job. However, if you do, it should be minimal and should resolve itself after a few days.
- Numbness- Tingling sensations and numbness are common after any surgery that involves damaging nerves. It takes a while for nerves to heal and restore normal sensations. The most common area of numbness for rhinoplasty patients is around the upper lip. It can take months or longer for these sensations to subside.
- Congestion: You can expect to feel congested for a few weeks to even a few months after surgery. Your stuffy nose is caused by the internal swelling of your nasal tissue and passages.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is helpful to be aware of their normalcy and to monitor the longevity and severity of each one. If you have any concerns about any of these side effects, be sure to contact your physician.
How Can I Speed Up My Nose Job Recovery?
Now that you know what to expect after your procedure, it is time to discuss ways that you can help your nose heal safely and more quickly.
These tips can help you minimize discomfort, swelling and allow the bones and tissue to heal without interruption.
Here are 10 of the most effective healing strategies for recovering from a nose job:
Sleep With Your Head Elevated
If you are a side sleeper, this may be difficult to do. Sleeping on your back with your head elevated for the first six weeks after your surgery is one of the best ways to reduce inflammation and bruising. You can try propping yourself up with pillows or even sleeping in a recliner if possible.
You should also try and keep your head as still as possible when you sleep. Tucking pillows around the sides of your head can help keep you from moving around too much.
Lying flat, side sleeping, and excessive movement will make your swelling and bruising worse, can cause you to displace the bone settings in your nose, and unnecessarily increase your healing time.
Sodium increases both your blood pressure and fluid retention, causing an increase in your swelling and adding pressure around your nose. You should maintain a low-sodium diet for at least two weeks following your surgery to help aid in the reduction of swelling and to limit your discomfort.
Steam is Not Your Friend
There are a few ways that this tip comes into practice. Heat, in general, is to be avoided as much as possible for the first few weeks of recovery. Warmth encourages swelling of the tissue in and around your nose.
This includes showers, hot foods, saunas, etc. Instead, opt for taking a bath instead if possible. Try eating and drinking room-temperature foods and drinks during this time. You should also avoid spending too much time outside during hot and humid days.
Do Not Wear Glasses
Prescription glasses, sunglasses, all eyewear is off the table for the first six weeks post-op. For starters, the weight of your glasses may cause your nasal bones to shift. Wearing glasses improperly or too early in the healing process can also cause denting and impact the final result of your rhinoplasty.
If you must wear glasses, be sure to talk to your doctor about splints and modifications that will ensure you can wear them safely.
One of the best ways to speed up your nose job recovery is by staying hydrated. Drinking plenty of water aids your healing in so many ways.
Water helps to flush out toxins from your system, including residual anesthesia. When you are properly hydrated, vital nutrients and oxygen are delivered to the injured tissue to facilitate healing. Increasing your fluid intake can also lower your risk of a post-op infection.
Take Care of Your Throat
Your body is accustomed to breathing almost exclusively through your nose. However, while you recover from your rhinoplasty, you will be breathing through your mouth, at least for the first few days.
Prolonged mouth-breathing doesn’t only feel unnatural, but you may find that your throat is quickly feeling dry and sore. To help ease your throat, and minimize the discomfort during this time, set up a humidifier next to your recovery area, stock up on cough drops or lozenges, and sip on herbal teas with honey.
Avoid Alcohol and Smoking
Drinking alcohol can cause or increase bleeding following your surgery. Alcohol will also interfere with your prescription pain medication and antibiotics and can prolong your recovery time.
Smoking, both firsthand and secondhand, impacts your blood flow and constricts your blood vessels. Nicotine in any form should be avoided for at least the first month of your post-op recovery.
Do Not Blow Your Nose
Earlier, congestion was listed as a common side effect of rhinoplasty. It will be your first impulse to try and alleviate your congestion by blowing your nose.
As hard as it may seem, you must be diligent about avoiding blowing your nose as much as possible. Blowing your nose during the first six weeks of recovery can damage your nasal passages and prolong your healing process.
Talk to your doctor about using saline sprays to help facilitate nasal drainage without having to blow your nose.
While sneezing is a reflex and you can not necessarily “not sneeze,” there are a few things you can do to minimize sneezing. Sneezing poses the same risks as blowing your nose.
You should avoid eating peppery or spicy food. Pepper triggers the sneezing reflex, and spicy food will most certainly intensify your desire to blow your nose.
It is also a good idea to reduce your exposure to known allergens like dust, pet hair, or pollen. Anything that increases your chance of sneezing should be avoided for a minimum of one month.
When you do sneeze, try and sneeze from your mouth. It may take a few tries to manage it, but the time it saves you in recovery will be worth it.
Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
You mustn’t discount or alter any of the recommendations made by your physician. They are the expert in recovering from a nose job, and it is their job to help you heal safely and seamlessly.
This includes taking your prescriptions as directed, not skipping your antibiotics, or stopping them early. Regardless of how well you might feel, you should never resume an activity without the proper clearance from your surgeon.
Be sure to keep all of your post-op appointments and get the recommended amount of rest.
Be Patient During Your Rhinoplasty Recovery
Knowing what to expect and how to be proactive in your healing after surgery can significantly impact the success of your recovery.
Remember that these things take time. While you are eager to get back to regular daily life and to see the final results, make sure you take the time, you need to take care of yourself properly during this time. Trust the process. Be patient and kind to yourself and your body. Before you know it, your recovery will be complete!
How Can Beautifi Help?
The Beautifi team is always here to help when choosing a surgeon or financially planning for a cosmetic procedure. Learn how our process works or fill out an application to start your procedure journey!