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The Rhinoplasty Recovery Process: Patient Information

By dustinheringer on October 31, 2016


A woman smilingThe team at Arizona Ocular and Facial Plastic Surgery has helped countless people in and around Scottsdale look their absolute best. Many patients come to us because of our reputation for patient-centered and excellent results. Many times the results are thanks to our pre-op and post-op instructions, which help patients healing quickly and free from complications.

With this in mind, we want to consider the recovery process for rhinoplasty (nose job). This should answer some common questions and give you realistic expectations about what to expect.

How Long Should I Take Off from Work?

For most patients, it's common to take about a week to 10 days off from work. This will give you time to heal sufficiently and for bruising and swelling to go down.

Keep in mind that just because you've returned to work doesn't mean you'll be able to do everything you used to at your job. At physically demanding jobs, you may want to avoid certain duties that involve heavy lifting in order to give your body necessary time to fully recover.

How Should I Sleep After Undergoing a Rhinoplasty?

After undergoing rhinoplasty, the ideal sleeping position tends to be on the back, but propped up by a few pillows. By keeping you head above the heart as you rest, you can actually improve the healing process and prevent complications. Avoid sleeping on your side or your stomach until advised otherwise.

What to Expect Immediately After Rhinoplasty

Immediately after a rhinoplasty is it not uncommon for people to experience grogginess and discomfort. This may be accompanied by dizziness or nausea, which are common symptoms of the general anesthetic wearing off.

Activities to Avoid After Rhinoplasty

After a rhinoplasty, patients should avoid the following activities:

  • Rubbing their nose
  • Blowing their nose
  • Heavy lifting
  • Strenuous physical activity
  • Sexual activity
  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcoholic beverages
  • Air travel
  • Using hot tubs or saunas

Some of these activities can be resumed by the end of two weeks, though your surgeon will provide additional timeframes as needed.

Walk to Promote Blood Circulation

While heavy exercise should be avoided for a while, light walking around the home is encouraged to promote blood flow and proper circulation. This can help patients avoid serious blood clots/deep vein thrombosis.

Pain and Discomfort After Surgery

Pain and soreness after any kind of surgery are commonplace. The pain is usually the worst in the first few days after surgery, steadily abating as each day passes. Recommended pain relievers can be taken to address these problems as they arise.

Bruising and Swelling After Surgery

Bruising and swelling are also common after surgery, often affecting the nose and the eyes. Cold compresses can be used to help manage the swelling, though the compress should not be pressed or in direct contact with the nose. Bruising will last roughly a week or so, with minor discoloration fading by the end of the month. Major swelling should go down by the end of a month, with some residual swelling present in the weeks afterward.

Attend Follow-up Visits as Scheduled

Follow-up visits are scheduled so surgeons can see how their patients are healing. Attend all of them as scheduled to ensure proper recovery. Do not hesitate to contact your surgeon between these additional visits if you have questions or concerns.

Learn More About Rhinoplasty

For more information about rhinoplasty and how it can help you look your very best, be sure to contact our facial rejuvenation and anti-aging practice today. The team at Arizona Ocular and Facial Plastic Surgery will work with you to help you achieve your aesthetic goals.

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