Rhinoplasty Recovery Time and What to Expect as You Heal

If you are considering nose surgery, you already know what a tremendous difference rhinoplasty can have on your appearance and self-esteem. However, it is still normal to be a bit apprehensive, especially about the post-surgical process. When you visit Arizona Ocular and Facial Plastic Surgery in Scottsdale, AZ, we can outline the normal rhinoplasty recovery time. Generally, noticeable healing will begin 10 to 14 days following surgery. Recovery should be largely concluded within a month or two. Dr. Dustin Heringer can brief you on all aspects of your recovery. He will also provide tips to make healing more comfortable and effective. When you follow his guidelines carefully, you could enjoy a low risk of complications and outstanding aesthetic results.

A doctor examines a woman's nose
Rhinoplasty can reveal dramatic results following a recovery period.

Preparing for Surgery Can Make the Recovery Process Easier

A successful rhinoplasty recovery begins long before the surgery itself. At your consultation, Dr. Heringer will provide instructions to help you prepare for the procedure. These may include:

  • Stop smoking at least two weeks beforehand. Nicotine impairs blood flow and may affect your ability to heal properly.
  • Stop taking aspirin, fish oil, vitamin E, and other blood-thinning medications and supplements.
  • Do not drink alcohol for several days before rhinoplasty.
  • Add in vitamin C and iron supplements.
  • Arrange for a ride to and from your surgery, as well as someone who can help with household tasks and childcare.
  • Stock up on soft but nutritious foods, healing bandages, and button-down clothes that you do not have to pull over your head.
  • Arrange for time off from work.

Your Rhinoplasty Recovery Timeline

The first day or two after your surgery will be the most challenging. You may experience several side effects, including swelling, bruising, nosebleeds, and headaches. Our care and proper medications can minimize discomfort as much as possible. During the initial recovery period, you should remain in bed with your head elevated. You will also need to wear a splint and gauze. Ice packs or cooling gel packs may also be helpful. Dr. Heringer will remove the splint approximately five days to a week following your surgery.

When you follow Dr. Heringer's guidelines carefully, you could enjoy a low risk of complications and outstanding aesthetic results.

Your initial discomfort should subside within a few days. Nonetheless, is important to get plenty of rest for approximately two weeks following your surgery. After the first week, you will be able to see the new shape of your nose, although swelling will still be present. You should continue to sleep with your head elevated, and you should avoid bending over during the first week. You may be able to go back to work after about eight days. However, you should make sure that you can take a full two weeks off, if needed. Typically, you can resume moderate exercise in approximately three weeks. Dr. Heringer can advise you on how to slowly increase your physical activity, according to your needs and specific recovery process.

About six weeks after your surgery, most swelling will be gone, and you should see a noticeable improvement in the shape and size of your nose. It is important to note that it may take up to a year for your nose to completely adjust. At the end of this period, you will have a final appointment with Dr. Heringer to assess the final results. You may choose to undergo revision if you are not happy with the look of your nose, but due to Dr. Heringer's skill and expertise, most of his patients are exceptionally pleased with the results of their rhinoplasty.

Steps for a Successful Recovery

Although your doctor and the techniques he uses are largely responsible for an easy healing period, you can also take measures to help the process go smoothly.

  • Keep all follow-up appointments with Dr. Heringer.
  • Take your medications as directed.
  • Eat a soft diet for a few days following your surgery. Vigorous chewing can cause discomfort and impact the way that your nose heals.
  • Do not blow your nose, especially for the first 48 hours after your rhinoplasty.
  • Even after you return to work, be careful and gentle. Do not exercise until instructed and be cautious when applying makeup.

Learn More about Rhinoplasty Recovery Time

To learn more about what is involved in rhinoplasty recovery and to find out how you can prep for surgery, contact our office online today. You can also reach us at (480) 949-5990.

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