To achieve the ideal result and to prevent problems, it is important to follow the recommendations and postoperative care that your surgeon recommends. In this article, we are going to tell you some tips on the process of recovery after the nose job.
The duration of recovery after rhinoplasty varies from patient to patient. After a nose job, a splint will be placed on your nose for a week, and by that time most of the swelling will begin to decrease and disappear. Although nasal swelling takes about a year or more to completely subside, most patients can return to work within a week. By this time, the bruises have largely or completely disappeared and the swelling has diminished to the point where the nose looks normal.
To achieve optimal results in rhinoplasty, the healing process of wound and tissue should proceed appropriately. Without proper care by the surgeon and the patient, a desirable outcome will not be achieved.
In the early hours after surgery, you may experience partial bleeding in the form of bloody discharge on the wound covering or bandage, which is quite normal and has no worries at all. You can wipe your face with a damp paper towel or get help from someone to do that. Sometimes in the first few hours after waking up, you may feel a sore throat that may be due to the residual effect of placing the endotracheal tube (ET) during anesthesia.
In some patients, bruising around the nose may be more pronounced due to the extent of surgical operations in the nasal bone. Sometimes you may have red eyes as a result of the broken blood vessels in your eyes. None of these events are effective on the final result of the rhinoplasty and are temporary. Sometimes on the first and second days, the swelling gets more severe and reaches its peak on the third day, but it is not worrying at all.
In the first twenty-four hours after surgery, you should put an ice bag on your eyes to reduce swelling around the eyes. The simplest way is to use two small freezer bags each containing three pieces of ice. Tie the bags together and place them on your eyes. The process should be repeated when the ice melts.
Most patients do not have significant pain after rhinoplasty. Occasionally due to intranasal dressing, there is a slight sensation of pain and pressure in the face and forehead area that is resolved with simple analgesics such as acetaminophen.
Before and after surgery, painkillers such as aspirin or ibuprofen should be avoided, as they reduce blood coagulation and increase the risk of post-operative bleeding.
In the cases the surgeon puts a dressing into the nostrils, it will be removed one to six days (usually two days) after the surgery. At the end of the surgery, a mold made from a lightweight polymer will be placed on your nose too. The surgeon removes this mold called splint from the nose, somewhere between the fourth and eighth days (usually the sixth day). During this time, the patient should avoid having nasal trauma. Before removing mold from the nose, it is best to bathe thoroughly and wash your head and face to loosen the adhesions and make removing the mold more easily.
In open rhinoplasty, there is a small incision in the columella between the nostrils and some additional incision inside the nose (Columella), that the stitches are removed by the surgeon between the fourth and eighth days. The incisions in closed rhinoplasty are in the interior of the nose and the sutures are dissolvable. The alar incision is only required in some people who need the nasal wing reduction and their sutures are removed at the same time as other sutures.
Often, in cases where septoplasty is performed simultaneously with rhinoplasty, silicone plates are temporarily inserted on both sides of the nasal septum to prevent adhesion and retraction of the nasal septum. The surgeon removes these plates from the nose between the first and third weeks.
Up to two weeks after surgery, the nose pressure to drain discharges should be avoided. In some patients, the upper lip may be so numb in the first weeks after the nose job that it gradually disappears within a few months.
Breathing may become difficult within a few weeks after surgery, as the nasal secretions decrease and even dry. To alleviate this problem, the patient can pour a solution of normal saline into the nose several times a day, using a 20-cc syringe to soften the nasal discharge to be extracted through the nose, throat, and mouth.
The color change that occurs around the nose and under the eyes is a common complication among all those who experience the rhinoplasty. These bruises develop as a result of blood leaking from the capillaries on the subcutaneous tissue.
After rhinoplasty, bruises occur in different shapes, sizes, and colors. The changes in skin color vary from pale yellow to dark purple. The degree of bruising after rhinoplasty often depends on whether the nasal bone has been broken in part of the surgery or left intact. The improvement of this complication in the skin is of no concern as it gradually disappears within 1 to 2 weeks.
Many patients feel that they have a cold after the operation. This feeling is due to the surgical effects on the nasal membrane. These changes cause the patient to get the stuffy nose or feel irritation in it. The condition is controlled by anti-allergic medications and mild painkillers and may disappear within two weeks after surgery on its own.
Driving after nose surgery is largely dependent on the extent of your postoperative recovery and balance following general anesthesia. Also, the amount of swelling your face has after surgery can have a great impact on your vision while driving. It is generally best to avoid driving for 10 days after the surgery.
During the first few days after the surgery, you should take care to prevent any injury to the nose. For example, you should sleep supine and use buttoned or zippered clothing to prevent a hit to the nose when wearing and removing them. When sleeping, it is best to place the upper body above the legs to create less swelling in the face. You can create a gradient of about 20 degrees by placing pillows under the mattress. Sitting or standing on the first day is not only an obstacle but also better than lying down, because the vertical position helps reduce swelling.
In the first week after the nose job, sneezing or coughing with closed mouth, frequent and deep laughter as well as crying should be avoided. The teeth can be brushed using a soft toothbrush, provided the upper lip is not tampered with.
It is okay to wash your face or bathe if the dressing on the nose does not get wet. The patient should refrain from wearing sunglasses or corrective glasses for one month. If the glasses are attached to the forehead using anti-allergic glue, the glasses can be worn from the first day. Wearing eye contact lenses is okay since the day after rhinoplasty. Applying cosmetics on the face is also okay.
A week off is usually sufficient to perform the operation and passing the postoperative recovery period. This time can be extended depending on the patient’s condition and desire. Going on a trip is permitted after three days.
In the first weeks after rhinoplasty, you should avoid strenuous physical activity and heavy exercises, especially those that cause your face to be inflamed and swollen. However, you can return to light exercises such as cycling and long-term running after about 2 weeks.
Swimming should be avoided for up to one month after rhinoplasty. Sunbathing and sauna baths are generally prohibited for two months and diving for three months after surgery. You should avoid martial arts or other sports that are likely to hit the nose like volleyball for longer.
In terms of nutrition, you should avoid foods that require long chewing, such as steak, kebabs, sandwiches, and the like in the first few weeks. It is also necessary to avoid salted or spicy foods during this period. In the first few days after surgery, meat and other nutrients should first be softened in the mixer to require less chewing. Also these days, you should avoid hot tea and coffee. Drinking enough fluids, such as juice and soup, will help relieve dry mouth.
In the first months after surgery, nasal skin may be oily and even you may have acne, especially if you are susceptible, due to using tapes on the nose after rhinoplasty. In such cases, your doctor will prescribe the appropriate medication. For this reason, today with the introduction of new methods that strengthen the supporting structures of the nose from the inside, taping on the nose after a few weeks is not only beneficial but also has a negative effect on beauty by inflaming the skin.
In the first few days after the nose job, a mild depression sometimes develops. Preoperative anxiety, swelling and bruising of the face and eyes, a new form of the nose, and changes that the patient is seeing for the first time, and maybe unexpected, are the causes of this fleeting depression. Occasionally, the patient’s companions give a wrong, superficial look to the patients with successive, non-specialized comments, raising their concern and depression. Seeing the final results of rhinoplasty takes time and you need to prepare yourself for these conditions before surgery.
Perhaps because of the effect of post rhinoplasty taping, some patients may think that their nose has gone too high, but once the taping is removed the nasal tip will gradually return to its normal position. About 70% of swelling and changes resolve within the first six weeks after surgery, 10% within ten months, 10% within twenty months, and the remaining swelling gradually subside within four to ten years. The tip of the nose is usually the last part where the swelling disappears.
Usually, in the first months after the nose job, there is still a lot of swelling at the tip of the nose, because the swelling of this part will subside later than other parts of the nose. Swelling, especially in the fleshy nose, requires more time to subside, so the nose will be temporarily enlarged during this time. Some people around the patient who may not be aware of the patient’s previous image may even think his/her nose has become larger than before surgery. Keep it in your mind that if the nose does not look larger with massive swelling, it will become an abnormal nose after the swelling subsides. It takes at least three years for the final comment on the outcome of the rhinoplasty.
In the first few weeks after surgery, the patient should refrain from sun exposure because sunlight may increase nasal swelling. Direct exposure to heating devices such as a stove should also be avoided.
Many patients observe their nose carefully a few weeks after surgery, while the nasal swelling has not completely subsided. This precise look, which focuses only on the nose and does not pay attention to the other facial organs, causes many natural asymmetries to be considered a flaw on one hand, and also the aesthetic and fit of the new nose with other facial components are ignored.
Repeated advice to dear patients is that they should not insist on reducing their nose size in rhinoplasty. In nose jobs, there are boundaries that if a surgeon crosses the red lines it can cause many complications for patients including many aesthetic and respiratory problems.
The beauty of the nose does not mean reducing its size, but it means that the different parts of the nose fit together and that the whole nose fits into different parts of the face. The purpose of rhinoplasty is to make the face look more beautiful, not to reduce the nose size. There are many noses that their smaller size has not only increased the beauty of the face but also diminished the former fit.
Nose reduction surgery is desirable until the nasal breathing function is not compromised. Shrinking nostrils and removing bone, cartilage, and skin can cause serious health problems due to limiting and affecting the nasal respiratory tract. The rhinoplasty surgeon can minimize the risk of respiratory complications by accurately assessing the condition of the nose before surgery, and anticipating many possibilities.
In rhinoplasty, the type of nasal tissue is a limiting factor. Noses with very thin or very thick skin are the most prominent examples of the effect of nasal tissue on the outcome. Rhinoplasty in such cases has some challenges. Only a qualified surgeon can overcome these tissue constraints by utilizing his art, knowledge, and experience and apply the best and most appropriate modifications to each case.
In general, it can be said that rhinoplasty is a very convenient surgery because it requires minimal postoperative care.