If you have made the decision to undergo rhinoplasty surgery you have probably already talked to more than one surgeon. You may have perused blogs and other websites to see what you should be expecting from the surgery. You may even have watched some videos online of rhinoplasty surgeries. But do you know what to expect from recovery?
About rhinoplasty recovery
WebMD and many surgeons will tell you that the entire recovery process can take several weeks. First of all, you will need to go back to see your surgeon at least twice post-surgery. One or two weeks after your surgery, your surgeon will remove your splints and tape from your nose, depending on your recovery. Four weeks after the surgery you may also need to go back to the surgeon so they can assess your swelling and bruising to ensure healing is taking a natural course.
The first few days of recovery will likely be painful. Expect to see bruising under and around your eyes and swelling in your nose. Your face may also feel puffy and swollen. Cold compresses can help with the swelling and bruising, but the best treatment is to lie still and relax. You won’t want to move your head very much in this time, and when you sleep, you should keep your head elevated above your heart.
On average, bruising and swelling should decrease over the next ten to fourteen days. Talk to your doctor about when it will be okay for you to return to work and when it will be all right for you to do strenuous activities again.
Every patient is different, and so every surgery is different. Keep in close contact with your doctor post-surgery. Some people never go back for more than the absolute necessary checkups, but remember that getting checked out by your surgeon regularly during the recovery process and on a periodic basis afterward will ensure that nothing has gone wrong and that your nose continues to look and feel the way you want and need it to.
Sometimes it helps to read about what other rhinoplasty patients have gone through. Thanks to the internet, you can easily find blogs of many patients who have posted pictures and told their stories. You can get a bit of humour and a lot of perspective when you read the stories those actual patients like you have written.
One blogger recounts waking up in a panic, feeling like she was unable to breathe, but then being calmed by the surgeon and nurses. Her initial panic was brought on by the discomfort from the surgeon packing her nose with the surgical packing post-surgery. She also relates that attempting to drink a ginger ale resulted in bubbles traveling up her nasal passage and bothering the back of her nose.
Some bloggers post pictures, while others just tell their tales. The aforementioned rhinoplasty patient posted several pictures, including what she saw the day after surgery: major swelling. Your doctor should warn you that you’ll experience more swelling in the day or two after surgery than on the actual day of the procedure, but sometimes it is hard to really visualise what that will look like.
By reading through personal accounts of surgeries, you will get some perspective on what your doctor has warned you about. By staying in touch with your surgeon after your procedure you will be sure to know that everything is healing as it should be. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and do research. Reading anecdotes of people who have gone through the same procedure you have signed up for will help put your mind at ease. Remember, the recovery period is temporary, but your new nose could give you confidence for a lifetime.
If you have questions about rhinoplasty contact your local doctor, who will arrange for you to see a rhinoplasty specialist.