Patients desiring repositioning or reshaping of the nose often come to me for rhinoplasty. Sometimes this surgery is needed to help with breathing issues. Other times, patients want to change their appearance by improving the symmetry and size of the nose. Recuperation is a real concern for anyone considering this surgical process. Although patients undergoing this surgery are having an operation, many people find rhinoplasty recovery less difficult than other types of plastic surgery.
* I like to prepare my patients by telling them to expect the first 48 hours after surgery to be the most difficult. During these initial days, people will feel the most pain. Many patients also feel very drowsy after the procedure. I prescribe pain medication to help my patients endure the discomfort of rhinoplasty recovery, although some patients have not needed this. After this initial period, most people feel comfortable switching to over-the-counter medication to control pain.
* Bruising and swelling are also common, especially during the first week after surgery. This swelling makes many people feel congested, which is normal. Sometimes, if breathing difficulty was a problem pre-surgery, the operation makes breathing noticeably easier.
* Another common issue is numbness at the tip of the nose. I always reassure my patients that this numbness is both typical and short-lived. This sensation disappears quickly after surgery.
* People usually wear a splint or a cast immediately after the procedure. Stitches and tubes may also be present immediately after the operation. For this reason, many people choose to take time off work. I schedule a post-op appointment with people about one week later to remove everything associated with the procedure.
Weeks two and three are typically much easier for patients in recovery. By this time, about 70 percent of the swelling is gone. After six weeks, about 85 percent of all swelling is history. Skin also becomes tighter by this time, which helps diminish any indication of having had the procedure at all.
Although rhinoplasty recovery can be challenging in the beginning, most of my patients sail through it without issues.