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Your doctor should set all of your recovery expectations and give you an idea of how long the recovery process will take. Every individual recovers differently when it comes to the time and the healing process. This guide is to give you a general understanding of what to expect post-surgery after Rhinoplasty surgery. Generally, the average recovery time is about two to three weeks. Keep in mind, that the time can vary from patient to patient depending on the extent of the surgery and other factors. The surgery takes between one and a few hours and you are usually allowed to go home the same day. Right after the surgery, you are placed in a recovery room until you awaken from the general anesthesia and then you may have someone take you home. Depending on how your body reacts to the anesthesia, you may have some nausea right after the procedure. You will feel discomfort, stuffiness, tired and tenderness inside and around your nose as well. Other common symptoms are pain, swelling, and oozing of the nose. You will not be able to blow your nose for about a week following the surgery. Blowing your nose can disrupt the healing process and can even re-open the incisions that were made during the surgery. Now, let’s discuss some of the symptoms in detail that you may experience post-surgery and the timeline on when you will be back to your normal daily activities.
Following the surgery, you may or may not feel pain. It will all depend on what was done and when the anesthesia wears off but most patients describe that it is better than they anticipated. Your doctor will prescribe pain medication to take while you recover at home. Generally, the medication is only used for the first few days. It is very important that you follow the exact instructions when to take your pain medication given to you by your doctor. If you experience increasing pain even with the medication or continuously weeks after your surgery please let your doctor know right away.
This is a common symptom after your surgery. It can last days or weeks. As mentioned before it will on depend on how your body reacts to the healing process. Swelling may also bring bruising or black eyes. You will feel puffiness around your face and eyes. It will be hard to smile normally for 3-4 weeks so its best just to look pleasant if someone photographs you. It is normal to have pain or numbness of your upper four front teeth and the roof of your mouth. The swelling will go down after a few days but some mild swelling can last months.
Bleeding is common immediately after surgery through the first few days of the recovery process. Changing the drip pad under your nostrils every 10 minutes to 4 hours is normal when the oozing leaks through. It is very important not to blow your nose. As we stated above, blowing your nose can open incisions or stitches. A constant stream of dripping blood from your nose is not normal and you should call your doctor. The oozing gets clearer and slows down over the week.
Stuffiness is common and scabbing will form. Depending on what was done in surgery and on how your body reacted to the general anesthesia you may experience headaches post-surgery. Ask your doctor before taking any over the counter medications because ibuprofen and aspirin can thin the blood and cause excessive bleeding which can adversely affect healing. You will have follow-up visits scheduled with your doctor. Your doctor will decongest you and remove crusting to which will help clear the stuffiness you are experiencing.
Listed above were some of the more common symptoms you will experience post-surgery. There can be other symptoms that could cause a delay in your recovery process like infections, excessive nosebleeds, excessive pain, and others. It really depends on how well you follow your instructions given by your doctor and how your body reacts to the surgery.
Now that you have an understanding of some common symptoms, here are some tips that you can do to help your recovery. Rest is one of the most essential parts your body needs to recover after Rhinoplasty surgery. Resting as often as possible will be a big help during recovery. When resting, try to remain in an elevated position to avoid increasing pressure on the nose. It also is important to stay hydrated which will decrease pain and increase your rate of healing. Placing ice packs or cold compresses across your eyes and over the nose for 15 minutes at a time for up to 3 days can speed reduction of the swelling. Avoid any strenuous activities or playing any contact sports. If you are a smoker, try to avoid all smoke because it can delay and cause damage to the healing process. Although you may be able to return to your normal activities within two weeks, your nose can be very sensitive or tender for a long time. The sensitivity and minor swelling can sometimes take a few months or even up to a year to completely heal in its new shape.
Your doctor plays an important role throughout the entire process of your Rhinoplasty surgery. Remember to follow all the instructions provided by your doctor for the most successful recovery. Individuals will experience different intensities of the symptoms described above. Some experience all of the symptoms while others can experience limited symptoms. Rhinoplasty typically takes two to three weeks for the recovery, but the complete process can take up to a year. When you experience any symptoms outside of the common ones described by your doctor, call your doctor immediately. There will be a few post-surgery visits to the doctor because he will closely monitor how well your nose is healing.