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Paul Afrooz Plastic Surgery

OVERVIEW

The Road to a Full Recovery After Rhinoplasty

Most patients are eager to understand the recovery process up front so they can anticipate the degree of discomfort they will be in, how long they will need to take off from work, and how they will look in a few days, months, or years. Dr. Afrooz has performed hundreds of successful rhinoplasties, and he can provide detailed information that sets clients at ease.

After surgery, patients will go home right away, accompanied by a responsible adult, friend, or family member. Bruising will begin to diminish with each passing day. Swelling in the bridge and upper nasal region will decrease faster than in other areas due to the thinner skin in these regions. Swelling in the tip may take longer to disappear.

As mentioned earlier, the degree of swelling corresponds to the extent of the changes made by Dr. Afrooz. Complete nasal reconstruction with septoplasty will cause more swelling than if minor changes were made to the nasal tip, for instance. In general, swelling will peak during the first week and then begin to fade.

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How Long Does It Take to Heal from Rhinoplasty?

The typical healing time is around 10 days. A splint may is placed on the nose for the first 7 days to protect its new shape. While normal activities can be resumed in a few weeks, the patient should continue to avoid contact sports and sunglasses for up to 6 weeks. Most patients feel comfortable being in public roughly one week out from surgery, and find that light concealer helps cover any lingering discoloration. Taking arnica pills and using an ice pack over the eyes and cheeks after surgery can both help to accelerate healing — just be sure to avoid placing any pressure directly on the nose.

How Long Does Bruising Last?

The amount of bruising will depend on whether the patient underwent in-depth changes, such as are common with correcting a broken nose, or more standard ones, such as adjusting the nasal tip or bridge. Bruising rarely lasts longer than 7 days for most clients. However, no two people are the same when it comes to how their bodies react to surgery. Some people simply bruise more easily. The one constant is that the bruising will always disappear with time.

Before & After

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Rhinoplasty Recovery Tips

Exercise

After rhinoplasty, patients can begin walking right away within the first few weeks in order to boost circulation. By week 3, they can resume light workouts at half their normal pace. Lifting weights above the head and vigorous aerobics should be avoided until 5-6 weeks post-op. If you are unsure about resuming a certain activity or sport, check with Dr. Afrooz.

Blowing the Nose

It’s important to refrain from blowing your nose for the first 4 weeks. This action can cause internal nasal pressure and may result in bleeding or prolonged swelling.

Eating and Drinking

Start with liquid, bland foods. If well tolerated, progress to a regular diet. If you have postoperative nausea, carbonated sodas and dry crackers settle the stomach. Certain foods can accelerate healing. Fresh papaya and pineapple are rich in enzymes that combat bruising. You should take care to limit your alcohol intake, as this will help reduce swelling. The combination of alcohol and pain medications can be dangerous. Do not drink until you have stopped taking them.

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Sun Exposure

If fresh scars are exposed to the sun, they will heal darker and take longer to fade. Sunscreen and sun protection MUST be used.

Driving

Do not drive for at least 2 days after general anesthesia/IV sedation or while taking pain medication.

Using Ice Packs

You may use a cool compress or ice pack to help reduce swelling, bruising, and pain. This should be used for the first 48 hours after surgery (30 minutes on/30 minutes off) while you are awake. Apply the compresses to your cheeks and eyes. DO NOT PLACE ON YOUR NOSE.

Medications

Arnica Montana (Arnica Montana) can be taken as directed beginning the evening after surgery, along with Bromelain. Avoid aspirin and ibuprofen products until 10 days post-op. You may resume all other medications, vitamins, and herbal products at this point. Dr. Afrooz will provide pain medication prescriptions for your comfort and care. You must use medications as directed. For 1-2 days after surgery, it is important to stay "ahead of the pain" by taking your pain medication every 3-4 hours, if necessary. It can take 30-45 minutes for the medication to work. Do not wait until you are too uncomfortable before taking them. Pain medications may cause nausea, dizziness, and nervousness, etc. if taken on an empty stomach. Always have something semi-solid (crackers, ice cream, etc.) or solid (regular food) in your stomach before taking. Symptoms such as itching, rash, wheezing, or tightness in the throat could indicate an allergic/adverse reaction to the medication. Should any of these occur, discontinue all medications, and call Dr. Afrooz’s office immediately.

Rhinoplasty Recovery FAQ

Is Rhinoplasty Recovery Painful?

Most patients report that rhinoplasty turned out to be less painful than they imagined. The tip of the nose tends to be more numb after surgery, while the bridge is an area where patients tend to experience more soreness. Dr. Afrooz has extensive experience with pain control, and he can tailor your aftercare plan to your comfort levels, providing the appropriate prescription pain medications. Some patients will be comfortable using only extra-strength Tylenol. Just be sure to avoid aspirin.

Will I Have Scars After Rhinoplasty?

With closed rhinoplasty, incisions are made within the nostrils, where scars are undetectable. With open rhinoplasty, a small incision is made at the base of the nose across the columella. Scarring in this area is typically unnoticeable except to the patient and Dr. Afrooz.

Will The Nose Grow After Rhinoplasty?

No, the nose will not grow. It may appear bigger for the first week or two, however, due to swelling. As a person ages, the nose tends to droop. This may occur due to gravity or an overactive depressor muscle. Rhinoplasty helps patients to avoid this, as internal nasal scarring keeps the area from sinking.

How Can I Prevent A Dry Nose After Rhinoplasty?

After nose surgery, production in the nasal mucus glands may slow down. This leads to dryness, which, while not medically compromising, can be uncomfortable. Dr. Afrooz will provide suggestions for nasal moisturizers with salt water as their primary ingredient. These products can be sprayed in the nose to soften internal crusting and accelerate healing. Ointments can also be used to ease the nuisance of a dry nose.

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