Full recovery after a rhinoplasty procedure varies from patient to patient. It can take up to a year for your face to heal completely and reveal the new shape of your nose.
While patients can return home or to a nearby hotel the same day after the surgery, there are usually several follow-up visits with your surgeon after a rhinoplasty procedure. These visits are necessary to ensure that post-operative healing progresses as expected in the months after your procedure.
Some bruising and swelling around the eyes are common after rhinoplasty. This usually peaks at 48 to 72 hours and then steadily resolves after that period.
The amount of swelling in your face is related to the complexity of the procedure. The bridge and the upper parts of the nose have thinner skin; thus, any swelling in these areas resolve quicker.
Swelling around the tip of the nose takes longer to resolve. Factors, such as the thickness of the skin and the amount of reconstructive work needed to narrow the tip of the nose, determine how long the swelling lasts.
The recovery process for patients who have had previous nasal trauma, fractures, or revision surgery may be more prolonged. The resulting swelling will take a bit longer to heal, but rest assured that all swelling will eventually dissipate, and your new nose will have a chance to reveal itself.
The initial healing process occurs over the course of two weeks, in which you will see visible improvement every day. About 80% of the swelling and bruising disappears within about two weeks and another 10% after two months.
Here are some tips from our rhinoplasty expert for a speedy and comfortable recovery.
- Rest in bed with your head elevated for two weeks.
- Apply a cold compress intermittently for three days to reduce swelling, particularly around the eyes.
- Antibiotics may be prescribed after surgery to lower the risk of infection.
- A little bleeding is expected during the first few days after your surgery. You may continue to feel some stuffiness for several weeks.
- You can bathe 24 hours after the procedure. Care should be taken when washing your face and hair to ensure the nasal splint does not get wet.
- Sutures and splints will be removed at one week. (If nostrils were narrowed during your procedure, these sutures will remain for an additional week.)
- You should be able to return to work within a week, depending on the level of activity required for your job; possibly sooner if you can work from home.
- Avoid glasses (including sunglasses) and physical contact for six weeks.
- Avoid excessive sun exposure to nose for three months after surgery. Appropriate sunscreen (SPF 30 or greater) should be worn daily.
- Avoid driving while on narcotic pain medication.
- Avoid strenuous activities for two weeks.
- Avoid alcohol consumption for two weeks after surgery.
Dr. Timothy Greco is Philadelphia’s leading facial plastic surgeon. He is double board-certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ABFPRS) and the American Board of Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery (ABOto).
Dr. Greco focuses solely on plastic and reconstructive surgery of the face, head, and neck at his in-office, state-certified aesthetic surgical center. Get in touch today to schedule a consultation. Call (610) 664-8830 or check the doctor’s schedule online.