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What to Expect From the Nasal Surgery Recovery Period

Kelowna Nasal Surgery

Are you considering nasal surgery? Here are our top rhinoplasty recovery tips to help you get the safest and most pleasing results. 


Your nose is one of your most important features and its appearance can determine how comfortable and confident you feel in your own skin. Rhinoplasty, or nasal surgery, is a cosmetic procedure designed to alter the size, shape, and/or position of the nose for a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.

Nasal surgery can be used to address a number of concerns, including:

  • a visible depression or hump on the bridge of the nose
  • a disproportionately large, upturned, or hooked nose tip
  • wide, large, or upturned nostrils
  • nasal asymmetry

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6 Tips For Recovering From Nasal Surgery

Rhinoplasty is a complex surgical procedure but a surprisingly brief recovery period is required before returning to your regular routine. However, for the safest results, it’s absolutely crucial to follow your plastic surgeon’s post-procedure advice.

Typically, the initial recovery period is seven days but here are six simple tips to help you safely speed up your healing time.

  1. If you are a smoker, quit the habit at least for three weeks before and after the surgery.

  2. Try not to blow your nose for at least fourteen days after your nasal surgery.

  3. Avoid any vigorous activity or exercise for at least two weeks, especially ones that involve objects that can be thrown in your face (eg. volleyball, baseball, or basketball)

  4. If you wear glasses, try to switch to contact lenses for at least a month as this will avoid you having to put any weight on your nose.

  5. Try wearing button-up clothing to avoid accidentally hitting your nose while you’re getting dressed.

  6. You may be asked to avoid certain prescription or over-the-counter medicines, especially those which may cause excess bleeding like Vitamin E, fish oil, and aspirin.

 

Rhinoplasty Recovery Timeline

The recovery from your rhinoplasty begins on surgery day when you’re awakened gently from anesthesia. You’ll be bandaged in a nasal splint and you may have packed in your nose. Some grogginess from surgery may persist so it’s important to have a friend or family member on hand to help you.

Day 1 - 3

  • These can be a difficult few days, though not usually painful. If you do have discomfort, make sure to use your prescribed medication.

  • Sleep propped up on two pillows, supporting your torso, to minimize any swelling. This can also help limit bruising and bleeding.

  • After day 1, you may return to light activity. AVOID bending over, blowing your nose, or trying to lift anything over 5 pounds.

  • DON’T take aspirin, Advil, or Motrin.

  • If you do have packing in your nose, you’ll likely visit your surgeon on Day 2 to have it removed.

  • Watch for signs of infection. If you run a fever, feel nauseous, notice excess skin redness or discharge from your nose, contact your surgeon immediately.

 

Week 1 - Days 4-7

Milestone: Your nasal split will be removed.

  • Your splint may be feeling loose about this time and it’ll most likely be removed by the end of this week, along with any stitches you have.

  • You’ll be able to see the basic shape of your new nose, although there will still be quite a bit of swelling.

  • While you can return to work, avoid heavy lifting or any strenuous activity. Depending on your job, some patients may be advised to take 2 weeks off for nasal surgery recovery.

  • Every time you go outside, make sure to wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunblock to prevent sunburn as your nose will still be vulnerable.

 

Week 2 - Days 8-14

Milestone: You can return to work

About ten days after your rhinoplasty, your bruises and swelling will have faded significantly and will not be noticeable to the casual observer. Most patients can return to work on day 8, but some patients are instructed to take more time off for recovery. In that case, you’ll be able to return to work on Day 14.

 

Week 3-4 (Days 15-30)

  • Your surgeon will normally clear you to begin your normal activity and exercise routine (moderate) by the end of week 3.

  • You should take at least another 4 weeks off from contact sports or other strenuous exercises. ALWAYS check with your surgeon first beforehand.

  • You’ll notice that much of your swelling is gone now, with the tip taking the longest to subside. Your nose will become more refined as the days pass.

 

Months 2 -3: Nasal Surgery Recovery Almost Complete

You’ll notice that your nose looks better every day, and the swelling on the bridge will have subsided. The tip of your new nose may still feel slightly numb but the sensation will begin to return. If you had an open nasal surgery, your scars will continue to fade.

 

Year 1 Post Rhinoplasty

At the 1 year mark after your nasal surgery, all of your swelling has gone and your scar, if you have one, will have faded almost completely. It’s important to visit your plastic surgeon at this point to evaluate your outcome and monitor any scar tissue.

 

Call Today

At Okanagan Health Surgical Centre, we have a team of board-certified plastic surgeons who are experienced in using nasal surgery to successfully correct facial asymmetry and help you create a more pleasing appearance.

Want to know if nasal surgery is right for you?

To find out more about the costs and benefits of our customized nasal surgery, or to receive more recovery tips, contact our Kelowna private hospital at 250-868-9799 or book a consultation.


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