According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, nose reshaping surgery, also known as rhinoplasty, is the most common form of plastic surgery done from year to year. More than 350,000 procedures took place in 2020, the last year with complete statistics.
Despite the frequency of rhinoplasty, it’s one of the most complex cosmetic surgeries to master. Uniquely trained as an ear, nose, and throat specialist, as well as a facial plastic surgeon, Alexis Furze, MD, understands both the functional and aesthetic considerations behind reshaping the nose.
Your recovery period after nose surgery will influence the success of your results. How you approach this period of healing will help make sure that your recovery from rhinoplasty goes as expected. In this blog, Dr. Furze explains what you can expect in the short term and long term during your recovery from rhinoplasty.
What to expect when recovering from rhinoplasty
One of the most important points to keep in mind after surgery is that recovery can take up to 12 months. Much depends on the extent of the work needed, but due to the tissues involved, swelling usually subsides slowly. Because of this, you won’t see your final results until all the tissues heals.
Immediately after surgery
Typically performed as an outpatient procedure, you’ll recover at home. Since you’ll be under general anesthesia during your procedure, you’ll have an observation period after the surgery, and you’ll need someone to drive you home. The bandages on your nose will support its new shape, and you may have splints and packing inside. This is usually left in place during the first week.
First days home
The worst of the bruising and swelling will likely take place during the first two weeks, and you’ll also likely experience the most discomfort and tenderness during this time. Follow the medication and pain relief instructions given to you by Dr. Furze and his team.
Your first follow-up appointment will likely be scheduled 5-7 days after your surgery. During this appointment, Dr. Furze will remove the packing, splints, and sutures, and while some bruising and swelling will remain, you should see a dramatic improvement in your appearance. Depending on your case, you may have more follow-up appointments over the following weeks.
Returning to activities
If all goes well, returning to work may be possible after a week, provided that you don’t have a strenuous job or engage in potentially harmful exertions, such as bending or lifting. Some people may require a period of rest. Throughout this recovery phase, it will be important to keep your head elevated whenever possible. This will promote effective fluid drainage around your nose.
The weeks following
After a few weeks, you’ll still see some swelling, but it may not be dramatic enough for anyone other than close friends and family to notice. Any bruising that remains may be the most obvious sign of surgery. However, due to the way tissues in the nose behave, the remaining inflammation may take months to disappear. This lingering swelling shouldn’t be dramatic, but it will keep you from seeing your final results accurately.
Every rhinoplasty recovery depends on the individual case and the work required. If you are considering a rhinoplasty, Dr. Furze can give you a thorough evaluation and discuss what your recovery process might look like. To learn more, call 949-389-6673 to book an appointment with the practice of Alexis Furze, MD, today. We’re located in Newport Beach, California.