Recovering from Rhinoplasty Surgery
After rhinoplasty surgery, your doctor will send you home with an instruction sheet listing many things to be aware of and take heed of after the surgery and before your next office visit. He'll give you contact numbers to phone in case of any emergency that may arise or if you have any questions or concerns after you've left the office. He'll ask you to keep your head elevated for the next two to three days. That is, if you sleep face down, he'll ask that you consciously make the effort to sleep face up, on your back. This will help reduce the swelling and keep your blood flowing properly throughout the area. A common sensation is a feeling of stuffiness and a desire to blow your nose which you must resist. You'll be breathing through your mouth for a few days and most people describe this as uncomfortable.
Drink a lot of liquids and keep your talking to a minimum and this will help you get through this unavoidable situation. It is also common to experience a feeling of heaviness on your face. This is common and can be quite easily relieved with some simple pain killers which will also help in the case of any headaches. If you have difficulty sleeping, your doctor may prescribe several days worth of mild sleeping pills but would rather not as they will slow down the healing process just a bit. Rarely do patients have a truly terrible time after rhinoplasty. The adjustments are temporary and the rewards for a job well done far outweigh the minor post surgical inconveniences which can mostly be addressed with simple procedures and medications.
You can expect discoloring of the skin and tissue surrounding the nose after the surgery. This black and blue look will begin to dissipate within a week or so especially after the splint has been removed. Small amounts of makeup and skin covers may be used as long as they do not irritate the area. Try to avoid putting makeup directly onto the incisions if at all possible to avoid possible infection. During this period, make extra sure that nobody touches your nose or face, that you do not bump your nose, or do anything that could slow down the healing process. Watch out especially for kids who don't mean to hurt you but will display great curiosity about Mommy or Daddy's new nose and pets who just don't know any better. You should also avoid the sun, avoid wearing eyeglasses (use contacts during this period if possible) and try not to rub the nose too hard when you wash your face.
The most common reaction people have upon seeing their new nose is disappointment. Yes. I said disappointment. Patients, even the most informed ones, expect to see a perfect nose upon removal of the splint and any packing, if used. This will not happen. You can expect to see swelling, sutures (if done externally), bruising, some broken blood vessels and that overall black and blue, just been in a fistfight look, that you did not expect. Relax. In a few days, the swelling will start to go down, the bruising will fade and your new nose will start to emerge. If you've selected the right surgeon and asked for the right changes, you should be pleased in a short period of time with your new look, the new shape of your nose and the new harmony of your face. Remember, your nose will continue to improve slowly for many weeks and even months after the surgical procedure has faded from your memory.