Rhinoplasty Recovery: What to Expect

rhinoplasty recovery what to expectThere’s an overwhelming amount of information available regarding rhinoplasty procedures; in particular how to select the best surgeon, what questions to ask during your consultation, and the most important things to consider when deciding to proceed with surgery. It’s not as common, however to find a clear, concise, and accurate compilation of information about rhinoplasty recovery. Rhinoplasty expert, Dr. Azizzadeh has put together a go-to guide on what to expect for recovery if you are considering a rhinoplasty. Dr. Azizzadeh is a world leader in the fields of primary, revision, and ethnic rhinoplasty. After his training at Harvard, he has gone on to author five best-selling textbooks including the definitive rhinoplasty textbook entitled Master Techniques in Rhinoplasty. Dr. Azizzadeh is double board certified in both facial plastic surgery and otolaryngology which gives him an extremely high level of expertise with both the aesthetics and function of the nose.

The First Week After Rhinoplasty:

Your nose will be going through a lot in the first week after a rhinoplasty. It will have sutures in place and will most likely be covered with a cast. In the immediate few days following surgery, there might be extra drainage coming from the nose that can turn into hard crust if left untreated. Dr. Azizzadeh recommends that his patients clean their incision lines and nostrils once a day with hydrogen peroxide to remove any crusty residue and keep everything clean. Dr. Azizzadeh also prescribes his rhinoplasty patients an antibiotic ointment that should be applied to the incisions and the nostrils twice daily (morning and night). It’s recommended to use a humidifier during the first week to ensure that the inside of the nose doesn’t get too dry. Patients can shower during the first week, as long as they are careful not to get their cast wet. A small piece of plastic can be used as a great shield to keep water away. For the first 72 hours after surgery, Dr. Azizzadeh suggests that patients use a cold compress. Frozen peas work great because they conform to the shape of the nose, and can be re-frozen for later use. Starting 3 days after surgery, warm compresses can be used in any areas where bruising is present. It’s important to sleep on your back with extra pillows during the first one to two weeks after surgery to help reduce any swelling.  Dr. Azizzadeh sees his rhinoplasty patients for post-op appointments one day and one week after their surgery. The cast and sutures are usually removed 6-8 days after the rhinoplasty was performed. This is a very exciting appointment for patients who have been patiently waiting all week to see their results.  It’s important to keep in mind that patient’s noses are still very swollen, and there’s still a lot of healing that needs to take place after the cast and sutures are removed.

The First Month After Rhinoplasty:

After the cast and suture removal, most patients are ready to begin slowly returning to their normal routines. A lot of people choose to return to work within the first couple of weeks after surgery, but it’s important to be aware of your physical activity. Your body needs to put any extra energy it has into healing, so if your job is physically demanding, it may be necessary to take extra time to recover before going back to work. A common question that Dr. Azizzadeh encounters is “How soon can I start exercising?”. Although it’s extremely hard if you are used to an active lifestyle, you need to wait three weeks to a month before resuming any exercise; Dr. Azizzadeh will give you clearance once he feels you are ready. When you start back up, no matter how anxiously you’ve been waiting, it’s important to start out slow, and listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right, be sure to stop. Be extra careful with any exercise that requires being upside-down, like yoga or aerial fitness. If you are into weight lifting, it’s important to note that it’s not recommended lifting any more than 10 pounds for the first four weeks following surgery. Dr. Azizzadeh reminds his patients to start using sun protection on the incisions regularly. It’s also important to see your surgeon for a one month follow up appointment so they can check on your healing.

The First Year After Rhinoplasty:

Your nose has been going through two transformations; one that you can see when you look in the mirror, and another on the inside. External swelling usually subsides first, but swelling on the inside of your nose can take anywhere from one to two years to completely resolve. This isn’t to say that your nose will look swollen this whole time. You should notice changes each month throughout the first year as your nose takes time to completely settle. Dr. Azizzadeh always reminds his patients that their nose is still healing, long after the external swelling goes down. You want to make sure to visit your surgeon one year after a rhinoplasty procedure for a follow up appointment. Aside from checking on your nose they can also show you before and after photographs throughout the first year so you can see your progression first hand.

Trust Your Nose to an Expert!

There’s a lot to learn when considering having a rhinoplasty. It’s important to educate yourself on the recovery process to ensure that you plan the procedure at a time that easily fits into your life, and you know just what to expect. For more information on what to expect from a rhinoplasty, or to schedule a consultation, contact rhinoplasty expert Dr. Azizzadeh at The CENTER for Advanced Facial Plastic Surgery in the heart of Beverly Hills (310) 657-2203.