If you are researching about what to expect for your nose job recovery, you may have been reading about the whole procedure, its purpose, and the criteria to become a good candidate for rhinoplasty. But before knowing what to expect from the recovery after nose job surgery, you must first know the details on how the procedure unfolds only from the experts so you can curb your expectations and set goals on how you would look at your nose job procedure afterward. To help you with that, we will also give you tips on how to easily and successfully recover from your nose job surgery with fewer side effects and no complications.
The rhinoplasty procedure
For us to know what to expect after a nose job surgery, we must first tackle what happens during the operation. After your doctor completes a comprehensive medical evaluation and assessment of your nose, he will then formulate a treatment plan and inform you of what needs to be done during your nose job surgery.
Hospital stay. Rhinoplasty is usually done as an outpatient procedure unless complications arise that would require you to be monitored closely for a while, then overnight hospital stay is warranted.
Anaesthesia. Rhinoplasty can be performed using general or local anaesthesia. Your surgeon can opt to use local anaesthesia with sedation to keep you calm during the procedure or administer general anaesthesia for more complicated revisions or severely anxious patients.
Types of rhinoplasty. Your treatment plan would involve determining if your nasal issues would need an open or closed rhinoplasty technique. In a closed rhinoplasty, the incisions made by the surgeon are all located inside the nose, and this technique is intended for minor changes. You can expect that no surgical scars would be visible after the surgery when using the closed technique. On the other hand, the open rhinoplasty technique uses the same incisions inside the nose, but it also has a small cut made in between the nostrils so the surgeon can better access and visualise certain nasal structures to complete the procedure. Although the incision is outside the nose, it is so small that with proper wound and scar care, it may also be made unnoticeable.
The changes. Using the incisions strategically made to widen and access the structures that need to be altered, your surgeon will start readjusting the bone and cartilage underneath your skin. He can change the shape of your nasal bones or cartilage in several ways, and it all depends on your condition’s needs to be altered or added, your nasal structure, and available resources. For small modifications, the surgeon may use cartilage taken from deeper inside your nose or from your ear. For larger transformations that need bigger materials, the surgeon can use cartilage or bone transplanted from your rib or other parts of your own body, or he can use nasal implants. If you have deviated septum or the wall between the two sides of your nose is bent or crooked, your surgeon can also correct it to improve breathing. After these complex steps are made, the surgeon places the nose’s skin and tissue back and stitches the incisions in your nose. The whole procedure may last for 1 ½ to 3 hours, depending on the need and requirements of the patient.
Nose job recovery period
Immediately after your rhinoplasty surgery, your nose will be bandaged and splinted where necessary. The surgical staff will then transfer you to a recovery room where they will continue monitoring your vital and watch out for immediate post-surgical complications until the anesthesia wears out. Once you are out of the anesthesia, your surgeon will determine if you can be allowed to go home with a designated driver, or if you would need to stay overnight in the hospital should further monitoring is deemed necessary.
Common complaints during recovery after nose job
Once you are home, it is normal to feel weak and drained after the surgery; it is a major operation anyway. The first thing you may expect to feel is discomfort or tenderness along the surgical site. These are all managed with pain and anti-inflammatory medications. surgeons may also opt to give prophylactic antibiotics to avoid the risk of post-operative infection. Swelling and stuffiness may also be included in the most complained-about effects of rhinoplasty. You may notice some bloody discharge, bruising that may reach the circles of your eyes, and when the bandage is removed, asymmetry or unevenness of the sides of the nose. During the first few days, all of these things are normal, including the asymmetrical look of your nose. The incisions should heal and swelling needs to be reduced first before getting the first glimpse of the changes your surgery made to your nasal profile. Until then, follow the restrictions and limitations that your surgeon will impose and these may include:
- Keeping away from strenuous activities and movements that may present pressure or force to the nose.
- Blowing nose and making faces should be avoided so as not to cause any post-surgical bleeding and incision problems.
- Taking hot baths or swimming that would expose the nose from water for a prolonged time (may cause bleeding or increase the risk of infection)
- Putting on creams or ointments not prescribed by the doctor would affect the healing process and may even irritate the skin.
- Avoiding straining caused by gastrointestinal problems post-surgery, like constipation. The remedy is to eat high-fiber foods like fruits and vegetables.
- Using eyeglasses or shades until after the wounds are completely healed.
What you can expect after your nose job recovery period
After at least two weeks of staying off work, your surgeon may allow you to resume working provided that you follow the work limitations he imposed to make sure that your activities will not cause any post-procedural complications.
Swelling of the area may be on an on-and-off basis, so although you can see the improvements on your nose a few weeks after your nose job, there is a big possibility that you only fully appreciate the final results of your rhinoplasty surgery after a year, when all the swelling permanently subsides.
Some rhinoplasty procedures need more than one surgery to achieve the coveted look that you and your surgeon are aiming for. Interval of the surgeries would depend on your body’s healing ability, so make sure that you are healthy all throughout the process so there will be no delay in achieving your desired look.
You should also be open to the possibility that revision rhinoplasty surgery may be needed in cases where you are not satisfied with what your surgery achieved. This is common when the surgeon and the patient have different expectations for the procedure. There is no perfect nose, so if you are aiming to have a perfect nose, talk to your surgeon and discuss all your concerns so he can help you curb your expectations and set realistic expectations on how your nose job surgery will come about.