Hi, this is Matt Blanton from Specialist in Plastic Surgery and today I want to talk to you about some rhinoplasty recovery tips. We get some questions from patients regarding recovery process plus it’ll just help you to kind of get an idea of what to expect after surgery. Everyone has different recovery expectations and recovery profiles based on their surgeon’s preference, but there are some general ideas that I’d like to end up going over.
First recovery tip is really just related to managing your expectations and that happens during the consult. I find that patients, once they finish with the consult after doing some vector imaging and some 3D morphing of the nose, have a pretty reasonable expectation of what their result is going to end up being after the swelling’s done. With rhinoplasties, this is not a very painful surgery. There is some discomfort initially, but pain-wise, most people are fine with maybe some narcotics initially for the first day or two, but really wean themself off with just to Tylenol afterwards.
Swelling’s kind of the big thing with rhinoplasty and unfortunately with swelling, everyone has some variability on how long the swelling is going to end up lasting. I tell patients that right after surgery you’re going to have a splint on in your face and sometimes in the upper part of the nose is going to end up having swelling and bruising. And so just keeping your head elevated for the first 48 hours after surgery helps. That’s really time, tincture of time, that ends up helping with rhinoplasty recovery. So when you come in for your first post-op visit which is normally a week out from surgery, I’ll remove sutures, take off the splint and Steri-Strips.
You’re still going to have swelling. It improves over the first month and usually by three months most of the swelling in the middle portion of the nose is gone away. But typically the tip is the part that ends up retaining some of the swelling even up to six months to a year after surgery. It kind of depends on what procedure you’re doing and kind of what your skin type and thickness is and those are things that we kind of go over during your recovery. So once you end up having those top two things, the rest of this is actually a fairly easy recovery I would say. After surgery, take time off. I would expect patients to at least be off for a week with really no strenuous activity or exercise for at least three weeks after surgery. So take time off, do some binge-watching on Netflix and just enjoy yourself.
Keeping the nose and keeping your head elevated. I would say the 48 hours we talked about that, but ice sometimes helps for the first 48 hours after surgery, but that will help alleviate some of the bruising. There is some folks and some patients that’ll end up taking arnica and bromelain but I would say ice and just elevation of the head will be the best thing for you. The other thing that I like to have patients do is to definitely keep the incision clean after surgery. And how we do that is just with a Q-tip with some hydrogen peroxide and just kind of cleaning the edge of the incision so there’s not any crusting that happens. Some people will apply antibiotic ointment to the incision. It’s not really necessary, but if you feel like you want to do that, it’s not going to hurt anything at all.
And then once you come in and the splint’s off, it’s really just a matter of patience and taking your time as far as seeing the results because it doesn’t happen instantaneously. Each week I find that patients will see little bit of improvement and so taking pictures of their nose kind of on a weekly basis is very helpful. And that’s it for the recovery.