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Recovering from Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty Recovery

After Your Surgery

Recovering from your rhinoplasty

You will probably need a ride home after surgery. You way want to give the recovery nurse the cell phone number of the person driving you in case the nurses need to contact the person who's driving you.

The first twenty four hours after rhinoplasty

During the first day or so after your rhinoplasty, your nose will probably ache.  (If you have allergies, think "flower show". If you don't have allergies, think "really bad head cold.")  Your face will feel swollen and puffy. You may have a headache.

Before your surgery, your plastic surgeon will probably have given you a prescription for pain medication. Hopefully you had it filled, because this is where you'll want to have it handy.  Normally, you can control any pain using the medicine your doctor prescribed.

Plan on bed rest

Except for trips to the bathroom, plan on staying in bed or in a recliner with your head elevated.

Dealing with the swelling

Over the course of the first day, and for several days after that, the swelling and bruising will increase.  Black eyes are not unusual and you may look like you were on the losing end of a fist-fight. 

Applying cold compresses around - but not directly to - you nose will reduce the swelling and make you feel better.  Most people who have had rhinoplasty report that the look more beat-up than they feel.

Two days to two weeks after your rhinoplasty

Within a week or two of your surgery, most of your bruises will be gone. The swelling generally goes away within the first week.  You may see some swelling or slight bruises after the first two weeks, but other people you ask will not notice. (In this case, go with their opinion. ;-)

You will probably feel stuffy for a few days after your surgery. During the first few days, you may have some bloody nasal discharge.  Small amounts of blood are pretty standard, but any sustained bleeding or large volumes of blood should be reported to your plastic surgeon immediately.  Even though you feel stuffy, try not to blow your nose for at least seven days. Otherwise, you'll disturb the wounds.

If you have nasal packing, your doctor will remove it when you have one of your post-op visits, typically a few days after your surgery.  With the packing removed, you will feel better almost instantly.  By the end of two weeks, often earlier, all of the packing, dressing, splints and sutures will be removed. Your plastic surgeon can give you a much better timetable than we can.

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