Nose Surgery Recovery Timeline

In November’s first blog we discussed the basics of rhinoplasty, nose surgery. These procedures require an involved recovery, making a Massachusetts winter a great time to get the nose you’d like rather than the one you have.

While very rewarding for our patients from Worcester and the surrounding areas, recovery after nose surgery takes some time. There’s no way around it due to the tissue trauma created by this surgery. Your eyes will probably blacken. You’ll have swelling come and go (usually in the evenings) for weeks. You’ll need some patience.

But that patience will be rewarded. Rhinoplasty is one of our most rewarding procedures, correcting features about their nose that our patients have hated their entire life.

Here’s a timeline of what you can expect after this procedure.

·      1 week — Your UMass Memorial plastic surgeon will remove your splint, and you can go out. But you’ll likely have some bruising that will need covering.

·      2 weeks — Your bruising should have resolved, as should most of your swelling. But swelling will return at night for a while.

·      3-4 weeks — You can return to cardiovascular activities such as running, swimming (without diving into the pool), and cycling.

·      6 weeks — Your bones should be stable by this point. You can put glasses back on, blow your nose, and return to resistance/weight workouts.

·      3-6 months — Any residual numbness and abnormal sensations in your nose and the nasal skin should be resolved.

·      1 year — Healing is complete.

We know, that sounds like a long time, but this area of your face involves sensitive, thin tissues. You can speed your healing, to a degree, by doing some of these things:

  • Don’t rush it — Your body will let you know if you’re pushing things.
  • Keep your head elevated — You cannot sleep on your side. This will increase your bruising and swelling, and it can displace your repaired nose. You’ll need to sleep upright for 6 weeks. Use two pillows or a foam wedge.
  • Cold compresses — Use a cold compress for the first three days after your surgery, but don’t apply it to your nose. Apply it to your cheeks so that you don’t shift any bones or cartilage.
  • Get your rest — Rest is good for healing.
  • Eat good foods — Your body likes good foods, so lose the junk during your recovery…and maybe beyond.
  • Stay cool — Heat is not good for your recovery. Don’t take steamy showers.
  • Don’t get in a sauna — Don’t eat a bunch of hot soup. Heat increases your swelling.
  • Don’t blow your nose — You can’t blow your nose for 6 weeks. Try to use a saline nasal spray to gently moisturize your nasal passages until the swelling goes down.

Follow these tips and your recovery after rhinoplasty can beat the timelines listed above. If you’re interested in nose surgery, please call the team at UMass Memorial, (508) 334-5990, to schedule a consultation.

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