Getting Back to Normal After a Nose Job
When you first return home from your rhinoplasty you may be upset with your appearance. Your nose will probably look and feel worse before it begins to get better. You’ll most likely experience bruising, swelling, some numbness, congestion, and a certain degree of pain. Your nose may also appear crooked or generally uneven at first. A nasal splint is used to help the nose keep its shape during healing and needs to stay in place until removed by Dr. Brown. In some cases, you may also have packing or internal splints in order to keep the septum in place.
Pain will range from moderate to severe for two to ten days, but prescribed medication will help you feel better. While the entire nose will slowly regain normal sensation, the tip may be numb for several weeks. Any swelling or bruising will diminish over one to six weeks if you the closed rhinoplasty technique was performed. If you were treated with the open technique, these issues may linger for one to six months. Dr. Brown will tell you if any nasal bones were broken during the surgery. If this is the case, then the degree of bruising and swelling you experience will be more severe and take longer to subside.
Everyone heals differently, but, as a general rule, the optimal results of surgery may become apparent in as little as three months, while in some cases it may take up to two years. Despite this, most people return to their normal schedule after only three to four days. After a few weeks makeup can be used to conceal any lingering bruising.
Guidelines for a Safe Recovery
If you require glasses you should plan to wear contact lenses during recovery. If this isn't possible, your glasses must be propped onto the cheeks or taped to the forehead in order to avoid damaging the delicate bones of the nose. This will be necessary until the nose is completely healed after six to seven weeks.
During this period of time it's extremely important to avoid doing any activity that causes the nose to move. This includes not only touching and blowing your nose, but exercise as well. You should plan to wait ten to fourteen days before working out and at least six weeks before swimming. Direct sun exposure must also be minimized for at least two weeks. Sun block should be worn through the first three to four months. Report excessive bleeding or increased pain to Dr. Brown immediately if either occurs during the first days of recovery.
Tips for Speeding Up Recovery
There are a number of ways that you can help speed up your recovery process. It's a good idea to apply either cold or warm compresses (usually cold for the first day and warm afterward), use a humidifier and saline nasal spray for two weeks, and keep your head elevated while sleeping. Elevating the head at night—and avoiding bending over during the day—helps minimize swelling.
You should allow your stomach to fully settle after the surgery by eating only broth, thin soup, juice, and water. These foods should be eaten around the time your medication is taken in order to avoid upsetting your stomach. Vomiting hurts the nose while it's healing, so it's important to take care during the healing process and only return to a normal diet once your stomach has completely settled.
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