A Quick Guide to Success and Healing After Rhinoplasty
At Gotham Plastic Surgery of New York City, we pride ourselves on giving patients comprehensive care both before and after their procedures. Rhinoplasty is one of the most common forms of plastic surgery for both medical and aesthetic purposes. To ensure you experience the best results, this guide will walk you through what to expect and how to care for yourself after surgery. Our team will discuss these instructions with you after your surgery and make sure you have everything you need. We look forward to sharing your journey and guiding you through the care and healing process.
What to expect after surgery
Although Rhinoplasty is a straightforward procedure, we recommend having another adult with you on the day of your procedure to take you home and care for you after you’ve successfully completed surgery. You should also plan to have someone stay with you the first night in case you experience any discomfort or serious side effects. Although it is rare, if you experience any serious discomfort or unusual symptoms, be sure to seek immediate medical attention.
For the first few days after your surgery, it is important to avoid touching or jarring your nose. Keep your head elevated at all times (even when you’re sleeping) the first night. We recommend sleeping in a comfortable reclining chair or propped up in bed to aid the healing process.
To alleviate any discomfort and reduce natural swelling around your nose and eyes, use cool compresses during the first 48 hours after surgery. Gently drape a washcloth soaked in cold water across each of your eyes in twenty-minute intervals. You may switch out the cloths as often as needed to keep the area cool and comfortable.
After the first few days, you will begin to see and feel great improvement.
Maintenance and daily care
Daily care and maintenance are simple and straightforward. Your nurse will review these steps with you after surgery, and our team is available in person or over the phone to answer any questions that arise throughout your journey.
Check out the video below as Dr. Philip Miller explains the proper post-operative care after a Rhinoplasty.
For Week 1:
For Weeks 2-3:
- Use a cotton swab soaked in hydrogen peroxide to gently clean the suture lines inside your nose three times a day. After cleaning the stitches, coat the area with Vaseline to keep the skin supple. The stitches inside your nose will dissolve on their own as your skin heals.
- When bathing and showering, be sure to keep the tape and splint on your nose dry. We recommend baths as opposed to showers. You can take a shower on your second day after surgery provided that you keep the area dry. Avoid getting water or bath products on the skin near your nose as it may irritate the surgery site. Only use gentle shampoos and cleansers for the first few weeks after surgery.
- You may experience some minor bleeding or seepage around your sutures as the skin heals. However, if bleeding persists more than ten minutes, or if it is accompanied by fever, severe pain, swelling or infection, be sure to contact our team immediately.
- We will bring you back to the office to remove any external stitches seven days after surgery. If you do not have external stitches, we will let you know when we need to see you again to remove the tape and split supporting your nose.
- After the tape and splint are removed, be gentle with your nose for the next few weeks. Be sure to wash your face twice a day with mild soap to reduce the natural build-up of dust, oil and dirt on your skin.
What post-surgery symptoms are normal?
Don’t worry; some side effects are completely normal following surgery. This does not mean anything is wrong, but be mindful of your symptoms. Discuss any changes with our team or call if your side effects seem abnormal. These are the types of mild side effects you may expect after surgery:
Most swelling should go down after two to three weeks, but it may take up to three months for swelling to completely dissipate. In the first few days, swelling may increase and your nose may still appear swollen after your splint is removed. Don’t be alarmed, this is all part of the healing process.
Discoloration and bruising may appear around the surgery site. Some patients will experience light, yellow bruises while others may see deep blue and red marks. This will vary by person, but should not be accompanied by extreme pain.
As your nose heals, you may experience numbness, tingling or mild discomfort and itching.
Bleeding may occur from time to time, but it should stop quickly. Apply light pressure near the bleeding and wait. If bleeding lasts longer than 10-15 minutes, please contact our office.
Some patients feel a mild depression or disappointment after cosmetic surgery while swelling is going down and the healing process is taking place. It may take two to three months for your nose to fully heal, so be patient with yourself and your body during that time.
If you wear glasses, talk to your nurse about how to protect your nose from changing shape due to the pressure of the glasses. You may wear your glasses while your nose is still splinted, but they should be supported or suspended from your forehead or cheeks for six weeks after the splint is removed. Contact lenses are typically safe to wear two weeks after surgery. Your nurse can discuss options with you to ensure your vision is not impaired during this time.
For the first two weeks, avoid exercise or strenuous physical activity, pulling clothing over the face, blowing and rubbing your nose, or any large facial gestures (such as yawning or vigorous chewing). You should also use a baby toothbrush on your upper teeth for the first two weeks after surgery. Try to avoid driving, contact sports, and swimming.
Healing varies from person to person, but is often a mild and quick process. No matter what your experience is like, our team is here for you every step of the way. All visible healing should be completed after four to six weeks, but you may still experience changes throughout the first year after surgery. We’re here for you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Gotham Plastic Surgery of New York City.