Rhinoplasty surgery can make a big difference in your appearance, and it can also help you feel more confident about the way you look. In some people, having a rhinoplasty procedure (or "nose job") can even help them breathe better. Whatever your reason for having rhinoplasty surgery, it's important to know what to expect once the surgery is complete. Understanding what happens during the healing process can help you feel more confident about your surgery, and it can also help you have realistic expectations about your results. Here are five things to remember.
After your surgery, your nose will be packed with gauze during the early healing stage. Once the gauze is removed, you might notice some crusting and itching. It’s very important not to pick at your nose or attempt to remove any of the scabs that may form. Scabs and crusting are part of the healing process, and your body will eliminate the material on its own. Don’t try to clear your nose with cotton swabs either, and absolutely do not blow your nose. Blowing your nose can cause serious problems, and it can even affect your final results.
After your surgery, your nose and the area around it will be pretty swollen and bruised. While most of the bruising will go away within a week or so, it can take several weeks for the swelling to resolve. Keeping your head elevated as much as possible during the early days and weeks of healing can help reduce swelling substantially.
After your rhinoplasty procedure, Dr. Pastorek will apply a splint and bandages to your nose to help hold it in its new position. The splint will stay in place for at least a week, and you’ll need to be very careful when you wash around it to avoid moving the splint. You’ll also need to take special care to protect your nose area, including opting for button-up shirts instead of pullovers. In most cases, Dr. Pastorek will remove the splint about a week to 10 days after your procedure, but you might need to wear it a little longer.
During recovery, you’ll have to avoid strenuous exercises and lifting to prevent straining your nose or causing pressure inside your nose. Working out with weights or circuit training equipment will have to wait, along with running and other aerobic activities, which can cause too much jolting and jostling. You’ll also need to avoid swimming pools during the early days of healing to prevent infection. Of course, that doesn't mean you should just lie around all day. Walking every day is important for promoting good circulation, which is important for healing and for preventing blood clots.
For a few weeks before and after your surgery, you’ll need to stop using all tobacco products. Smoking interferes with your circulation, which means your skin and other tissues can’t get all the oxygen and nutrients they need for proper healing. If you smoke in the weeks immediately before or after your surgery, your healing could take longer, your scars might be more visible, or you might not get the result you’re looking for. Also, while it’s okay to have an occasional glass of wine, it’s also a good idea to avoid drinking too much alcohol, since that can also interfere with healing.
Once your rhinoplasty surgery is complete, it’s normal to be anxious about seeing the final results. After all, your brand-new nose will have a big impact on your overall appearance. While it’d be great to see the final results in a few weeks, you’ll have to be a little more patient than that. In most cases, subtle changes in the contours of your nose can still occur for a few months after your surgery. During those months, your nose will still be “adjusting” to its new shape.
As a top-ranked facial plastic surgeon in New York City, Norman Joseph Pastorek, MD, PC, FACS, is skilled in advanced rhinoplasty techniques to help patients get the results they're looking for. If you've been thinking about rhinoplasty surgery, Dr. Pastorek can help you decide if it's right for you. The first step: Book an appointment online today.