Rhinoplasty Recovery: What To Expect At Home

Rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure that is used to reshape the nose. Whether it’s to improve one’s appearance, fix a congenital disability, or help with breathing issues, rhinoplasty is a popular procedure with high satisfaction rates. However, any surgery requires a proper post-operative recovery plan and pre-operative optimization. This article will discuss what to expect at home after rhinoplasty surgery and how to care for yourself during recovery.

What to Expect After Rhinoplasty Surgery

After rhinoplasty surgery, you will have stitches on your incisions sites, some on the inside of the nose and often on the outside as well. Although there will be a small scar, it is so faint and essentially inconspicuous that nobody can see it; not even you unless upon super close inspection, Stitches inside your nose will dissolve on their own. If you have external sutures, Dr. Walker will take them out within the first week. An external cast will cover your nose to protect and help keep the new shape of your nose. This cast is being removed within the first week as well. You may also have a “nasal drip pad” under your nostrils to collect any blood that may drip from your nose for the first few days.

Your doctor will show you how to change the pad as needed. Some patients require packing material inside your nose to reduce bleeding and swelling although Dr. Walker does not routinely pack the nos

Caring for Yourself at Home After Rhinoplasty

Following your surgeon’s post-operative instructions ensures a smooth and speedy recovery. Here are some general guidelines for taking care of yourself at home after rhinoplasty surgery although you will be given specific verbal and written instructions prior to your surgery from Dr. Walker and his team:

  • Follow your surgeon’s instructions carefully regarding medication, rest, and post-operative care.
  • Elevate your head while sleeping for the first few nights after surgery to reduce swelling.
  • Avoid sodium / salt intake to minimize swelling
  • Avoid strenuous activities, heavy lifting, and bending down for at least two weeks after surgery.
  • Avoid blowing your nose or sneezing forcefully, which can pressure the surgical area and cause bleeding.
  • Use a saline nasal spray or rinse to keep your nasal passages moist
  • Avoid smoking or being around smokers, as this can delay healing. 
  • Nicotine must be avoided for at least 6 weeks prior and after surgery. 
  • Eat a healthy diet and stay hydrated to promote healing and minimize inflammation and risk of infection.
  • Attend all follow-up appointments with your surgeon to monitor your progress and address concerns.

Rhinoplasty is a common and effective procedure for both functional and aesthetic purposes. However, patients must understand what to expect during recovery to ensure a smooth and successful outcome. By following Dr. Walker’s instructions closely and taking the necessary precautions, patients can ensure a comfortable and successful recovery from their rhinoplasty procedure.

Long-Term Recovery

Over the next few months, patients will begin to see the final results of their rhinoplasty surgery as swelling gradually goes down. Most swelling and discomfort will improve within the first week, but patients should expect some swelling to last up to 6 weeks. After the swelling has subsided (1 month), the skin will start to contract and the nose will become more refined. This process takes months to years, with dramatic changes during the first 1-3 months. It is important to continue following Dr. Walker’s instructions during this time, including avoiding direct sunlight and strenuous exercise or contact sports that could cause trauma to the nose. Most patients are ready for wedding photos and other important events within 3 months.

Schedule a Consultation

If you are considering rhinoplasty in Atlanta, GA, contact Dr. Thomas J. Walker, MD, FACS, today to schedule a consultation. Dr. Walker is a double-board-certified facial plastic surgeon specializing in all types of rhinoplasty, including ethnic rhinoplasty, teen rhinoplasty, and more. He is committed to providing his patients with the highest quality care and exceptional results customized to their individual goals.