Healing From Rhinoplasty: What to Expect

Rhinoplasty alters and reconstructs your nose to restore form and function and harmonize your facial features so your nose is proportional to the rest of your face. 

Whether you choose the procedure to address an injury, correct breathing problems, or improve your appearance, rhinoplasty can make a major difference in the way your nose looks and functions.

As with any surgical procedure, you can expect some downtime after rhinoplasty. If you know what to expect before your procedure, you can take steps to ensure a smooth recovery.

When you visit our head and neck surgeons at Southern ENT, you can rest assured that we will support you every step of the way. At your preoperative consultation, you receive specific post-op instructions for your rhinoplasty recovery. 

In the meantime, here are some general recommendations if you’re planning to have rhinoplasty.

Know what to expect

During your recovery, your nose may feel congested. Our patients often describe it as similar to a bad cold. You can expect to feel plugged up for several days after having rhinoplasty.

Diminished sense of smell is common, and you may feel pressure in your ears. A reduced sense of smell also means that your sense of taste will likely be diminished. We can help you manage the pain with medication to keep you as comfortable as possible.

To minimize swelling, keep your head elevated during the first few days after your surgery, including while sleeping. 

Plan on resting

Plan to take at least a week off from work and other major responsibilities. Your body needs rest in order to recover smoothly. Stick to restful activities like reading a book or watching your favorite shows on television.

Manage swelling

Expect some bruising and swelling around your nose, but it should subside within a week. To minimize swelling during the first few days after your surgery, keep your head elevated, use cold compresses, and avoid blowing your nose. 

Protect your nose

Your nose is extremely vulnerable during recovery. Protect your nose to reduce the risk of damage and complications that may require additional surgery to repair.

Avoid physical activity, including exercise or any strenuous activities during the first week of your recovery. We let you know when it’s safe to ease back into your regular exercise routine. 

Make follow-up appointments

Don’t miss your follow-up appointments. We need to check that your nose is healing well and intervene if we detect any problems. Your first follow-up visit may be just a few days after your procedure.

We remove any packing material or stitching from your nose and check for possible signs of complications to ensure that your nose is healing the way it should. 

Set yourself up for success

Prepare for your recovery by gathering some items at home to help you have a smooth recovery. These items include:

To learn more about what to expect from rhinoplasty recovery, give us a call to schedule a visit with one of our providers. 

Southern ENT is a premier provider of ear, nose, and throat services in southern Louisiana. Our offices are located in Thibodaux, Houma, Raceland, Morgan City, New Iberia, and Youngsville, Louisiana.

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