Rhinoplasty Recovery: A week of downtime
One of the most common questions we get regarding rhinoplasty (nose job) is “How long will it take for me to recover?” Many patients imagine a month or so of unsightliness. This is far from true!
The majority of our patients are able to return to social activities within days of taking off the cast, which occurs approximately 1 week after surgery. At that point, depending on the person, there may be a faint yellowish discoloration due to bruising, below the eyes, or there may be no bruising at all by that point. The amount of swelling is highly variable, but the majority are able to appear socially acceptable within a day or so after the cast is removed. The bruising is able to be covered by makeup if the patient needs to return to work during that time. Arnica cream used in the postoperative period can expedite the resolution of the bruising. Likewise, fresh pineapple is a natural way of lessening bruising and swelling in the postoperative period. Additionally, a healthy diet full of proteins and vegetables gives the body energy and substrate to allow healing to take place. Finally, lowering salt intake helps to decrease swelling during the early phases of healing.
While it still takes a full year to get to that final result, a socially acceptable result happens very soon after surgery. Patients typically have swelling in the tip of the nose that makes the surgical changes difficult to see early on. As the swelling goes down, the nose slowly takes shape to make the desired change. Even those patients that undergo an open, or external, approach to the surgery will have a nice early recovery. For revision rhinoplasty patients, the experience is similar.
During the surgery, we take time to ensure that the bruising and swelling do not get out of control, which leads to favorable outcomes with a speedy recovery. Proper planning and careful analysis allow for the surgery to move along at a swift pace; these factors also contribute to diminished swelling. During your consultation, we can give you an idea of what to expect during your healing based on your anatomy and skin thickness.