Most patients who come to Dr. Kevin Sadati in hopes of having a rhinoplasty performed spend their time dreaming about what their new nose will look like on their face. While this is an important image to keep in mind, Dr. Sadati feels that patients are better prepared both mentally and physically for the surgery when they have an accurate idea of what the recovery process will be like. He prefers to outline the following recovery stages to his Orange County patients when they sit down for their initial consultation at his Newport Beach office.
Stages of Rhinoplasty Recovery
Stage One: The first phase of the recovery process lasts about 1 week. This is the most intensive week of the recovery process, and ultimately one of the most important stages for the final results. The first hours and days after the operation can be challenging for the patient, as they are sore and there is some bruising and swelling present on the face. A nasal splint is placed on the face immediately after the operation is complete, and must stay on the face for at least a week. It is important that the patient keeps his or her head elevated for the first few days in order to avoid putting pressure on the face. A patient who wears glasses should avoid having the frames rest on the nose. Instead, the patient should tape their glasses to the edge of their forehead in order to keep them in place. After a week, most rhinoplasty patients can fly on an airplane again, but it is important to consult the surgeon before making any decisions.
Stage Two: After one week has passed, the second week after the operation is critical in order to refine the overall results. Patients should make extra efforts to reduce the swelling and bruising on their face by avoiding blood-thinning medications like aspirin and taking herbal supplements known to reduce swelling such as Bromelain. It is important to keep up on Vitamin C intake by drinking orange juice and taking supplements if necessary. If all is going well, most patients are able to start a light exercise routine after 2 weeks and most people are already back to work.
Stage 3: By the time the patient is 2 to 4 months out from the operation, much of their life can return to normal again. The patient can resume contact sports and can wear their glasses normally once again after receiving permission from the surgeon. Your friends and family likely won’t notice any residual swelling.
Stage 4: Within 6 to 12 months of the operation, patients will experience the moment they have been waiting for since having the operation. At this point, almost all swelling and post-surgical symptoms will reside completely, and patients will see the refined and true results of their rhinoplasty procedure. It is time to get back to enjoying life, but now you will have a brand new nose to show off.