Is This Normal? What to Expect for a Rhinoplasty Recovery
After any procedure a common question among patients; “is this normal?” Should I be experiencing these symptoms or this reaction? After a rhinoplasty procedure there are certain aspects of healing patients can expect to experience.
Swelling after a rhinoplasty will occur on the inside and the outside of the nose. The amount of swelling and how long swelling lasts depends on the patient, but the first few days are usually the worst. Within 3 weeks of the surgery about 70% of the swelling should be reduced. Something that tends to alert patients is asymmetrical swelling because it can look as if your nose is crooked. But in fact that is just the swelling and it is part of healing. Asymmetrical swelling does not occur with every patient but it is common and may be expected in the first two weeks after surgery.
Congestion and “stuffiness” after your procedure is very common. Your nose will be swollen externally and internally which causes congestion. As the internal swelling decreases the congestion will also decrease. If you are experiencing prolonged breathing issues that may be a complication you need to discuss with your doctor.
Bruising will also occur after your procedure on almost all patients, but there are ways to reduce bruising. Two weeks prior to your procedure stopping medications that act as blood thinners (aspirin, ibuprofen, vitamins, herbal supplements) can help reduce bruising and bleeding post-op. Many patients choose to replace their daily vitamins with herbal remedies, such as arnica forte which helps to reduce bruising. After surgery it is important to use a cold compress on the area for 3-4 days for 30 minutes a couple times daily. Wrap ice cubes in a towel so the ice isn’t directly touching the skin.
Read your post-procedure instructions carefully before you come in for surgery. Do not wait until you start recovery to read those instructions! Make notes of any questions and ask them before we start the surgery. Knowing what you will be experiencing before you start recovery will help you out in the end.