Healing after any procedure is always individual. Because rhinoplasties run the spectrum from primary to secondary, it’s tricky to gage the exact recovery process. While no two recoveries are ever exactly the same, there are certainly predictable aspects of the healing process. Some things remain somewhat constant, for example, the total healing time. It can take up to a year for the majority of scar maturation to occur and edema to resolve.
Expectation management around your rhinoplasty is the understanding of what to expect during the recovery period.
BRUISING, SWELLING AND BLACK EYES
Post-op there will be initial bruising and swelling which resolves itself over the next few days. The rest of the bruising and swelling can take up to two weeks. Bruising around the eye area can create a “black eye” look. This usually occurs if osteotomies are performed and is dependent on your immediate post-operative activity levels. If present, this can last 2 to 3 weeks. It can usually be well covered with makeup 2 weeks post-op. If you do not have black eyes, you can comfortably go out in public with no sign of surgery in around 10 days after surgery. You will still have some swelling but people who don’t know you probably will not notice it.
SPLIT AND NASAL PACKING
The visible splint and tape applied during your procedure will be removed in around 5 to 7 days. There will also be nasal packing for fluid drainage and possible an internal splint. The packing is usually removed on days 3 to 5 and the internal splint changed during this time. If there any exterior sutures they will be removed at this time as well.
During this time of your recovery, sleeping with your head elevated, applying cold compresses and taking arnica can all aid in reducing swelling and bruising and increasing comfort. While resting at home you can do light activities such as office work, and if you are no longer on pain medication you should be cleared to drive. Healing for any boney work takes about 6 weeks. The incisions are usually well on their way to being healed at 2-3 weeks.
Over time you will increase your activity and exertion levels, however contact sports should be avoided for at least 6 months. After a few weeks you can go back to light exercise.
If you are considering rhinoplasty surgery, please call our office and set up a consolation with Dr. Honrado to have all your questions answered. 310. 286.0043