The recovery process following rhinoplasty and nasal procedures is very important to the long-term results of your procedure. There are a variety of aspects of your recovery that you should be aware of so that you may know what to expect,and how you can help speed the healing process. Here at the Dallas Rhinoplasty Center, rhinoplasty expert Dr. C. Spencer Cochran and his staff make every effort to ensure your procedure and recovery are safe, effective, and successful. By following the guidelines closely, you significantly increase your chances of having a smooth recovery and remarkable results.
If you have any questions about the rhinoplasty recovery process, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our rhinoplasty surgeons, please contact us today.
Before your rhinoplasty procedure, you will be given a detailed explanation of what you can expect during the recovery process and a list of instructions to take home. Here are a few items of information that can help you understand what will be necessary for a smooth recovery:
Once surgery is complete, a small aluminum frame will be applied over your nose for protection. This aluminum cast will be removed five to seven days after the procedure.
With the many advances in rhinoplasty and nose surgery over the years, nasal packing after the procedure is typically not necessary. Instead of nasal packing, we prefer to use soft silicone splints to help stabilize the internal structures of the nose during the first week. These temporary splints do not completely block your nasal passages. The septal splints will be removed along with your cast five to seven days after the procedure.
Because of swelling after surgery, your nasal passages may be partially or completely obstructed. However, if temporary plastic splints are placed, you should not be completely blocked. You can take an over-the –counter or prescription decongestant (i.e. Sudafed) to decrease your symptoms.
You should be able to reduce some of the swelling after surgery by keeping your head and nose elevated higher than your heart.
After surgery, you will have a drip pad under your nostrils to collect excess bleeding or oozing. This excess should only be present for the first 24 to 48 hours after rhinoplasty. The drip pad should be changed after nasal cleaning, or as necessary. You can remove the tape from your cheeks and get rid of the drip pad once you no longer need it. Continue to clean the inside of your nostrils with Q-tips soaked in Hydrogen Peroxide followed by a light coat of the antibiotic ointment (Mupiricin) to prevent dried blood from crusting until your first office visit.
There will likely be some bleeding and oozing from the nose after surgery; however, this typically lasts only about a day or two. To prevent blood crusting, you can start cleaning the inside rims of your nostrils with Hydrogen Peroxide-soaked Q-tips. This can usually be accomplished effectively by using a gentle swirling motion. The Q-tips can be advanced as far as the cotton, and you should apply a thin coat of Mupiricin ointment after cleaning.
External sutures will be removed after five to seven days. You can clean the incision areas with Hydrogen Peroxide-soaked Q-tips, and apply some Mupiricin ointment to the incision sites two to three times a day until all crusting disappears.
Recovery from rhinoplasty procedures that use rib cartilage grafts is a bit different from other rhinoplasty recovery processes. With rib cartilage grafting, you will need to spend the night at the surgery center as opposed to having an outpatient procedure. It also takes a bit longer to perform this type of rhinoplasty procedure, usually about four hours, and the nose will usually be more swollen after surgery. Patients who have rib cartilage grafting will also typically take longer to get back to normal daily routines. Usually you can return to work after 2 weeks as long as it requires no straining or heavy lifting. Light exercise and lifting can begin at 3 weeks. Full exercise and lifting can begin around 6 weeks.
If you have questions concerning your recovery following rhinoplasty or nasal surgery, please contact our office.