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Top tips for Rhinoplasty recovery

Undergoing a rhinoplasty procedure can be a lifechanging moment but having a cosmetic surgery procedure to your face can also be very daunting. Unlike other procedures that you can cover up and hide away during recovery, the healing process of a rhinoplasty procedure is hard to ignore.  

January 26th, 2019 |Ask an Expert

Rhinoplasty Recovery Tips

The recovery period for rhinoplasty surgery is typically 6-8 weeks, patients should expect some bruising and swelling to the nose and face, this is normal following a rhinoplasty procedure. Swelling will gradually subside over 1-12 weeks, however, swelling can vary from person to person and can sometimes take up to a year to fully settle. Patients should expect the changes to the nose to be apparent, once swelling has reduced.  

It is important for patients to follow the pre and post-op guidance provided by their surgeon and MYA clinical team. Failure to do so, could cause complications and affect the final rhinoplasty result. All pre and post-op recommendations can be found on your MYA patient portal.  

To help with your Rhinoplasty recovery follow these steps: 

  1. Elevate yourself while you sleep
    Following a rhinoplasty procedure, it is advised to sleep on your back, inclined at a 25-45 degree angle for 7-10 days, this will enable optimal blood circulation helping to reduce swelling. We advise investing in a few extra pillows or a V-pillow (often used during pregnancy) to help keep you propped upright, preventing you from rolling over on to your side and keeping your back supported. 

  2. Avoid hot showers 
    While you are still wearing your nose splint (cast) you should avoid hot showers and baths, as the hot steamy water can cause you to sweat and may loosen the splint and can also cause swelling to occur.  

  3.  Eat a balanced diet
    Salt can worsen swelling, so we recommend avoiding foods and drinks containing high salt content during recovery (this is usually stated on the side of food packaging). Sticking to a balanced diet and eating lots of leafy greens, eggs and yogurt and other sources of vitamin K will help to relieve swelling. 

  4. Stop blowing your nose 
    It is vital that you don’t blow your nose during recovery from rhinoplasty surgery. Patients must avoid blowing their nose and be cautious when sneezing for up to 6 weeks post-op. Try sneezing through your mouth and have a tissue at hand to dab your nose if you need to. Aggressive sneezing and blowing of your nose could affect your final result.  

  5. Take a break from your glasses
    If you wear glasses, be prepared to do without for up to 6 months post-op. Patients are advised not to wear glasses or sunglasses for 6 months following rhinoplasty surgery to avoid any damage to the nose, as the nasal bone is not fully healed and remains soft for 6 months. If you are unable to do without glasses or wear contact lenses, seek advice from your MYA clinical team.  

  6. Keep out of the sun
    Don’t expose unprotected skin to the sun for at least 6 weeks following your rhinoplasty procedure, it is important that patients always use sunscreen when they are exposed to the sun light and avoid using sunbeds. Limiting exposure to your nose throughout your recovery will help to keep swelling down and avoid permanent discoloration to external scars. 

  7. Stop smoking
    All MYA patients must be nicotine free before having a cosmetic surgery procedure (this includes vapes, nicotine patches and gum). Patients should be nicotine free for 4 weeks prior to their surgery and continue to abstain from smoking following the procedure. You must not smoke until your surgeon or clinical team advises it is safe to do so. We recommend patients continue to stop smoking for health benefits but also as nicotine can continue to impact your healing and recovery rate post-operatively.  

  8. Patience is key!
    The saying ‘patience is a virtue’ really applies when it comes to your rhinoplasty recovery. Patients should take each day as it comes and try not to focus too much on comparing yourself to others, your healing will develop day by day, as the swelling begins to subside and it can take up to 1 year to see your final rhinoplasty result. 

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