Thanks to its ability to improve the look of the entire face and bring other features into proportion, rhinoplasty is exceedingly popular with Columbia men and women of all ages. If you’re considering the surgery, you already know the type of results it can create. But you may not be aware of the finer points of the recovery and healing process.
Results are not immediate.
The nose is by far the most complex structure of the face, intricately supported by connective tissue, blood vessels, and more. This can make healing after rhinoplasty take a bit longer and be more involved than other cosmetic procedures. It’s also important to note that the body does not necessarily heal symmetrically. During the first month after surgery, you may notice subtle changes in the size and shape of your nose each day.
Although you’ll likely see a major improvement in your nose as soon as we remove your dressings, keep in mind that some swelling will still be present, and it can take the nose up to a year before settling into its final shape. This process is very gradual; pain and discomfort will not persist nearly that long.
You’ll need a break from glasses…
Your nose will be sensitive after surgery, including the nasal bridge, where your glasses rest. If you wear glasses or sunglasses, you’ll need to take a break from them while your nose heals. Glasses can cause irritation and even indentations on the soft nasal bridge, so the best option is to forgo wearing them entirely. I understand that this can be difficult for some patients; depending on the specifics of your surgery, you may be able to switch to contacts during this time. During your consultation, I’ll talk with you about this point and offer you a more specific timeline that reflects your particular surgery.
…and the gym.
As with any other surgery, raising your heart rate or blood pressure soon after rhinoplasty can lead to an adverse reaction. This can typically include excessive swelling or bleeding, and in severe cases, it may require additional surgery to remedy. You may feel up for a jog a week after rhinoplasty, but your nose isn’t — so start small and gradually work up to your pre-surgery routine. During your consultation, we can talk more in-depth about your exercise routine, the activities you enjoy, and how to responsibly guide you back to your fitness level after surgery.
The surgeon makes a difference.
Perhaps more than any other cosmetic procedure, rhinoplasty requires a skillful hand and a careful attention to detail. For this reason, it’s imperative that you choose a board-certified plastic surgeon and also do a fair amount of research. I encourage my prospective patients to “shop around” and check out online reviews, as well as before-and-after photos, to get a better understanding of what’s possible with a particular surgeon. For example, these before-and-after photos of one of my own past patients demonstrate how the reduction of a nasal hump can bring a patient’s features into balance and actually make her look younger.
For more information on choosing a plastic surgeon specifically for rhinoplasty, check out our recent blog post.