Rhinoplasty recovery is typically not a painful or lengthy experience, but it does require a bit of patience.

During your recovery period, you will improve every day and you’ll see your new nose coming into view.

With an experienced Bergen County surgeon, there is generally more discomfort than pain during the healing process after your rhinoplasty.

Swelling and bruising will be present, and in the first few days you may not be able to smell, taste food or breathe all that well through your nose. Some swelling may persist for several months, but the majority will resolve in a week or two.

The Typical Rhinoplasty Recovery Outline

  • Week 1:
    You should be able to see the basic shape of your new nose in about a week.
  • Weeks 2 & 3:
    By the end of week two or three, bruising and swelling have typically gone down to the point that a casual observer will not notice.
  • Months 1 – 3:
    You will continue to notice that you look swollen or puffy for up to three months.

What Your Plastic Surgeon Can Do to Improve and Speed Your Recovery

Provided that your Northern NJ rhinoplasty specialist uses the most advanced techniques and has extensive experience in the toughest cases, your recovery should be uneventful, medically speaking.

Even if your particular case is a fairly straightforward primary rhinoplasty procedure, it’s best to seek out a surgeon with revision rhinoplasty and reconstructive experience. These plastic surgeons will have the in-depth experience required to complete your surgery in the best possible way.

Expert plastic surgeons know how to perform each part of the rhinoplasty surgery in a gentle and efficient manner, to avoid unnecessary damage to supporting nasal structures and surrounding facial tissues.

Experience gives surgeons the ability to make incisions (if any) cleanly and manipulate or reshape cartilage expertly with quick healing and proper nasal function in mind.

In addition, a reconstructive plastic surgeon has likely developed a keen aesthetic sense that enables him or her to re-contour the nose during rhinoplasty to complement and balance the other facial features.

Take a look at examples of your Bergen County surgeon’s work at your consultation and discuss his or her plan for your specific surgery. This information will give you an idea of your surgeon’s aesthetic sense.

What You Can Do to Improve Your Rhinoplasty Recovery – 10 Tips

Of course, your surgeon can’t control your rhinoplasty recovery completely with his or her surgical technique. A great part of your recovery is up to you, with the support of your surgeon as you heal.

Here are some things, that are often overlooked, that patients can do to ensure the most comfortable rhinoplasty result and the best outcome.

1. Follow instructions leading up to and preparing for surgery.

Yes, you can improve your recovery by starting well in advance. Carefully researching the rhinoplasty procedure (as you’re doing right now) and selecting the right Northern NJ plastic surgeon can go a long way to ensuring a swift and satisfying recovery.

You will be given instructions to help you prepare for your rhinoplasty surgery. Some of them are designed to make sure your body is in the best shape to heal properly.

  • About preparation: Your instructions will include absolute cessation of smoking because smoking interferes with the healing process. You may also be instructed to taper off certain medications and to avoid aspirin or supplements that can thin the blood for a week or more before surgery, such as Advil, Aspirin and Motrin. Make sure you understand all the instructions and follow them carefully to prepare for the best rhinoplasty outcome.

2. Fill prescriptions and buy supplies before surgery for use during your rhinoplasty recovery.
Get your pain medication plus a bag or two of frozen peas (for convenient form-fitting, but gentle, ice packs), a wedge pillow, DVDs, etc. You can purchase homeopathic remedies if your Bergen County rhinoplasty surgeon ok’s them, such as arnica, pineapple juice, etc.

3. Follow aftercare instructions completely. 

Rhinoplasty recovery instructions typically include:

  • Staying hydrated: Dehydration can cause you to retain water.
  • Do not drink alcohol for the first 48 hours after surgery.
  • Rest for the first 48 hours following surgery.
  • No Advil, Aspirin and Motrin for roughly 2 weeks after surgery.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise for 1-2 weeks following your rhinoplasty surgery.
  • Sleep with your torso at a 30-degree angle on your wedge or on several pillows for the first 2 to 3 weeks. This keeps your swelling and bruising down and can prevent post-op bleeding. This position will also make breathing more comfortable.
  • Follow your surgeon’s instructions as to your nasal splint. Your surgeon will prescribe a cleaning regimen with hydrogen peroxide and an irrigation protocol as well as a topical ointment, which will keep your nose from getting too crusted.
  • Most patients are ready to return to work approximately one week after their surgery in an office setting. You should postpone strenuous activities for a few more weeks. You should continue to take care to avoid rubbing or bumping your nose.
  • Wear a hat when you go outdoors for the first 2 months after your rhinoplasty in Northern NJ to help avoid getting sunburned.

4. Have friend or family member stay with you for the first 24 hours. This instruction is important because you may be groggy after your procedure and anesthesia.

It’s a good idea to have someone with you to help with things around the house, to cook you something to eat, to make sure you take your medication on schedule, etc.

5. Take care of contacts and eyeglasses. You won’t be able to wear contacts for at least a few days following surgery.

If you wear glasses, don’t let them sit on the bridge of your nose until you get the ok from your surgeon. You may have to tape them to your forehead for a short time.

6. Go to all follow-up appointments, even after you feel completely healed: We usually do not send patients home with nasal packing however if you do require postoperative packing, your surgeon will remove any packing material 24- 48 hours after surgery.

Your splint will be removed after about a week along with any stitches. Your Bergen County surgeon will check that you’re healing properly and may perform cortisone injections into affected areas to reduce swelling and more.

7. Communicate with your surgeon. Although quite uncommon after any rhinoplasty, you should be on the lookout for a pus-like discharge, increasing pain, fever and excess swelling, which may indicate infection.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important that you contact your rhinoplasty surgeon right away. If anything causes you concern during your recovery period, be sure to contact your surgeon.

8. Choose a well-qualified surgeon. One of the key things you can do to speed your rhinoplasty recovery is to choose the right rhinoplasty surgeon in northern NJ to perform your surgery and partner together for the best result.

Always look for a surgeon with advanced skill and knowledge. Choosing the rhinoplasty surgeon for you begins with some homework.

  • About surgeon qualifications: Make sure that your surgeon is licensed and board certified in general and plastic surgery. Make sure he or she has hospital privileges at a well-known institution. Make sure he or she has been in practice for an extended period of time. Look for a surgeon with reconstructive experience for the most in-depth experience in nasal surgery.

9. Choose a surgeon you are comfortable with and who has earned your trust. Well-qualified on paper (or online) isn’t enough.

After verifying the credentials of your surgeon make sure that you’ll feel confident going into surgery with him or her. If your surgeon went to the best medical school in the world and has 50 years of experience, they’re still only right for you if you feel comfortable.

  • About trust: When you meet with a plastic surgeon in Bergen County, make sure that he or she takes time to listen to what is important to you and what you want to achieve with your rhinoplasty surgery. If your surgeon doesn’t pay attention to your unique needs and their aesthetic judgment doesn’t inspire your confidence, you can have a bad outcome even with a technically skilled surgeon. In addition, your confidence in your surgeon relieves stress, which in itself speeds healing.

10. Stay positive and envision your results. As you’re going through your rhinoplasty recovery, it is important to keep your eyes on the prize. Proper healing and recovery is an investment that will pay dividends for your entire lifetime.

Assisting With The Rhinoplasty Recovery Process

We’ve worked with hundreds of rhinoplasty patients and partnered with them through their rhinoplasty recovery process. The tips we provided above are based on our experience and the recommendations of our patients.

We’ve always believed that the only way to make the right decision about having surgery is to have all of the information possible. That’s why we offer a no-charge consultation in our Bergen County office.

We’ll take the time to sit with you to discuss your goals for surgery, what your rhinoplasty recovery may look like and if you’re a good fit for surgery. We’ll never hesitate to tell you if you’re not the right fit for surgery, we’ll always put your health and well-being first.

revision rhinoplasty NJ

Dr. Winters

About Dr. Winters

Dr. Winters specializes in primary, revision, reconstructive, functional and teenage rhinoplasty surgeries. Dr. Winters is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and maintains active memberships in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery and others.