Achieving the best results from rhinoplasty requires the procedure to be performed skillfully and the tissues of the nose to heal appropriately. Although we cannot perfectly control the healing process, we can optimize the recovery period in order to improve healing as much as possible. Dr. Foulad will provide you with and review specific instructions that are important to follow after your rhinoplasty in order to optimize the recovery process. This will help you heal quicker (such as by reducing swelling) and can have a beneficial impact on your final results.
Early in the recovery process, your nose will appear swollen and larger than its final shape. This is mainly due to swelling, which takes time to resolve. Typically, the greater the thickness of the skin, the greater the degree of swelling. Significant swelling that is prolonged can be detrimental to the final results, and thus measures should be taken to reduce swelling. Refinement of the nose is further achieved as the skin contracts.
Approximately 7 days after your procedure, Dr. Foulad will remove the nasal cast, soft silicone airway tubes, and sutures from your nose. At this point in time you will have significant swelling but you will be able to see the fundamental shape of your new nose. The tip of your nose will likely feel very stiff and appear wider than desired. This is all normal during the healing process and you can think of this as your first look at an overly inflated version of your new nose. If you developed bruising, this typically resolves by 1-2 weeks after the procedure. Most people will be able to return to work or school at this point, but is is important to avoid strenuous activity and heavy lifting.
By now, a significant amount of swelling has normally settled, and you will notice greater definition of your nose. You will still experience residual swelling, especially in the tip, so the final result will not be completely noticeable quite yet. However, your nose will likely appear normal, without signs of rhinoplasty surgery, to others that do not know you. You will usually be able to resume your normal exercise and activities at this point.
By 3 months, the great majority of swelling has subsided and most patients are able to appreciate the progress and overall improvement. Parts of your nose may still feel a little numb to the touch as your skin continues to heal. By this point you will feel comfortable attending important events or trips.
By now your nose has achieved over 90% of its final appearance. Subtle refinement may continue over the next few years.
The above timeline is an example process that applies to the majority of Dr. Foulad’s patients. The recovery following a rhinoplasty procedure can be different for each person due to overall health and other external factors. It is always important to follow the instructions Dr. Foulad provides during the recovery process in order to optimize your healing time and outcome.