Rhinoplasty Recovery and Follow up Fayetteville
The recovery for most patients getting a rhinoplasty is very rapid. There is some swelling after surgery and a significant percentage will resolve in the first 2 weeks. In some patients there is also some bruising (ecchymosis) and this also typically resolves in about 2 weeks. The amount of bruising depends in part on the surgery that is needed, and the more extensive the surgery, the more bruising that can be expected. Most of the sutures used in the rhinoplasty procedure are absorbable (they will not have to be removed by the surgeon). There are typically a few external sutures used for the “open rhinoplasty technique” that are removed in about 5 days after the surgery. In years past, a splint was used (plaster) after rhinoplasty, but some studies showed that the splint was not beneficial so many surgeons do not use this protocol any longer. In some circumstances there is extra swelling (edema) in the nasal tip and this is sometimes improved with a weak steroid injection. If bandages are placed, they are also removed in about 5 days. In the first week after the rhinoplasty it is helpful to elevate the head, which will not only help limit the amount of swelling, but will also help resolve the swelling that does occur. Daily living activities can be performed the day after surgery by most patients. Returning to work after rhinoplasty surgery will depend on a number of factors, including the type of rhinoplasty required, the type of work of the patient, the work environment of the patient, and wishes of the patient. Most patients that work with the public are able to return to work in about 1 week. It is important that patients exercise caution to prevent any nasal trauma after rhinoplasty. The delicate structures of the nose can be easily displaced after rhinoplasty even with minor trauma. The patient should not place herself/himself in any situation that increases the risk of nasal trauma (soccer, softball, martial arts, basketball) for at least 6 weeks.
In general, rhinoplasty patients are seen on a weekly basis for about 1 month after surgery. After the first month, appointments are spaced further apart on a 3 to 6 month basis. The soft (cartilage, skin, fat) and hard tissues (bone) remodel for up to 2 years after rhinoplasty so it is important that the Plastic surgeon follow the patient during time frame. If small revisions are needed after rhinoplasty they will generally be done after the 2 year healing period.