After Surgery

After your Los Angeles rhinoplasty surgery, particularly during the first twenty-four hours, your face will feel puffy, your nose will ache, and you may have a dull headache. You can control any discomfort with the pain medication prescribed by your surgeon. Plan on staying in bed with your head elevated, except for going to the restroom for the first day.

You'll notice that the swelling and bruising around your eyes will increase at first, reaching a peak after two or three days. Applying cold compresses will reduce the swelling and make you feel a bit better. In any case, you will feel a lot better than you look. Most of the swelling and bruising should disappear usually within two weeks.

(Some subtle swelling unnoticeable to anyone but you and your surgeon will remain for several months.)

A little bleeding is common during the first few days, following your surgery; you may continue to feel some stuffiness for several weeks. Your surgeon will probably ask you not to blow your nose for a week or so, while the tissues heal.

If you have nasal packing, it will be removed after a few days and you'll feel much more comfortable. By the end of one or, occasionally, two weeks, all dressings, splints, and stitches should be removed.

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Getting back to normal.

Most rhinoplasty patients are up and about within two days, and able to return to school or sedentary work a week or so following surgery. It will be several weeks, however, before you're entirely up to speed.

Surgeon will give you more specific guidelines for gradually resuming normal activities. They're likely to include these suggestions: avoid strenuous activity (jogging, swimming, bending, sexual relations, or any activity that increases your blood pressure) for two to three weeks. Avoid hitting or rubbing your nose, or getting sunburned, for eight weeks. Be gentle washing your face and hair or using cosmetics.

You can wear contact lenses as soon as you feel like it, but glasses are another story. Once a splint is off, the nose will have to be taped, over the bridge, for your head to be propped up on your cheeks. This can last six to eight weeks, until your nose is completely healed.

Your surgeon will schedule frequent follow-up visits in the months after surgery, to check on the progress of your healing. If you have any unusual symptoms between visits were any questions about what you can and can't do, don't hesitate to call your doctor.

Your new look

In the days following surgery, with your face bruised and swollen, it's easy to forget that you will be looking better. In fact, many patients feel depressed after plastic surgery for several weeks to months. It's quite normal and understandable.

Rest assured that this stage will pass. Day by day, your nose will begin to look better and your spirits will improve. Within a week or two, you will no longer look as if you just had surgery.

Still, healing is a slow and gradual process. Some subtle swelling may be present for months, especially at the end of the nose. The final results of the rhinoplasty may not be apparent for a year or more.

In the meantime, you might experience some unexpected reactions from family and friends. They may say they don't see a major difference in your nose. Or they may act negatively, especially if you change something they view as a family, or ethnic trait. If that happens, trying keep in mind why you decided to have the surgery in the first place. If you've met your goals your surgery was a success.

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