Your nose is one of the first facial features that people notice about you. If it is too small or asymmetrical, your self-confidence may be affected. Nose problems can also cause health issues, including difficulty breathing in certain sleeping positions, difficulty sleeping, and mood problems, and weight gain caused by sleep deprivation. At Columbus Facial Plastics at The Sullivan Centre in Columbus, OH, we proudly offer rhinoplasty.
There are several ways this procedure can be performed, and the technique used affects how quickly the recovery period ends. How long your recovery will take is also affected by the scope of the procedure and how well you take care of yourself during your recovery period. Today, we’re looking at how long rhinoplasty recovery takes, what the recovery timeline looks like, and how you can speed up the process.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From Rhinoplasty?
Complete rhinoplasty recovery can take anywhere from six to 13 months depending on whether a closed or open approach is taken. However, most of the recovery period is over after six weeks, and most people only need one or two weeks off from work. If a closed approach is taken, you should be healed completely in just six months due to the minimally-invasive nature of the technique.
On the other hand, it may take 13 months to heal completely if an open approach is taken and cartilage is harvested and transferred from your rib or ear to your nose. This is because an open approach is more extensive than a closed approach and cartilage takes a lot longer to heal than skin. Fortunately, you can make decisions during your recovery period to speed it up.
What Can I Expect My Recovery Timeline To Look Like?
Everyone’s recovery experience is unique, but here is a look at what you can generally expect post-op:
- One to three days – sleepiness, exhaustion
- Seven days – splint removed
- 14 days – return to work
- 21 to 28 days – resume cardio exercises
- 42 days – resume resistance exercises
- Six to 13 months – cartilage healed completely
How Can I Speed Up My Recovery Process?
There are several steps you can take to speed up your recovery process, including keeping pressure off of your nose, getting as much sleep as possible, drinking and eating plenty of hydrating fluids, and eating nutritious foods. Here’s a closer look at steps you can take to recover as quickly as possible.
Drink Plenty of Water
Is your urine dark? If so, you’re dehydrated and need to make an effort to consume more hydrating fluids and beverages. Is your urine clear? If so, you’re overhydrated and a little extra potassium can help to flush out the extra water. Your urine should be pale, especially during your recovery period. If you’re fairly sedentary, you should only need between 64 and 128 ounces of water depending on your height and weight.
However, you should take care to ensure you are properly hydrated. Usually, 20% of hydration needs are met through food. If you eat more fruits and vegetables during your recovery period, you do not need to drink as much water and other hydrating fluids, like tea and coffee. If you are dehydrated or too hydrated during your recovery process, it can take longer.
It is very important that your nutrition is on point during your recovery period. If you are taking prescription analgesics during your recovery period, you may need to increase your soluble fiber intake. Regardless, you need to make sure you are getting enough fiber, protein, and micronutrients to ensure your recovery is as short and smooth as possible. One of the most important micronutrients you need to eat plenty of is vitamin C.
It is so important to get plenty of vitamin C and protein in your diet because protein is made up of amino acids. Amino acids and vitamin C are required for your skin to produce collagen. Collagen is required for your skin to heal itself. The more collagen your skin produces, the more likely you are to recover quickly. Great foods to incorporate into your post-op diet that are high in soluble fiber, protein, vitamin C, and water include:
- Brussels sprouts
If you are usually responsible for shopping, cooking, and cleaning, you may have trouble slowing down during your recovery period. However, it is crucial that you rest as much as possible. Depending on the type of anesthesia you receive during your procedure, you may need to have someone at home helping you heal for one to three days. Note, taking a break from household chores isn’t enough to guarantee a rapid recovery. Sleep is also required.
The average American between 18 and 65 years of age requires seven hours of consecutive sleep nightly for optimal health. However, you should do your best to sleep for nine hours consecutively every night during your recovery period. Most of the healing that your body does occurs during the final phase of the sleep cycle. It is so important to sleep through the night because every time you wake up and fall back asleep, you start over from the first phase.
Keep Pressure Off Your Nose
Keeping pressure off of your nose is also an important step you must take during your recovery period to ensure that your recovery ends as quickly as possible. If you wear glasses, ask your ophthalmologist if you can get a prescription for contacts. If possible, you should go six weeks without wearing glasses. If you can’t wear contacts, only wear your glasses when absolutely necessary and see if you can get lighter frames.
Even if you don’t wear glasses, you need to prioritize keeping pressure off of your nose by sleeping on your back. Since it is so important that you sleep for several consecutive hours, we recommend practicing sleeping on your back prior to your procedure. You may find that your mattress is too soft for you to sleep comfortably. If you have trouble sleeping on your back, buy a medium or medium-firm mattress cover to give your spine more support.
Keep Your Head Elevated
It is also important that you keep your head elevated during your recovery period. When you sleep, you should have at least two pillows under your head. If you find yourself uncomfortable with two pillows under your head, try sleeping with another pillow under your knees to keep your spine better aligned. If you can’t get comfortable sleeping on your back with your head elevated in bed, you may sleep better in a recliner or on the couch.
Don’t Blow Your Nose
Just like it is important to keep the pressure of glasses or your head off of your nose, it is important to not blow your nose. If, at any point during your recovery period, your nasal passages feel itchy, alleviate the itchiness with a saline spray. You can buy a sterile saline spray from any pharmacy, or you can make your own nasal spray. If you plan to make your own spray, we recommend making it prior to your procedure because you will be tired post-op.
To make a sterile nasal spray, you will need sterile water and salt. There are recipes for saline spray online that call for baking soda, but this isn’t necessary. You just need eight ounces of sterile water and three teaspoons of iodine-free salt. Additive-free kosher salt is ideal. If you don’t have any sterile water, you can use distilled water or boil and cool tap water.
Schedule Your Initial Evaluation Now
Your complete rhinoplasty recovery can take over a year. However, most of your recovery period will be over in just six weeks and you won’t need to take six weeks off from work. You can speed up your recovery process by keeping pressure off of your nose, eating plenty of protein, staying hydrated, and resting as much as you can.
If you think this procedure is right for you, contact us today at Columbus Facial Plastics at The Sullivan Centre in Columbus, OH to schedule your initial consultation. We are more than happy to walk you through what to expect throughout the entire process. We are also more than happy to advise you on other aesthetic procedures that may benefit you to reverse the aging process, improve the symmetry of your face, or address other cosmetic concerns.