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Your Rhinoplasty Recovery Timeline


When considering the benefits of rhinoplasty, many patients are concerned about the recovery involved. Fortunately, though the aesthetic effects of the surgery can be quite dramatic, healing is typically much easier than is commonly thought. In fact, following rhinoplasty, your nose can begin healing in as little as 10 days. Results could begin to become visible at this time, although your recovery may not be complete for another month or two. At Cosmetic & Laser Surgery Center in Little Rock, AR, Dr. Suzanne Yee will explain your expected rhinoplasty recovery timeline in detail. She will also provide guidelines to make the healing period as easy and effective as possible. With plenty of rest, taking medications as directed, and some slight lifestyle adjustments, you should experience reduced discomfort and truly spectacular results.

A young woman with her eyes closed
When you follow Dr. Yee's post-operative instructions as precisely as possible, you can achieve a successful rhinoplasty recovery.

Common Side Effects of Rhinoplasty

Dr. Yee may use one or several different techniques during the rhinoplasty procedure. All of her methods are quite precise, lessening tissue trauma and the overall impact to your nose. Nonetheless, even with her precision, you could experience some side effects after your surgery, such as:

  • Bruising, especially below your eyes: This will usually start to subside within seven to 10 days.
  • Swelling on your nose and below your eyes: Most swelling will dissipate in about two weeks, but it could take up to a year to subside completely. Fortunately, it will not usually be noticeable after the first month or so.
  • Irritation and soreness: Discomfort will be most pronounced during the first day or two after surgery. It will quickly start to fade and may even be gone within the week.
  • Numbness: Permanent loss of feeling is very rare, but you may experience some residual numbness for up to two years.

What to Expect during Your Recovery

Rhinoplasty is an outpatient procedure. After a brief observation period to ensure you are responding well to surgery, you will be allowed to return home. However, you will need to find someone who can drive you home from the office. If possible, you should arrange to have a loved one stay with you for a few days since you may find it difficult to carry out household chores or care for small children. Immediately after surgery, Dr. Yee will place a splint and gauze inside your nostrils. With these precautions, she can stabilize your nose to prevent discomfort and protect its new shape. It is important to leave them in place, only changing out the gauze as instructed. Typically, she will remove the splint, gauze, and stitches all at the same time within a week of your surgery. Rest is especially vital for the first 48 hours. You will need to lie down most of the time with your head elevated. Dr. Yee will provide medications to reduce inflammation.

With plenty of rest, taking medications as directed, and some slight lifestyle adjustments, you should experience reduced discomfort and truly spectacular results.

In many cases, you can go back to work a week after surgery. However, you should continue to take it easy and avoid exercise for about two weeks. For approximately two months, you should not engage in contact sports, as impact to your nose could seriously affect the results of your rhinoplasty. About a week after surgery, you will be able to wear makeup, and you can typically blow your nose in three weeks.

How to Make Your Recovery as Easy as Possible

When it comes to a successful recovery, Dr. Yee’s skill and accuracy are among the most important considerations. Nonetheless, you can also take certain precautions to make the healing process go more smoothly. First, begin by preparing for your surgery well in advance. Stop smoking at least a few weeks before and stop taking medications that have a blood-thinning effect. In addition to actual blood thinners, these drugs can include ibuprofen, vitamin E, and certain herbal supplements.

After your rhinoplasty, it is important to stay hydrated. Although you may need to eat a soft diet for a few days, be sure to include plenty of nutrient-rich foods and take a multivitamin. Most importantly, follow Dr. Yee’s specific instructions and keep all follow-up appointments. At these visits, she will monitor your healing and address any concerns as soon as they arise.

Contact Us to Learn More

Knowing what to expect during surgical recovery can make the whole process easier. Contact us online to schedule an appointment or call us at (866) 459-0214 today. 

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Love Dr. Yee! She is very caring and patient, and she answered any questions I had. She has a very knowledgeable and friendly staff as well. Highly recommend her. Best of the best!

Andy A.

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Little Rock Office

12600 Cantrell Rd
Ste 100
Little Rock, AR 72223

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