At the office of Dr. Bruce Kadz in Beverly Hills, CA, we often have clients looking to reshape their nose. Some were born with congenital defects. Others suffered a traumatic sports injury. They all are excited to improve the aesthetic or function of their nose. But they wonder, how long does rhinoplasty recovery take.
How Long Does Rhinoplasty Recovery Take?
On average, rhinoplasty recovery takes 12 months. This may seem like an incredibly long time, but most of the recovery timeline is comparable to any other cosmetic procedure. For instance, you can start doing cardio within three to four weeks post-op and you can resume resistance training within six weeks post-op.
Can I Speed Up the Rhinoplasty Recovery Process?
There are several steps you can, and should, take to speed along your recovery process. During your initial consultation, Dr. Bruce Kadz will provide you with a comprehensive list of everything you need to do post-op to ensure a comfortable, relatively swift recovery. Here are some actionable steps you should think about:
Listen to Your Doctor
Before your rhinoplasty, you will be given several prescriptions to fill, including antibiotics. Take these antibiotics exactly as prescribed, including the dosage and what time of day you take them. Do not fail to take them just because you do not currently have an infection. They are to mitigate risk, not to treat an illness. If you have any questions, please ask during your initial consultation.
Before you leave the office after your procedure, you will have another opportunity to ask any questions you may have regarding post-op care. If you have any questions once you’re home, please call us at the office of Dr. Bruce Kadz in Beverly Hills, CA. You will also receive detailed instructions regarding do’s and don’ts and when to follow up.
Listen to Your Body
Everyone recovers from rhinoplasty differently. Some people are fully alert three hours after their procedure and do puzzles and read books until bedtime. Others drift in and out of sleep for the next 24 hours. If your body is telling you it’s time to rest, rest. Don’t feel like you have to stay alert for a full movie or TV show.
Get Plenty of Rest
Make a conscious effort to get between 7.5 and 9 hours of sleep each night for the first several weeks post-op. It takes 90 minutes to complete a sleep cycle, so such a sleep schedule will allow you to cycle through all stages of sleep five to six times per night. Your body requires a lot of energy to heal itself. Allow it to recharge its batteries.
Keep Your Head Elevated
If you sleep on your side after rhinoplasty, you can prolong your recovery time significantly. Under no circumstances should you sleep on your stomach. You need to keep pressure off of your nose for six weeks post-op.
To avoid such pressure, sleep with head elevated for six weeks post-op. You can prop up your head using two or three pillows or use a foam wedge. To prevent yourself from tossing and turning in your sleep, try using a travel pillow or building a fort around your neck with rolled up hand towels.
Use Cold Compresses
To speed your recovery process along, we strongly recommend using a cold compress for five minutes at a time, five times daily in the first 72 hours post-op. However, you must take care to not apply the cold compress to your nose directly. Rather, apply it to your cheeks so you do not accidentally shift any cartilage or bones out of place.
If you don’t have a cold compress, you can wrap a bag of frozen peas (or similar frozen food) in a tea towel. Alternatively, you can wrap a bag of ice in a tea towel and apply that to your cheeks.
Load Up Your Plate With Fruits and Veggies
Loading up your plate with fruits and veggies is one of the best things you can do to speed along your recovery process. Not only does your body require a lot of energy to heal itself, but it also requires plenty of nutrients.
Vitamins you need to focus on incorporating into your diet include vitamins A and C. Vitamin A can be found in dark, leafy greens, such as kale and spinach. Vitamin C is found in broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and citrus fruits. Vitamin C is critical for regenerating collagen: the protein that connects your skin tissue.
Eat Bioavailable Proteins
Speaking of protein, you’ll want to eat plenty of nuts, lean fish, game meat and poultry, eggs, and yogurt, if your diet allows. If you can, eat nuts that are naturally low in fat.
Contrastingly, you’ll want to consume full-fat milk, cheeses, and yogurts because they are less processed than reduced-fat or skim options. Protein is an essential building block for your cartilage, blood, and skin. If you’re getting inadequate levels of protein, you’re going to prolong your recovery time.
Heat causes tissues to swell. This does no favors for your recovery process. Avoid hot bowls of soup, steamy showers, and saunas. Take lukewarm showers, eat cool or temperate foods, and do your best to stay cool for the first few weeks post-op.
Don’t Blow Your Nose
If you don’t manage to stay cool, your nasal passages will swell. This will make you feel like you have congestion and need to blow your nose (or eat soup). Resist the urge to blow your nose. If this is too hard for you, call Dr. Kadz and ask about moisturizing your nasal passages gently by using a saline nasal spray for the first six weeks post-op.
You can make your own saline nasal spray and store it at room temperature for three days at a time. You just need a cup of distilled water, half of a teaspoon of salt, and half of a teaspoon of baking soda. If you use tap water, boil it to sterilize it. Then allow it to cool to a lukewarm temperature.
Put Down the Weights
You haven’t skipped leg day since you were old enough to lift. Unfortunately, for the sake of your recovery, you need to avoid strenuous exercise for six weeks post-op. When you come in for your follow-up appointment, you can ask about the intensity level with which you can exercise. However, avoid lifting, bending over or stretching until you get the green light.
Put Down Your Sunglasses
Remember how you have to avoid putting pressure on your nose for the first six weeks post-op? That includes sunglasses, prescription glasses, and reading glasses. You don’t want a revision procedure in the future because you couldn’t go six weeks without your shades.
If you can, switch to contacts. If you can’t, speak to your ophthalmologist about ordering lighter frames. Only wear your glasses when absolutely necessary. We will provide you with a splint to wear under your glasses as your nose heals.
Stay Out of the Sun
Eating enough protein and vitamin C to support healthy collagen regeneration isn’t quite enough to speed along your recovery from rhinoplasty. UVA and UVB ray exposure can damage your existing collagen, extending the length of your recovery process.
Do your best to avoid sun exposure when the sun’s rays are at their strongest (between 10 AM and 4 PM). When you go outside, wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 35. Reapply as directed on the bottle.
Discover How to Put Your Best Face Forward Today
Have you received a traumatic mid-facial injury while playing sports resulting in a misshapen nose? Is there something wrong with the internal structure of your nose that affects your ability to breathe while lying on your back? If so, you may be considering rhinoplasty to correct your nose from the inside out.
To learn more about rhinoplasty recovery and how you can speed it along, contact the office of Dr. Bruce Kadz in Beverly Hills, CA today to schedule your initial consultation. He will determine if you are a good candidate for this procedure and provide you with a comprehensive list of what you need to do post-op to speed your recovery.