Men and women choose rhinoplasty (commonly referred to as a nose job) for a variety of reasons. Some people need to repair a deviated septum, correct breathing problems, or some are simply looking for a different aesthetic. Two questions we get most often from patients who are considering this procedure is: “Does it hurt?” and “What is the recovery like?”
Pain vs. Discomfort
More often than not, a rhinoplasty procedure will result in little to no pain at all. Dr. Kay performs all rhinoplasty surgeries using general anesthesia, leaving the patient asleep so they feel nothing during the procedure.
There are two basic types of rhinoplasty: open and closed. An open rhinoplasty is slightly more invasive but is useful for symmetry corrections as it allows Dr. Kay to fully view the cartilage and bone. A closed procedure utilizes only internal incisions. A closed rhinoplasty will result in less bruising and swelling, a shorter recovery period, and by extension, less pain.
Regardless of what type of procedure is right for your needs, pain should be minimal and easily managed with over-the-counter pain medication for a day or two. The majority of our patients report that the most uncomfortable part of the recovery process is nasal congestion.
The Rhinoplasty Recovery Process
While we work to make the process as comfortable and seamless as possible, a rhinoplasty is still surgery and there is some healing to be done. After your procedure, you will be sent home with a nose splint to make sure your nose keeps its new shape.
First few days: You can expect to experience some swelling and bruising around the eyes. While this will begin to improve after the third day, it can last up to two weeks.
7-10 days: About a week after your surgery, the splint and any sutures will be removed. At about 10 days, you may feel and look well enough to go back to work. However, it is still recommended to avoid any strenuous activity. You may experience some slight numbness due to a disruption of nerves in the area, but this should improve 1-2 weeks after the procedure.
Two weeks and beyond: It is best to avoid blowing your nose for the first two weeks after the surgery. Make sure to sleep on your back for a few weeks and avoid wearing glasses until the six-week mark. You may experience some light nasal swelling for the first six months, though it will likely not be noticeable to anyone but you and your surgeon.
Six months to a year: As the swelling diminishes, and nasal function returns to normal, you should be able to enjoy the full results of your surgery.
If you are considering rhinoplasty due to functional or aesthetic issues, Dr. Kay of Princeton Otolaryngology Associates is happy to answer your questions. Please contact our office to set up a consultation today.