Although cosmetic nose surgery is a common procedure, there are still potential complications that can occur afterward. In addition, it is a surgery and, as such, the patient must be sure to take care of his or her body afterward to ensure a proper and full recovery.
Immediately Following Surgery
The first 24 hour period following cosmetic nose surgery can be a bit painful. During this time period, the patient's face usually becomes quite puffy. In addition, his or her nose may ache and he or she may feel a dull headache. The best way to control this pain is for the patient to use pain medication as prescribed by the surgeon and to keep his or her head elevated. Keeping the head elevated will also reduce swelling and bruising.
A Few Days after Surgery
In general, the swelling and bruising will first increase around the eyes. It should reach its peak after the first 2 to 3 days. It is a good idea for the patient to apply a cold compress to the area in order to help reduce the swelling. This will also help make the area feel better. The majority of the bruising and swelling should be gone with 2 weeks, though it can take up to a month. In addition, some subtle swelling may remain for several months. This swelling is so subtle; however, it is usually only noticeable by the surgeon and the patient.
It is also common for the patient to experience a small amount of bleeding during the first few days after surgery. The patient may also feel stiffness for several weeks. In most cases, the surgeon recommends the patient refrain from blowing his or her nose for at least a week because the tissue needs to have the time to heal.
Any nasal packing that may have been inserted into the nose will be removed a few days after the surgery. This usually greatly increases the patient's level of comfort. Generally, all splints, dressings, and stitches are removed by the end of the second week after surgery.
Returning to Normal
For the most part, those who undergo cosmetic nose surgery are back up to normal within two days after surgery. Many return to school or to work about a week after surgery, so long as neither activity is strenuous in any way. It takes several weeks, however, to begin feeling fully recovered.
The surgeon provides the patient with specific guidelines detailing when it is ok to resume particular activities. In general, surgeons recommend refraining from strenuous activities, such as swimming, jogging, sexual relations, and bending, for two to three weeks. The primary reason for this is because these activities increase blood pressure, which can interfere with the healing process.
It is also important for the patient to avoid rubbing his or her nose or hitting it for at least 8 weeks. He or she also needs to be sure to protect the nose from becoming sunburned during that time period. Makeup can be usually worn after the first week, but care must be taken to be gentle when applying it and when washing the face.
Patients are free to return to wearing contact lenses as soon as they feel ready, but they must wait before wearing glasses again. Once the splint is off the nose, glasses will need to be taped to the patient's forehead or propped on the patient's cheeks for up to seven weeks when the nose is completely healed.
The surgeon will have the patient return several times over several months following surgery. At these checkups, the surgeon will check on the progress with healing. The surgeon also needs to be made aware of any unusual symptoms or concerns at these appointments.
It is not uncommon for patients to become depressed after cosmetic nose surgery because it can take so long to see the results. In addition, the pain and discomfort of the bruising and the swelling can be hard for some to cope with. It is important for the patient to be prepared for this process prior to surgery and to keep his or her mind on the final outcome. After the first two weeks, the patient generally starts to feel better as the results become more apparent. It can, however, take up to a year before the final result is seen because of minor swelling that remains
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