The rhinoplasty remains one of our most requested cosmetic surgery procedures as the nose is the central feature of the face, so has a pivotal role in determining facial balance and overall appearance.
One of the most frequently asked questions about the rhinoplasty procedure is how long it takes to heal. The first consideration is which surgical approaches Mr Juling Ong uses. During a closed rhinoplasty approach, two incisions are made inside the nose, through which all alterations are performed. In an open rhinoplasty, the same two internal incisions are made, coupled with an additional incision across the columella between the two nostrils. This allows Mr Ong to unveil the nasal skin and see any asymmetry within the anatomy of the nose and make precise changes to the bone and cartilage.
In terms of healing, there may be slightly more swelling after an open rhinoplasty and there will be an external scar. However, in most cases, this scar will be virtually invisible once healed.
Your rhinoplasty recovery timeline
Day of surgery: a rhinoplasty operation can take between two and five hours and, depending on the complexity of the procedure, you’ll either return home the same day or have a one night stay in hospital
One week: your cast is typically removed a week after your operation
Two weeks: the majority of the facial swelling should have eased and most patients feel comfortable returning to work and social engagements
Six weeks: the bones should have healed to the point that you can resume vigorous exercise
Between three and six months: often you can experience loss of sensation in the nasal skin after surgery, but any numbness should be resolved by this point
One year: you should expect the majority of the healing process to be complete at this point with almost all of the swelling gone however, changes can continue in the nose for many years following nasal surgery.
Is it possible to speed up my rhinoplasty recovery?
- Follow your surgeon’s instructions: this is essential to ensure a smooth rhinoplasty recovery. Mr Juling Ong will provide comprehensive advice on managing your rhinoplasty downtime and is on hand if you have any queries.
- Keep your head elevated: in the day and weeks after your procedure, it’s advisable to sleep in an elevated position as it will help to reduce any bruising and swelling. Sleeping on your back will also be uncomfortable as the nasal passages will be swollen immediately afterwards.
- Get plenty of rest: congested nasal passages may make sleeping more challenging initially, but the body needs plenty of rest to repair itself.
- Maintain a healthy diet: the body requires a balanced diet during the recovery period. Protein-rich food will help the body repair damaged tissue, while vitamin-enriched food sources can aid you in fighting off infection, reducing inflammation and regenerating collagen.
- Keep cool: hot showers or relaxing saunas may feel good, but they increase swelling of the tissues. Mr Juling Ong also advises you to avoid vigorous exercise in the first six weeks after surgery, as it can increase nasal swelling.
- Avoid sun exposure: it’s advisable to wear sun cream all year round to protect the skin from harmful UV rays, but it is vital immediately after surgery when too much sun can affect pigmentation in the healing skin.
- Don’t smoke: this is one of the most important things you can do and Mr Juling Ong will not operate on patients that aren’t willing to stop smoking before and after their procedure. Nicotine restricts blood flow, making it more challenging for the body to heal itself and can cause tissue necrosis in rare cases.