No matter the reason for your decision to have revision rhinoplasty — whether you were unhappy with the results of your first procedure or had an injury that damaged your nose — the process of preparing for, going through, and recovering from surgery will be familiar to you. Although you can expect some similarities between your initial rhinoplasty and a revision rhinoplasty, particularly when it comes to the recovery process, there are a few big differences.
Time Off From Work or School
One of the things a revision procedure has in common with a primary rhinoplasty is that you will need to take some time off from work or from school if you’re a student. Many patients find that a week off from work or school is sufficient, though some prefer to take two weeks off. If you are in school, you might find that scheduling your surgery and recovery during summer or winter break makes the most sense and helps you avoid falling behind in class.
When you’re able to go back to work largely depends on the type of work you do. Most office workers can go back after a week. But, people who work in jobs that require a lot of movement might need to wait as long as three weeks before returning.
Bruising and Swelling
In many cases, swelling of the nose and bruising in the area is less noticeable after a revision rhinoplasty than it is after the first surgery. Still, you might want to do want you can to minimize the swelling and bruising as much as possible. Keeping the head elevated at at least a 30 degree angle is a must. You can do that by sitting up in a chair, relaxing in a recliner, or by placing several pillows on your bed and sleeping on your back. Cold compresses can also help bring down swelling and will minimize any discomfort you’re experiencing.
What to Avoid
During the first few weeks and months after your revision surgery, you’ll want to do what you can to avoid bumping or otherwise harming the nose. That means that any type of contact sport or any sports that involve balls that fly through the air are off limits, at least for the first few months after your procedure. Your surgeon might also advise you to avoid swimming or any water related activities for several months after your surgery. The chlorine in most swimming pools can irritate the healing nasal passages.
Just as after your primary rhinoplasty, you might need to make some adjustments to what you wear. If you need glasses to see, it might be a good idea to switch to contact lenses during the first few weeks of recovery. If you don’t like contacts or are bothered by them, you can try to tape your glasses to the forehead, just above the nose. The important thing is not to have them put any weight on the delicate, healing nose.
Sweatshirts and T-shirts that pull on over your head might be comfortable, but they also increase the chance of you bumping your nose when you get dressed. It’s usually recommended that you switch to shirt that you put on arms first and that button or zip up the front instead.
After your surgery, the skin around the nose will be fragile and more prone to sunburn. For that reason, you need to be particularly careful to avoid any sun exposure for about two months after the surgery. You don’t have to stay inside all day, just make sure to use sunscreen and wear a hat with a fairly wide brim when you do go out, to keep the sun off of your face.
When to Expect Results
Depending on what changes were made to your nose, you can expect to start seeing some changes and results as soon as the swelling goes down. For the most part, the worst of the swelling will dissipate about 10 days after surgery, though there might be some very slight swelling for about a month or so afterwards.
You might want to wait for as long as a year after your surgery before deciding if you are happy with the revision procedure. At that point, you can decide to have yet another surgery or that you are satisfied with the way your nose looks.
Along with knowing what expect after a revision procedure, choosing the right surgeon is crucial to your success. In West Palm Beach, Dr. Michael Schwartz is a facial plastic surgeon who specializes in rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Schwartz and to learn more about the revision process, call 561-228-5888 today.