After your rhinoplasty, some days will be worse than others. From the earliest steps to the final part of the healing process, you might face occasional challenges as you get used to your new (and gradually improving) appearance. But which day after your surgery is the worst?
What Happens After Surgery?
During the first 3-5 days, there will be some internal swelling. This creates the feeling of having a perpetually stuffy nose, which is a fairly unpleasant sensation for most people!
In the weeks following surgery, your surgeon will need to remove the external splints that were put in place to allow your nose to set in the correct position. This procedure is usually carried out 5-10 days after surgery and is the first step in your recovery.
Two weeks later, the surgeon removes the internal nasal splints that support the structure of your nose in the spots where cartilage was removed, or the bone manipulated. Removing the splints allows the inner membranes of the nose to begin healing. This process can be a little sore and uncomfortable.
But it’s the first step – the removal of the external splints and the adhesives holding them in place – which is widely considered to be the worst day after rhinoplasty. Until this point, your nose would have been supported by the splints. Removing them can cause further swelling and bruising around your nose and eyes. Experienced surgeons often avoid this problem by refraining from taking the splints off too soon after surgery.
Dr. Siegel prefers to use a single small plastic splint, which covers your nose but not your face. He typically removes this 7 days after the procedure.
How Does Dr. Siegel’s Technique Differ?
The specialized rhinoplasty technique Dr. Siegel has developed over many years, helped by the micro-instruments he uses, is minimally invasive. It’s designed to cause you less pain, bruising and swelling than traditional methods – yet yields equally dramatic improvements.
As mentioned above, when your splints are removed you’ll notice some bruising and swelling at the tip of your nose and under your eyes. Dr. Siegel tries to reduce the extent of this by avoiding packing your nasal cavities with gauze – a harmful practice used by some other surgeons. But inevitably, even the most careful approach will leave some signs that you’ve undergone a surgical procedure. You can expect some swelling, bruising, and pain. How well you deal with these depends on your individual ability to cope.
What Else Might Be Difficult?
In the period after your splints are removed, you also have to be extra careful. Normally, when your internal splints are removed you’ll be advised not to blow your nose for a while, because this can damage your membranes and risk infection. But when your external splints and adhesives are removed, your temporary sacrifice will be even greater than that. You’ll be told to avoid crowded situations – such as bars and sporting events – for a few weeks, to avoid getting bumped on your nose.
This period can be quite hard for some people. But it’s better to be safe than sorry – that way you’ll be able to enjoy the final results to their full extent when the healing process has finished. The day when external splints and adhesives are removed is generally the worst day in the recovery period.
It’s crucial that you follow your plastic surgeon’s advice to heal as fast as possible. It’s also important to seek out a rhinoplasty specialist, who can use experience and modern techniques to minimize the pain, swelling, and other difficult aspects of the surgery.
Dr. Siegel is Houston’s rhinoplasty specialist. He prides himself on his empathetic and non-invasive approach to surgical procedures. To find out more about what you can expect from your rhinoplasty, contact him today.