Perhaps one of the biggest hesitations about undergoing Rhinoplasty or Revision Rhinoplasty is the fear of the healing process. Patients are normally worried about the extent of the bruising and the amount of time if might take them away from work, family, or other activities. Bruising and swelling are a natural part of Rhinoplasty recovery. However, every patient is unique in their ability to heal. Most of our patients can return to work and their normal lives about seven days after surgery when the cast is removed. Others who might take longer to heal may choose to wait a full two weeks to return to daily activities. Activities where trauma can occur to the nose, such as basketball, should be avoided for about one month when the nasal bones have regained the vast majority of their strength.
Bruising and swelling are the primary factors patients consider in how fast a Rhinoplasty heals following surgery after the shape of the nose has been changed. Significant bruising, generally occurs when the surgeon has to make cuts in the nasal bones to narrow the bridge of the nose or when taking down the hump on the bridge of the nose. The periosteum overlying the nasal bones is always elevated out of the way prior to making cuts to the bone, as the periosteum provides the majority of the blood supply for the nasal bones. When cut, it can cause significant bruising to the cheeks and eyes. Techniques for breaking the nasal bones are aimed at causing the least amount of trauma or disruption to the periosteum to cause the least amount of bruising and swelling following surgery.
There are many other factors that can cause excessive bruising and swelling that a patient should consider:
- Certain medications can cause blood thinning which increases bleeding. Your surgeon should be aware of all medications you take to take precautions beforehand. This can include prescription medications or over the counter including anti-inflammatory pain relievers.
- Herbal supplements such as B complex, fish oil, vitamin E, garlic, or ginseng should be avoided two weeks prior to surgery. These vitamins thin the blood leading to worse bruising and swelling.
- Age always plays a predominant role in any procedure and bleeding can be increased due to weakened or brittle blood vessels that can result with age.
- A family history of any disorder or tendencies towards excessive bleeding or bruising should be disclosed with your surgeon.
After surgery, keeping the head elevated and applying ice packs or frozen peas can minimally reduce swelling, but realistically time is the biggest factor. Always be sure to consult with a dual board certified facial plastic surgeon in order to ensure the best possible outcome from your Rhinoplasty.
Post provided by Benjamin C. Stong, MD