It is completely normal to be worried about your nose right after rhinoplasty surgery. While it might seem like plastic surgery is almost a type of magic, the reality is that there can be a lot of patience required during the recovery period to get to those beautiful results, especially after nasal surgery. Your nose will look worse before it looks better, and you may wonder if the results you desire will ever appear. But do not worry too much—a lot will happen between the time you take off your cast and when your nose will be considered to be fully healed. So what happens after you take off the splint, and when should you be worried?
Your First View Can Be a Shock
You will take off your nasal splint a few days after your procedure, and this can be a highly-anticipated event—you will be seeing your nose for the first time since your operation. Many patients are told that the nose will look like it will once healing is complete immediately after removing the cast. It is important to not take this too seriously—the nose will go through a lot of changes in the next few months. While the splint can temporarily reduce swelling in the nose, what you will see after taking off the splint is not exactly what you can expect to see in a year. Your first glimpse of your new nose can be a shock—do not let it throw you into a panic.
Once the cast has been removed, swelling will be in full force, and you should expect your nose to look very different than it will long-term. The nose will change quite a bit throughout the healing period, and you should expect major changes to continue to take place for several months at least.
Healing Takes Time—a Lot of it
Swelling resolves gradually, and the majority of the swelling will not disappear for at least 3-4 months or so. Residual swelling takes much longer to resolve—up to a year or more, which is why patients must have patience with their nose and the healing process. Remember, the results of a rhinoplasty last a lifetime, and most patients find the wait to be worth it in the long run.
Check Your Expectations
If you are unhappy with the appearance of your nose following rhinoplasty, it is important to examine your own expectations before you try to take further steps. Some patients have unrealistic ideas of rhinoplasty results, and may be disappointed following the healing process because the nose is not “perfect”. Remember, rhinoplasty can produce marked improvement, but it cannot achieve perfection. If the swelling has gone down in your nose and you are not satisfied with the result, take a look at your nose and consider how major these flaws you see actually are.
Still Not Satisfied? Might be Time to Seek Revision
If you have waited 6-12 months and you are still not satisfied with the results of your initial surgery for any number of aesthetic or functional issues, then it may be time to seek corrective surgery. If you trust your plastic surgeon, you could return for a follow-up procedure, but you may want to choose a revision rhinoplasty expert who can help you improve your result.
Revision rhinoplasty is an extremely difficult procedure to perform, and only an experienced, board certified rhinoplasty specialist is qualified to tackle revision cases. You should do meticulous research when planning a revision procedure, as getting what you want will be a question of choosing the right surgeon and following his or her instructions carefully.
Your Plastic Surgeon: Your Best Resource
If you have any concerns about your nose during the healing process, your plastic surgeon will be your best resource. He or she knows you and your case and will be able to give you specific advice and information about your concerns. Do not be shy about reaching out to your provider—they want you to be happy with your results!
If you are currently seeking a skilled plastic surgeon, be sure to choose a board certified specialist, like Dr. Stuart Bentkover of the Boston Rhinoplasty Center. Dr. Bentkover has decades of experience in primary and revision rhinoplasty, emphasizing natural, customized results. For more information or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bentkover, call his offices in Worcester (508-363-6500) or Stoneham (617-247-0033), MA today.