The Road To Recovery: What to Expect
Some surgeons do not recommend cold compresses so check with your surgeon first. Remember you WILL be bruised so do not become frightened. The bruises increase or darken as they heal, just like any other bruise. By the way, not everyone will get a yellow cast, that was a "in-operative joke" - I didn't mind at all. I went out out the mall, shopping, a few days later with the bruises and neon cast and all! (this is my primary, my revision photos are coming soon!)
You ingest a bit of blood during the procedure and it can make you sick later. patients report minor nausea and advise they only may vomit once or twice (unrelated to anesthesia).
Unfortunately, many patients report a major dislike of the act of breathing through the mouth and feeling 'stuffed up'. This may be probably be more psychological than anything but can prove quite frustrating to some. Your packing, if you have it, will be removed in a few days at your first post-operative consult.
You should stay sleeping in a 30 degree angle or at least 2 fluffy pillows worth. This helps keep the swelling and bruising to a minimum as when the head is lower than the heart it can dilate the capillaries and blood vessels more than is recommended. Also, the throbbing and swelling is increased when the patient is not elevated. it can also help ward off post-operative bleeding or hematoma.
Please refrain from taking any of the aspirin containing medications and most surgeons do advise to continue taking Vitamin C daily to help with healing. although with patients who tend to form excessive scar tissue advise your surgeon of this factor. Some surgeons believe that taking large amounts of Vitamin C post-operatively increases your risk of over0pcollagenation or excess scar tissue. If you are taking SinEcch as well, you should continue taking this as well until your last prescribed does. Remember that it is best not to drink alcohol for at least 3 weeks post-operatively as well.
The cast is removed in approximately 7 days. This may hurt just a little bit if your surgeon is not careful and many will use a cotton swab saturated in alcohol to remove and adhesive residue around the nose. If your sutures are being removed this may be slightly uncomfortable if they were tied very tightly or if the surgeon accidentally snips the tender skin around the sutures.
day after cast was removed
After removal the swelling "moves down" and patients report actually feeling it throb and move downwards until the area between your top lip and nose is slightly swollen and feels stiff. It may feel this way for several hours. Be very careful not to accidentally strike your nose because it will hurt very badly and you don't want to traumatize the tissues more than they are or risk moving your nose out of alignment. Although your bone is pretty much well into fusing back together by now - it is still weakened until fully healed. Most sutures are of the dissolving kind but may appear as black or dark blue "hairs" sticking out of your nose so you may want to have them trimmed so you don't fell uncomfortable in public. It usually takes about 10 days for the bruising to disappear completely. However, in smokers it can take up to 3 weeks or more. So, Quit smoking now for a better chance at a smoother and faster recovery.
To Control Swelling & Promote Faster Healing
The below information has been provided for your convenience from Dr. James J. Romano of San Francisco, California and is in no way to be construed as medical advice but more of an informational guide for your research.
It takes about a year for the swelling to completely subside but it starts looking good in a few weeks. But! Just when you think it is looking great - it defines and looks even better!
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(Updated on 03/05/10)
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