Why are nosebleeds so common after rhinoplasty surgery, when will they stop, and what can you do about them?
Let's find out!
What is Rhinoplasty Surgery?
The word "rhinoplasty" comes from the Ancient Greek for "nose" and "to shape". As you might have guessed, the first part of this word is also where we get "rhinoceros", which means something like "nose horn".
Rhinoplasty is used to change the shape and appearance of the nose, either for aesthetic or practical purposes. For instance, the patient might feel like their nose is too big or crooked. Alternatively, they may have a deviated septum or a broken nose that makes it difficult for them to breathe.
It can be performed using local or general anesthesia. The surgeon will make an incision inside the nose or at the base, and will then readjust the cartilage and bone. Parts of the nose can be removed, reshaped, or expanded as needed.
In most cases, the patient can leave on the same day. They will be sent to the waiting room to recover from the anesthesia and can then return home if there are no complications. If the patient presents with any health issues or there is some cause for concern, they may be kept overnight.
How Long Does it Take to Heal From a Rhinoplasty Procedure?
It can take up to 6 weeks to fully recover from rhinoplasty. During this time, make sure you follow the doctor's instructions to prevent complications and shorten the recovery time. These instructions may include:
- Refrain from blowing your nose and nose-picking
- Avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting
- Take baths and not showers
- Be careful when brushing your teeth and washing your hair and face
- Don't rest eyeglasses on your nose
Is It Normal To Get Nosebleeds After a Nose Job?
Your nose is full of tiny blood vessels protected by a delicate nasal lining.
Nose bleeding often occurs as a result of picking too much or blowing too hard—it doesn't take much to damage that lining and rupture those blood vessels.
The surgeon will do their best to minimize damage to these vessels, but that's not always possible, and blood can be lost during and after surgery.
Nosebleeds are a natural part of the recovery process and your doctor will probably recommend that you replace the gauze every few hours, refrain from strenuous activities, and contact them if the bleeding doesn't stop after a few days.
When Is Bleeding A Concern After a Surgical Procedure On My Nose?
It's a concern if the bleeding is heavy and shows no signs of slowing down and stopping.
However, general bleeding is to be expected. If you have little to no experience with nosebleeds, you might panic when the bleeding starts and assume that something's wrong.
It doesn't matter how many times someone tells you it's normal, when you're bleeding out of a hole in your face, it feels like the world is ending.
It's also more of a concern if you have a blood clotting disorder or take blood-thinning medication. Your plastic surgeon will ask you about these things before your surgery.
If you're worried, get advice from your surgeon or healthcare professional. It's always best to err on the side of caution.
In addition to blood-thinning medications, some OTC medications like ibuprofen can also increase blood flow, as can herbal medications. If you are taking anything (prescribed or otherwise) let your plastic surgeon know.
How Long Does Your Nose Bleed After A Nose Job?
Bleeding should subside after the first week. The swelling and tenderness will also begin to die down once those initial 7 days are over.
It will take a few weeks for your nose to fully heal after that, but the pain and bleeding will become less of a problem with each passing day.
Can I Take Pain Killers After Nasal Surgery?
Your doctor may prescribe you medications to deal with post-operative pain. You can also take OTC painkillers but should refrain from taking aspirin and NSAIDs. These drugs can thin the blood and increase the risk of bleeding.
Patients are often prescribed opioids to deal with the pain but you can stick with Tylenol if your pain is mild.
Is Your Nose Fragile After A Nose Job?
Yes, your nose is very fragile after surgery and it will remain that way for about a week. It should improve thereafter, but it will still feel tender and should be treated with care.
How Do You Stop Bleeding After a Rhinoplasty?
If you are bleeding a lot after your surgery, change the gauze more often and pay attention to the instructions provided by the surgeon. These may include the use of nasal decongestants like Afrin, as well as head elevation.
It's important not to panic—bleeding is normal after surgery—and remember to avoid physical activity and anything else that could increase blood loss.
Can I Die From Blood Loss During a Rhinoplasty Procedure?
By the time the blood fuses with your mucus and then soaks into a white gauze, it'll seem like you're losing a lot more than you actually are. The average blood loss during rhinoplasty surgery is just 50 ML, which is less than a quarter of a cup.
Although rare, it's possible for you to experience heavy blood loss on the operating table. But if that happens, you're in good hands. The surgeon will monitor your blood loss, try to stop the bleeding, and perform a blood transfusion if required.
What are the Risks of Rhinoplasty?
Anything can happen when you go under general anesthesia and lie on the operating table, but the likelihood of developing serious complications during or after the surgery is very slim.
Some of the potential issues associated with this specific form of plastic surgery include:
- Development of scar tissue
- An uneven or misshapen nose
- Difficulty breathing
- A hole in the septum
- Pain or swelling that persists
- The need for additional surgery
If you experience any of these issues, tell your surgeon.