While it would be ideal if patients could go into rhinoplasty surgery and emerge immediately enjoying the fantastic results an experienced surgeon can produce, this is simply not the case. Though great strides have been made in patient comfort and recovery times, the process can still be lengthy and uncomfortable, with proper aftercare key to good results. Many patients are understandably anxious to get back to normal activities as soon as possible, but there are hurdles, and rest and recovery should be the main focus for recent post-op patients. Many patients are unsure of what to expect following surgery, and there are so many anecdotes and articles available online, it can be hard to separate fact from fiction. A line of questioning patients often have about the recovery process has to do with black eyes following surgery. So just how common is this type of bruising, and how long will it last?
What Causes Black Eyes in Rhinoplasty?
Bruising and black eyes in rhinoplasty are caused by blood trapped beneath the skin, which shows through as red or purple. Rhinoplasty causes trauma to the nasal tissues, which often makes blood collect in the undereye area during surgery. Changes in bruising color as the black eyes heal occur as the body breaks down the material, eventually turning back to normal.
How Long Does It Last?
As with any type of bruising, the time it takes to fade depends, and bruises and black eyes can go through many color changes before fading completely. For most people, bruising after rhinoplasty takes at least 10 days to fade, with many patients needing a few weeks or months to get back to normal. People who quit smoking for rhinoplasty surgery may need some extra time for the bruising to fade, and prospective patients are advised to give up cigarettes as soon as possible to help prevent complications. Though healing times vary, black eyes following rhinoplasty always resolve over time.
Will You Get Black Eyes?
Not everyone gets black eyes from rhinoplasty, and techniques for nasal surgery have certainly become more gentle and refined over the years, but it is difficult to tell prior to surgery which patients will be affected by the issue. Black eyes can be jarring to rhinoplasty patients, since the procedure is meant to improve facial aesthetics, but patients should remember that these side effects are only temporary. You should not be concerned if you experience undereye bruising—it’s normal and temporary. Whether or not you will get black eyes has partly to do with how major and aggressive the procedure is. A surgeon will always try to minimize bruising, but this is not always possible.
Hiding the Evidence
When you are first recovering from nasal surgery, you will probably not feel like seeing anyone except your family and perhaps a few close friends. During this time, you will not need to worry about the appearance of your possible bruising, but as discussed above, the issue can take some time to fade. If you are approaching your return to work with bruising still visible, it is usually safe to hide the evidence using makeup (yellow-based is usually most effective). Your doctor can give you guidance on this matter, and the bruising should hopefully be significantly faded by the time you need to cover it up.
Remember, rhinoplasty recovery is a process, and it takes a while for bruising and swelling to subside. Be patient and report anything that seems out of the ordinary to your surgeon. Besides your surgeon’s skill, aftercare is the biggest factor in how your nose will heal after surgery, so don’t take any chances.
Knowing what to expect and how to take care of yourself following surgery is essential to both your peace of mind and your results. With this in mind, it is important to seek out as much specific, reliable information as possible. Do as much research as you can, but be sure to watch out for information that may not be factual. Use your research to come up with specific questions for your consultations, and always make sure your surgeon explains everything you need to know for your safety, comfort, and results.
A Knowledgeable Provider
When it comes to rhinoplasty, you want to control as many variables as possible. The most important variable in your procedure is your plastic surgeon, so be sure to do careful research and take your time in choosing a knowledgeable provider. Rhinoplasty is extremely complex, so choose a board certified rhinoplasty specialist you can trust and feel comfortable with.
If you would like to speak with a respected member of the rhinoplasty community, come to Revesse in Toronto to meet with acclaimed facial plastic surgeon Dr. Robert A. Mounsey. Dr. Mounsey prides himself in helping patients to achieve highly custom, natural-looking results from rhinoplasty, and will be happy to discuss your goals for surgery when you are ready to move forward. Call Revesse at 416-438-2499 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Mounsey.