Pain from the surgery is usually minimal to moderate and is easily controlled with medication.
Postoperative instructions will include the application of Bacitracin ointment using a cotton tip applicator to the inside of your nose. This antibacterial ointment is available over-the-counter and is used to keep the nasal area moist.
Eyeglasses and sunglasses can be worn the first week on top of the cast; however, after the splint is removed and for the next two weeks, eyeglasses or sunglasses should not rest on the bridge of the nose. Contact lenses may be used two to three days following surgery.
While experts agree is it wise to limit exposure to the sun's damaging rays, it is especially important to avoid the sun and tanning booths after surgery until all incisions and bruised areas are completely healed. It is recommended that you use an effective sunblock, such as Obagi Nu-Derm Sunblock or a similar product that contains titanium dioxide to prevent harmful sun damage from occurring.
It is also likely that you will be advised to get out of bed and walk the day after surgery, but not to attempt any heavy lifting or other forms of vigorous exercise for about two weeks. During this recovery time, you are cautioned to avoid any physical activities that result in an elevated blood pressure or an increased heart rate, such as swimming, running, or tennis.
"Ms. Stoeger, my plastic surgeon doesn't want me doing any activity where (tennis) balls fly at my nose." - Amber, Clueless (1995 motion picture)
While most of the swelling resolves itself shortly after surgery, some will last for several months after the operation. For that reason, you will want to reserve judgment on the results of rhinoplasty for several months, or even a year, until the nose has had an opportunity to fully heal.
In nearly all cases, there is a significant improvement in the appearance and function of the nose after surgery. Often, the best compliment you can receive from your family and friends is that your nose does not appear much different for the intention of rhinoplasty is for your "new nose" to blend naturally with your face and not "nez qui fait chirurgical."