I have a great deal of information on my web site with regards to what an individual can expect following rhinoplasty surgery. It seems that no matter how much information I cover in my post-operative care sheets, patients seem to have more questions about what they can expect than what I can anticipate.
The questions are good ones and I try to answer the questions with generalizations as opposed to specifics because obviously, not everyone is the same. I think that most people are concerned with the level of discomfort they can expect following rhinoplasty surgery. I think that pain after rhinoplasty is to some degree patient specific.
If you have a bell curve of pain threshold of all surgical procedures, most patients will fall right in the middle of the bell curve and a few patients will be above the curve and a few below. In a rhinoplasty surgical sense, most patients will experience discomfort which will require and be well controlled with the pain medications that are prescribed prior to your rhinoplasty surgery. Some patients will tell me that they used the pain medications for one day and then switched to Tylenol. Clearly, this makes me very happy!
Other patients require more pain medications than I would expect or that I am accustomed to seeing given that I have performed rhinoplasty for 20 years. I am not judgmental, as I have learned that pain affects patients differently. I make sure that there are no complicating issues that would lead to increased pain, and once I am certain that there are no complicating issues, I will write for more pain medications and reassure the rhinoplasty patient, which often times is really all they need. The discomfort following rhinoplasty will generally dissipate over the next few days and I encourage my patients to transition to Tylenol as soon as they feel comfortable.