How Long Is Recovery from Rhinoplasty?

Woman showing side face profile (model)

If you are dissatisfied with how your nose looks, rhinoplasty (nose job surgery) can address your concerns, whether you have a hump, bulbous tip, an overly large nose, or another issue. Contrary to popular belief, a rhinoplasty will not give you a cookie-cutter nose but will refine and tweak the areas you are unhappy with.

While you’re probably excited about finally achieving the symmetrical, well-shaped nose you’ve always wanted, you may also be a little apprehensive about the recovery. How long will it take to heal? When can you go back to work? How soon can you return to life as usual? We answer these and other questions in our rhinoplasty recovery timeline below.

How Does Rhinoplasty Work?

Knowing what happens during the procedure can help you better understand the recovery. During your rhinoplasty, your plastic surgeon will make an incision inside the nostrils for a “closed” rhinoplasty or in the columella (the strip of skin separating the nostrils) in an “open” rhinoplasty. Your surgeon will then change the shape or size of the nose, adjust the skin and tissue, close the incisions, and place a splint on your nose to protect it.

For more information about rhinoplasty, check out our related blog post.

Recovery Timeline for Rhinoplasty

Each person’s recovery experience is a little different. However, the following rhinoplasty recovery timeline can help you know what to expect after your procedure.

Weeks 1 and 2

Swelling and bruising around your nose (and sometimes your eyes) are typical and peak 2 or 3 days after surgery. Your splint will be removed at your first post-op appointment about a week after your surgery. You can resume nonstrenuous work after 1 or 2 weeks, but avoid movements that may strain your face. Do not lift any heavy objects during this time.

Weeks 3 and 4

You may be able to resume your normal routine and light exercise during this time as long as your plastic surgeon approves it. You may need to avoid resistance workouts and strength training for a little longer. Most of your swelling should resolve during this time, but lingering swelling may take up to a year to completely subside.

Week 6

You can resume strength training and resistance workouts with your plastic surgeon’s approval.

Months 3 to 6

You may still have some residual swelling, but you’re on your way to seeing the full results of your rhinoplasty!

To see some of our patients’ rhinoplasty transformations, visit our rhinoplasty before-and-after gallery. And for more on rhinoplasty recovery, visit the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

What Can You Do To Ensure a Smooth Recovery?

Each patient’s rhinoplasty recovery will be different, but there are simple steps you can take to make sure your recovery goes smoothly.

  • Follow your plastic surgeon’s recommendations.
  • Apply ice packs to the area to minimize swelling and bruising.
  • Keep your head elevated as much as possible after the procedure.
  • Maintain a balanced diet to help with healing and avoid inflammation.
  • Avoid blowing your nose for at least 10 days or as your plastic surgeon advises.

A board-certified plastic surgeon can not only provide excellent results but also guide you through the recovery process. If you are ready for a more refined and symmetrical nose, request a consultation or call us at (818) 500-0823 to schedule an appointment.

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