Rhinoplasty (also known as a nose job) recovery times can vary. Rhinoplasty is surgery to the nose in order to improve its size, shape, or function. There can be a medically-necessary reason for rhinoplasty, such as correcting breathing problems or reconstructing damage from an accident, or it can be done for cosmetic purposes. If you are contemplating getting a nose job, this article will let you know what to expect in recovery. Don’t go in blind – understand what you are in for, what you will feel like, and what you will look like throughout your recovery from rhinoplasty surgery.

How Long Does it Typically Take to Recover From a Rhinoplasty?

The time that it typically takes to recover from a rhinoplasty varies depending on the type of rhinoplasty (medical vs. non medical) and the individual’s person’s healing process and care. It can take up to a year in some cases, although most cases are completely healed within four to six months. 

Rhinoplasty Recovery: Week 1

Rhinoplasty is an outpatient procedure. Depending upon the complexity of the work being done, the actual procedure should take no more than a couple of hours under general anesthesia. You will go home that same day; however, you are required to rest for the first week or two after the surgery.

You will have bandages on your face and probably a splint supporting your nose. The splint will be taped to your cheek or forehead. There can be bloody discharge from the nostrils, so gauze is often taped under the nose as well.

You can expect to be sore and experience pain during the first week of recovery. The nose and surrounding area will be swollen and appear bruised. There will be bruising under your eyes. Keeping your head elevated while resting will reduce swelling and discomfort. 

A rhinoplasty patient should take off from work and should expect to stay home, rest, and avoid strenuous activity during the first week after surgery, at least. Resting for the first few days is essential.

Rhinoplasty Recovery: Week 2 

For most rhinoplasty patients, the splint and bandages will come off in the second week during their follow-up visit with their plastic surgeon. There will still be some bruising and swelling.

Whether to return to work or go out in public after the first week is entirely up to you and how you feel about your appearance. Regardless, you should still avoid strenuous activity or heavy lifting, and if that sort of activity is part of your job, it might be prudent to take more time off.

Rhinoplasty Recovery: Month 1

Most swelling and bruising should have subsided after the first two weeks, and the discomfort caused by the surgery and the healing process will have decreased for most patients after a month. You will likely be able to see many of the results you expected from the rhinoplasty. While some swelling of the nose could remain, it may only be noticeable to you and your family.

Your doctor will advise whether you can return to normal activities, or whether you should continue to avoid strenuous activities.

Rhinoplasty Recovery: Months 2-3

This is when your face will start to feel and look like itself again, but with an improved nose shape, size, and/or contour. 

Be aware that the very tip of your nose is very susceptible to swelling and could retain some subtle signs of swelling for up to a year.

Rhinoplasty Recovery: Months 6-12

For some rhinoplasty patients, it takes up to a year for that small amount of swelling at the tip of the nose to subside. Once it does, you will see the result you hoped for.

Rhinoplasty Recovery Time May Vary 

Three Factors That Impact Recovery Time 

Factor #1: Rhinoplasty Recovery Time Depends on Procedure

There is temporary, non-surgical rhinoplasty available that has little to no recovery time attached. But for surgical rhinoplasty, there will always be a period of recovery. The length of that period and your limitations will be dictated by how quickly you heal and the complexity of your procedure.

Factor #2: The Health, Age, and Lifestyle of the Patient Can Affect How Quickly They Recover from Rhinoplasty

If the patient is older and has one or more medical conditions, this may slow the healing process. As a general principle, younger patients heal more quickly, barring health or lifestyle issues. Regular use of caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco can also slow the healing process.

Factor #3: Whether the Patient Complies with Discharge Orders

Your discharge orders will expressly provide instructions on what to do and what not to do in the days and weeks following your rhinoplasty. If you fail to follow these instructions you risk extending the recovery period and compromising the results of the surgery.

How Can I Speed Up My Rhinoplasty Recovery Time?

In order to speed up rhinoplasty recovery time, follow this advice:

  • Rest for the first two weeks and otherwise comply with discharge instructions
  • Manage expectations for when the bandages initially come off
  • Take it easy for the first couple of months and let your body heal
  • Accept that the final result may not reveal itself until a year has passed
  • Stay confident that you will soon look like you want to look like

How Long Will My Nose Be Swollen After My Rhinoplasty?

This depends upon the complexity of your procedure, how easily you bruise, how quickly you heal, and whether you follow the discharge instructions or not. For those with everything going for them who follow the discharge instructions, they can expect most swelling to subside in two to three months. However, the very tip of the nose may retain some subtle swelling for up to a year, in some cases.

Choose the Best Surgeon to Ensure The Best Rhinoplasty Results

Since nose surgery is a complex surgical procedure, it is important to choose a board-certified facial plastic surgeon with years of experience in rhinoplasty. Even if you opt for non-surgical rhinoplasty, the doctor’s knowledge and skill is the deciding factor in providing a natural appearance post-procedure.

If you are interested in improving your nose, please feel free to contact Dr. Castellano to schedule a complimentary consultation. He is double board-certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology and the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Dr. Castellano is an expert in the field of plastic surgery and has many years of experience in rhinoplasty. Dr. Castellano specializes in facial rejuvenation and focuses on aesthetic plastic surgery with natural-looking results. You can contact Dr. Castellano at Elite Facial Plastic Surgery in Tampa by calling (813) 638-0180 or visiting our contact page.  Elite Facial Plastic Surgery is a fully-accredited medical facility in Tampa, Florida.

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