Tip 1: Understand the Rhinoplasty Recovery Process

One of the most important things you can do to reduce your rhinoplasty recovery time is to understand the recovery process. After your rhinoplasty surgery there are milestones, follow up appointments, swelling expectations, and more. By knowing what to expect from your rhinoplasty recovery, you can better take care of your nose and know when something isn’t right.

Rhinoplasty Recovery Week By Week

There are several weeks and months that are important during your rhinoplasty recovery. Below is everything you need to know about week one, week two, month 1, month 2 to 3, and 1 year.

Rhinoplasty Recovery: Week 1

Immediately following your rhinoplasty there may be some discomfort along with bruising, swelling, and bloody discharge from your nose. Bandages and a stint will hold your nose in place and you’re required to rest which means no working or any strenuous activities.

Rhinoplasty Recovery: Week 2

During the second week your bandages and stint will be removed from your nose. You will still have swelling and bruising but it should be reduced from the first week. At this point, you can go back to work and get back to a certain level of normalcy. You should still avoid any extensive exercise. 

Rhinoplasty Recovery: Month 1

A month after your rhinoplasty a majority of your swelling should be gone and you should start to see the results of the procedure. Some swelling may be noticeable to you or family but out in public it won’t be noticeable.

During one of your follow up appointments with your plastic surgeon, he will advise you on whether it’s safe to start exercise, heavy lifting, and other strenuous activities.

Rhinoplasty Recovery: Month 2-3

It’s often by the second month following your rhinoplasty surgery that you can see the improvements and corrections you desired. You should not be experiencing any discomfort as your nose should start to feel normal again. There may be some residual swelling at the tip of the nose but it will be subtle.

Rhinoplasty Recovery: Month 12

A year after your rhinoplasty all swelling should be gone. At this point you can be confident that the nose you see is the final result of your rhinoplasty. 

Tip 2: Keep Your Head Elevated 

When it comes to sleeping after your rhinoplasty, you should never rest on your side or your stomach. By putting pressure on your nose it could cause your nose to shift which will impact the results of your procedure. Laying on your side will also cause pain and increase swelling.

During the first month of your rhinoplasty recovery you should rest with your head elevated. This means sleeping on your back with two to three pillows under your head or resting in a recliner. Keeping your head elevated will help swelling subside and reduce discomfort for a faster, easier rhinoplasty recovery. 

Tip 3: Use a Cold Compress

Icing your nose will help to reduce swelling and discomfort following your rhinoplasty. Be sure to place the cold compress on your cheeks instead of directly on your nose. Placing the ice pack on your nose could disrupt the position of your nose. Don’t leave the cold compress on your skin for too long as this could cause discomfort and light burning. By using a cold compress you could make the swelling stages of your rhinoplasty recovery shorter.

 Rhinoplasty swelling stages

Immediately following your rhinoplasty, your nose may swell more over the first few days. Swelling should start to subside by week two when your stint and bandages are removed. After two to three months the majority of the swelling should be gone. At this point you can start to see the results of your rhinoplasty surgery. However, there may be some residual and subtle swelling that lasts as long as a year. This swelling is typically located on the tip of the nose and is barely noticeable.

Tip 4: Don’t Blow Your Nose

Blowing your nose can be really damaging following your rhinoplasty. If you do blow your nose you run the risk of shifting the position of your nose, damaging the healing bones, and slowing your recovery time. 

You’ll experience congestion following your rhinoplasty due to swelling. This may give you the urge to blow your nose to relieve the pressure but this will only cause harm. Instead, use a saline spray from your doctor to clean and moisturize your nostrils. Only after six weeks of recovery can you begin to blow your nose again.

Tip 5: Avoid Pain Medication 

While you may experience discomfort following your rhinoplasty, it’s best to avoid pain medication unless it’s prescribed by your doctor. It’s common that you will already be prescribed pain medication following your procedure so there won’t be any need to add additional painkillers. These additional medications could interfere with your prescriptions and cause harmful reactions. This will only slow your recovery process and cause more discomfort. It’s best just to follow the instructions your doctor gives you.

Tip 6: Go For a Walk

Intense exercise, heavy lifting, and any strenuous activity is best avoided during the first few months of your rhinoplasty recovery. However, you should avoid exercise all together. Going for a walk will help to increase circulation, and oxygen intake which ultimately reduces swelling and helps with the healing of your nose. This is also a great way to reduce stress while you go through your rhinoplasty recovery.

Tip 7: Eat the Right Foods 

It’s important to be mindful of your health and the foods you’re eating while you’re recovering from rhinoplasty. By eating the right foods, you’re filling your body with all the necessary nutrients which will aid in healing. Be sure to drink plenty of water as this will help flush out toxins and avoid any infections while you recover from your rhinoplasty.

Tip 8: Don’t Smoke

Smoking is one of the worst things you can do while you’re recovering from your rhinoplasty surgery. This directly relates to prolonged healing time and additional discomfort. Nicotine limits blood flow which will make it harder for your body to heal. It’s best to avoid smoking both before and after your rhinoplasty until your nose is completely healed.

Tip 9: Avoid Sunlight 

Getting outside for light exercise is important, but be sure to protect yourself from sun overexposure. While your nose is healing it’s more prone to getting sunburn which would only add more discomfort during your rhinoplasty recovery. Too much sun can also cause increased healing and any scarring to darken. To avoid this, limit your time outside and wear a hat while outdoors.

Tip 10: Don’t Shower

For at least one to two weeks you should avoid showering. Following your rhinoplasty, your nose will have a stint and bandages that aren’t meant to get wet. This may disrupt the position of your nose and harm your rhinoplasty recovery. The hot spray of water will also cause discomfort. Instead, take baths while you recover from your rhinoplasty.

Rhinoplasty Recovery Process FAQ

How long does bleeding last after rhinoplasty?

You may experience bleeding for 4 to 7 days following your rhinoplasty procedure. The gauze around your nose will need to be changed several times due to bleeding which is normal. Blood should be a pinkish-red color and bleeding should subside over time. If you experience any odd colored blood or bleeding longer than 7 days, speak to your doctor.

What should I expect 3 weeks after a nose job?

Three weeks after your rhinoplasty you’ll no longer be wearing the stint or any bandages. The swelling of your nose should already be reducing although it may still be noticeable at this time. While your doctor may still advise you to avoid strenuous activities, you can get back to most everyday activities such as showering and going to work. 

How long will my nose be stiff after rhinoplasty?

Most swelling and stiffness following your rhinoplasty should be gone after three months. However, some subtle swelling and stiffness may still be present in the tip of your nose for up to a year.

When can I go back to work after a nose job?

Following rhinoplasty, most people get back to work by week two. However, it’s normal to wait an additional week if your job requires heavy lifting or physical activity. It’s best to talk to your doctor to see when it’s best for you to get back to work.

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