Rhinoplasty Recovery - How Long Does it Take?

Posted July 06, 2020
Length of time patients expect for rhinoplasty recovery

Patients with a nose that they feel is too big or has a shape they are not happy with often turn to rhinoplasty to make desired changes in the appearance of the nose. Rhinoplasty, AKA a nose job, is performed to make changes to the shape, size or look of the nose. Even though the final results can last a lifetime, patients still need to make it through the rhinoplasty recovery period before they can enjoy the final appearance they desire with the nose.

Rhinoplasty Recovery Process

Before discussing how long it takes to recover from rhinoplasty, patients should know how the procedure is performed. Rhinoplasty can be performed as open rhinoplasty or closed rhinoplasty.

  • Open rhinoplasty is when the incisions made by the surgeon are placed on the outside of the nose
  • Closed rhinoplasty is when the incisions are placed inside the nose

Once the incisions are made, the skin that covers the nasal bones and cartilage is raised by the surgeon in order to gain access to reshape the structure of the nose. The surgeon can remove cartilage or bone to reduce the size of the nose as well as alter the shape or appearance of the nose. Rhinoplasty can also be performed to improve the ability of patients with a deviated septum, AKA septoplasty, to breathe by straightening the septum. Once the underlying structure of the nose is sculpted in order to achieve the desired final results, the nasal skin is put back in place and the incisions are closed by the surgeon.

Once the rhinoplasty surgery is completed, the rhinoplasty recovery process will begin. Patients can expect to see some bruising and swelling around the eyes and the nose. The swelling and bruising that appears around the nose and the eyes will be visible for around 2-3 weeks after the surgery. These conditions on the face will eventually start to disappear and the nose will begin to settle and take its final shape.

In general, a full patient recovery from rhinoplasty can take up to 12 months. While this might seem like a long recovery period, it is important that note that the time period is not completely filled with pain or discomfort on the part of the patient. Once the initial discomfort that occurs after the surgery ends, patients will need to wait for the swelling to subside before they are able to see the final results. Since closed rhinoplasty places the incisions inside the nose, there are no visible scars after the procedure. On the other hand, open rhinoplasty has the possibility of leaving a visible scar since any incisions made by the surgeon are placed on the outside of the nose.

Rhinoplasty Recovery – Up Close Look

As mentioned above, the recovery from rhinoplasty surgery can be a long process as it can take almost a year to see the final results thanks to waiting for all of the swelling to subside after the rhinoplasty procedure. Before making the final decision to have rhinoplasty, patients should take a look at the rhinoplasty recovery timeline below:

  • First Week – During the first week after the rhinoplasty surgery, patients can expect to experience a good amount of swelling and bruising in the nose that can also extend to the eyes, Patients can also expect to wear a splint around the nose so they can protect it immediately after the procedure.
  • Second Week – The initial bruising and swelling from the first week will subside and patients will feel more confident about being seen in public. The splint will be removed and patients can resume their normal activities.
  • End of the First Month – If the incisions are placed on the outside of the nose, they will likely not be visible anymore. There will still be some swelling experienced by the patient.
  • End of the Second Month – Once the second month of rhinoplasty recovery has ended for the patient, it is predicted that around 90\\% of the swelling will have subsided.
  • Third Month (and Beyond) – The length of the rhinoplasty recovery process is harder to predict after the third month because each patient is different. Overall, it can take up to a full year for the final results to be visible and the rhinoplasty recovery process to be completed.

Rhinoplasty Recovery – Discuss with a Board-Certified Surgeon

Patients that are interested in learning more about the rhinoplasty recovery process should consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon that is experienced in performing rhinoplasty. Besides giving a patient a better idea of the type of final results that can be expected after the surgery, the surgeon will also monitor the progress of the recovery process during follow-up appointments after the rhinoplasty procedure. The surgeon will also provide detailed post-op instructions for the patient to follow after the surgery. While the recovery process can take up to a year, the final results can make dramatic changes that can give patients the size and shape of the nose they have always desired. In addition, the new size and shape of the nose can provide a better overall balance and symmetry to the face.



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