How Long Is Recovery After Rhinoplasty Surgery?

Rhinoplasty Recovery FAQs

Rhinoplasty – more commonly called a “nose job” – is nasal reconstruction surgery that alters the shape of the nose. It is the most common facial plastic surgery procedure. – with more than 352,500 rhinoplasty surgeries performed in the United States every year.

Many people are unhappy with the appearance of their nose and would like to change the size, shape, wide or symmetry of it. When patients come to AMAE Plastic Surgery they have many questions – and the most frequent questions we are asked often center around the recovery period after rhinoplasty.

In this article, board-certified Birmingham, MI plastic surgeon Dr. Ali answers patients’ questions about what to expect during rhinoplasty recovery.

How long does recovery take after rhinoplasty?

Recovery after any surgery will vary depending on the patient’s age and health, as well as how complex or extensive the surgery is. Dr. Ali will discuss the specifics of your rhinoplasty surgery. But the general timeline of what to expect after rhinoplasty is typically 2 to 3 weeks for immediate recover – followed by a year or more of internal healing.

In most cases, Dr. Ali will recommend taking a week off from work or school and any other activity following rhinoplasty. During this time period, patients will wear tape and a splint on the nose. After the first week stitches and the splint are removed, and the bruises under the eyes should mostly be gone.

After a week, most people are able to return to work or school – but the recovery process will continue for two or three weeks before patients can return to regular normal activities, including mild exercise. Strenuous activities, including harder workouts, should not be resumed for at least six weeks to allow proper healing to “sit in.”

However, the nasal bones and cartilage will remain delicate while they heal internally for a year or more. During this time period rhinoplasty surgery, patients should be cautious with their activities to not accidentally bump the nose. A blow to the nose can disrupt bone that has not fully set or damage internal incisions that have not fully healed.

Does the type of rhinoplasty affect recovery?

Yes, the length of the recovery period does depend on the type or “technique” of rhinoplasty used. There are two primary methods of performing nose job surgery: open rhinoplasty and closed rhinoplasty.

During open rhinoplasty, the plastic surgeon makes an incision across the tissue that sits between the nostrils and connects the nasal tip to the nasal base (columella). During closed rhinoplasty, Dr. Ali uses an incision inside the nostril.

There will be more tip swelling in an open rhinoplasty than using the closed technique. However, the closed rhinoplasty is often necessary for tip refinement. Procedures performed on patients with thicker skin, those in need of cartilage graphs, or those requiring more extensive bone or cartilage work will also typically require a longer recovery period.

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Can patients do anything to speed up recovery time?

Preparing the body before undergoing rhinoplasty can help you heal faster. It is very important to stop taking medications that can contribute to bruising or bleeding, including blood-thinners, aspirin, Advil, Aleve, and fish oil.

Patients can also start taking arnica and bromelain a couple weeks before surgery through a couple week after rhinoplasty to decrease bruising and swelling.

And, of course, quitting smoking is essential. Smoking substantially increases the risk of complications after any surgery. Smoking compromises a patient’s immune system, delays healing, and increases the risk of infection at the surgical site.

When will I see my “new nose” after rhinoplasty surgery?

The most important thing to keep in mind when recovering from rhinoplasty surgery is patience. Patients will see changes in the nose immediately, and even more dramatic results will be seen after six weeks when about half of the swelling will be gone. But the final results typically take about a year, or more. As the swelling subsides, the nose may look a bit crooked or asymmetrical, but everything will completely even out after about a year.

Top Rhinoplasty Surgeon | Birmingham, MI

If you are considering rhinoplasty surgery, call Birmingham Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Ali for a nose job evaluation and consultation.  He will explain your surgical options for correcting imperfections in your nasal contours – and ensure that you achieve the best possible rhinoplasty results!

Birmingham, MI Rhinoplasty Surgeon: 248-335-7200