Rhinoplasty: The Recovery 411

Although recovery times can vary with a Nose Job surgery, in general it will take you:

  • Up to 1 week to get back on your feet and return to normal daily activities (In most cases you will have a splint placed over the bridge of your nose during this time)
  • 1-2 weeks to return to return to public activities, knowing that your nose will still appear swollen
  • 4-6 weeks to return to your normal workout schedule 
  • Up to 6 months for the swelling to completely resolve

There are many tricks to help you feel more comfortable during recovery.  The use of local anesthesia during surgery really does help with comfort immediately after surgery.  Intermittent icing is helpful around the eyes and we rely on pain medications in the first couple of days after surgery to minimize any discomfort and pain. Sleeping with your head elevated, at least to 30 degrees is mandatory to decrease the immediate postoperative swelling.  After 1 week, pain medication is usually not necessary and non narcotics like Tylenol and Ibuprofen can be used instead.  Also, if a splint was placed over the bridge of your nose during surgery, this will be removed after 1 week of recovery. Usually by 2 weeks, all medications can be discontinued.  The length and duration of applying ice around your nose and eyes varies and just depends on how it makes you feel.  Most like to apply ice for the first week of recovery.

After 1 month, you should be at your baseline but in many cases, getting back into your full exercise routine may take a little longer.  Exercise can cause swelling which can be uncomfortable, especially in the first 4 to 6 weeks after surgery.  It is best to ease back into this routine slowly and temporarily change up some of the exercises if necessary.

If your recovery seems slow, treatments like lymphatic massage and LED light therapy can really make a difference.  These are especially helpful after the first 4 weeks following your surgery.  Also, avoiding alcohol and smoking during recovery will be absolutely necessary as these two things will extend your recovery time.

Although there will always be some tough times during any surgical recovery, Nose Job surgery recovery is manageable and not as limiting as most expect.  This surgery has an amazing ability to subtly improve the appearance of your face, especially in profile.  As there is usually only a week or two of discomfort, it will be absolutely worth the short period of downtime.  

Here are a few things you should know about a Nose job in our office:

  1. This surgery is hugely transformative without drastically changing the features that make you you.
  2. There is minimal to no visible scarring with a nose job and the average amount of downtime is around one week. Swelling will last longer.  
  3. Although bruising and swelling are common with this surgery, we offer many post operative treatments and therapies that decrease the amount and duration of your recovery. 
  4. A nose job can improve the appearance of many aspects of your nose including the tip, the profile and the width
  5. A nose job can also improve the ability for you to breathe through your nose if you have any pre-existing obstruction.  We work directly with surgical airway specialists a combination procedure is indicated. 
  6. If your nose is crooked from a previous trauma or since birth,  a nose job is the best way to make it appear more straight 

Check out our Beauty and the Surgeon Podcast for more information on a nose job surgery.