Recovering from Rhinoplasty


Getting a nose job can be an exciting way to significantly alter your physical appearance—and hopefully give you a boost of self-confidence, in the process. Like any surgery, of course, rhinoplasty comes with a recovery period. The best advice we can give is to listen carefully to the post-op instructions your surgeon gives you—and to speak up with any questions or concerns you have, well in advance. In this post, we’re going to offer some brief guidelines for the post-rhinoplasty recovery process. By following these rules of thumb, you can ensure that your recovery is safe, expedient, and complete.

Bouncing Back from Rhinoplasty

  • Pain: You can anticipate some mild-to-middling pain following your rhinoplasty—but the good news is that the worst of it passes within the first 48 hours, after which you’ll start to feel a bit more normal. Additionally, the pain can be managed by over-the-counter medications, like Tylenol. In some instances, your doctor may prescribe pharmaceutical-strength pain remedies, though these often aren’t needed. So make sure that you have enough pain medications on hand before your surgery, as well as vitamins, supplements, or herbal remedies that you find useful.
  • Bruising and Swelling: Most rhinoplasty patients will have some bruising and some swelling, though the amount depends on the extent of the work you have done. It’s when you have bone work done that the bruising tends to be most intense. The good news here is that the bruising will only be visible for the first five to 10 days, and that it can be easily concealed with makeup. The swelling will probably be very noticeable for the first few days, but you can apply ice packs to minimize it. Also make sure you avoid any activities that elevate your blood pressure, including any kind of intense athletics or lifting heavy objects.
  • Nasal Congestion: Both due to swelling and due to dried blood in your sinus passages, you will likely have a hard time breathing through your nose for the first two or three days. These issues usually clear up quickly, and you can ask your doctor for recommendations of over-the-counter decongestants.
  • Timeline: Of course, the big question patients always ask is, how long will the recovery take? The rule of thumb is that the first 24-48 hours are always toughest in terms of pain, congestion, and swelling. You’ll want to mostly stay in bed and rest during this period. Within a week, your cast and/or stitches will be removed, and swelling and bruising will both start to go down. Within 10 days or so, you’ll likely feel ready to go out in public. And by the six-week mark, you’ll feel more or less totally back to normal. Remember that these are all rules of thumb—and if you want to ask any questions about the specifics of your recovery, we invite you to contact us. Reach out to the Exclusively Faces team to learn more about what you can expect from your nose job.

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