Rhinoplasty is one of the most liberating and rewarding cosmetic procedures. In giving patients the shapely nose they’ve always wanted, the procedure brings harmony to their facial features and renews their sense of confidence. As with any surgical procedure, it’s normal to have questions regarding the recovery process and what to expect in the weeks following your operation.
This blog post will cover how long it takes to recover from rhinoplasty and outline the recovery process so you can be as informed and comfortable as possible when considering plastic surgery. First, we will look at the two types of rhinoplasty surgery.
In open rhinoplasty, the surgeon makes a small incision between the nostrils, giving them full access to the inner structures of the nose. This technique is employed when significant changes to the nose’s shape, size, and structure are required.
Closed rhinoplasty, by contrast, places the incisions within the nostrils, leaving no visible or external scars. It is used when patients desire more subtle corrections and reshaping. Our practice prefers to use this approach where possible—not least because it comes with a (generally) shorter recovery period.
Depending on which surgical technique is used, you can expect to take 7 to 10 days off work and school, although individual experiences vary. It may take up to a year for the swelling to fully disappear and your new nose to “settle” into its final state, but the first month is when most of the recovery happens.
What To Expect 1 to 2 Weeks After Rhinoplasty
- Splint – To help your nose maintain its new shape and protect it from damage, your surgeon will place a splint on your nose to be worn for the first several days of recovery.
- Black Eyes and Bruising – Bruising may spread to the cheeks and eyes after the first 24 hours. While black eyes may be unsightly, as we cover in our related blog post, these can be managed without too much discomfort or distress.
- Pain Management – You should be able to manage any pain or discomfort in the first few days with prescribed or over-the-counter medication. Ice packs are also helpful to numb the area and reduce swelling.
- The Big Reveal – At your follow-up appointment, your surgeon will check on your healing and remove your splint, revealing your new nose!
What To Expect 3 to 4 Weeks After Rhinoplasty
- Swelling – Around 70% of the initial swelling will have subsided by now, giving you a chance to visualize your final results.
- Activity Levels – By this time, you should be back to your everyday routines and able to engage in moderate-intensity exercise and other strenuous activities.
- Confidence – The majority of patients are comfortable being seen in public at this stage and are delighted with their new look.
Your surgeon will guide you on everything from how to reduce swelling after rhinoplasty to how to sleep after your procedure, encouraging your smooth and uncomplicated recovery. However, the rate and quality of your healing (and the success of your operation) have as much to do with the surgeon’s skill as they do your own commitment to following your postoperative instructions. Because your rhinoplasty surgeon’s expertise is so critical, we advise that you consider only board-certified plastic surgeons.
If you are curious about what results are possible with rhinoplasty, we recommend viewing our extensive gallery of before and after photos. You may be surprised by how a slight change in the nose can transform a person’s face or bring harmony to their facial features! We would love to discuss how we can help you achieve your aesthetic goals through rhinoplasty. Please request a consultation or call us at
(817) 442-1236 to get in touch.