Nose Job Recovery: What to Expect During the Healing Process

Posted on by Dr. Richard Rival

Typically, rhinoplasty has a reasonably uneventful recovery time. While there is the chance of complication, it’s a relatively small one. 

Still, we have prepared a guide that tells you what a normal healing process should look like – and how to make the most of your nose job recovery. By understanding the rhinoplasty recovery time and recovery process, you can make the most of your nose job before and after the actual surgery. 

Open vs. Closed Rhinoplasty

The first thing to understand is that nose job recovery time will vary depending on if you had an open rhinoplasty or a closed rhinoplasty. In closed or “internal” rhinoplasty, all of the incisions are done on the inside of the nose. This is the most popular form of nose job, as it leaves no scarring. Closed rhinoplasties excel at adjusting a prominent nasal tip, and such tip rhinoplasty recovery time usually is short.

Open rhinoplasty is rarer and involves incisions into the outside of the nose. It is used when more dramatic changes are needed. Such open rhinoplasty can be used to fix very twisted noses, as well as significant changes in nose projection. 

Often, it will have a slightly longer recovery period and may leave some visible scarring that will take time to fade. If your open rhinoplasty is taking more time to heal, don’t worry – this is normal.

What to Watch For

Typically patients can go home two to three hours after a rhinoplasty. Nasal surgery risks are generally low, and nose job recovery time is usually quick. 

After a rhinoplasty, feeling tired, swollen, and congested is perfectly normal. Some patients do feel nausea – this is a symptom that you should inform your plastic surgeon about, and they can recommend medication for it.

Usually, the surgeon will send you home with a nose split to maintain your new nose shape and gauze to catch any draining blood or mucous. If you had an external rhinoplasty, there might also be stitches. Both of these measures are temporary, and your doctor can remove them after a week.

Bruising and swelling are normal after rhinoplasty. They usually start to become pronounced a few days after the surgery and should go away after two weeks. If any swelling or bruising remains longer than this, you should consult your plastic surgeon. 

Similarly, congestion is perfectly normal but should go away after a few weeks. A humidifier and regular intake of liquids can help with this. Pain and discomfort are generally minimal, and your surgeon should give you enough pain medication to handle this.

One of the most important things to remember during the nose job recovery time is that it can take time for your nose to “adjust” to its final shape. If it doesn’t quite look like how you imagined it, give it some time to settle to see the final result.

Resting and Diet While Healing 

One of the best ways to lower the nose job recovery time is through proper rest and diet

You should make sure to take it easy, especially while you have the stitches still inside. Don’t engage in too much strenuous activity, and get plenty of sleep.

Your diet matters too. For the first 24 hours, make sure to eat primarily bland foods to avoid triggering nausea due to the remaining anesthetic. Your surgeon can give you recommendations on what might be appropriate. 

Next week after the surgery, try to stick to softer, easy to chew foods such as soup or yogurt. Also, make sure to get plenty of water! You should try to avoid alcohol or spicy food during this period, as it might cause nausea through interaction with the anesthetic in your system. 

You should also watch for high sodium foods. Soon you’ll be well on the way to recovery with your brand new profile!

Want to Learn More Before Your Rhinoplasty Procedure? 

The road to rhinoplasty surgery can be uneventful with the right doctor. Dr. Richard Rival is a board-certified Otolaryngologist Head and Neck Surgeon who can help resolve breathing problems through rhinoplasty, revision rhinoplasty or another facial plastic surgery request from patients like yourself. 

If you are interested in learning more about the rhinoplasty healing process or other cosmetic surgery, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re happy to answer all of your rhinoplasty questions in an in-person or virtual consultation! 

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