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Recovering from Rhinoplasty

For those patients who visit Dr. Rival for a nose job (rhinoplasty surgery) from Toronto and Mississauga, we encourage arrival at the hospital or surgical facility about 1.5 hours prior to the scheduled surgery time. A nurse will check you in and reconfirm your medical history and do some preoperative teaching with you. Dr. Rival and the anesthesiologist will meet with you prior to going into the operating room to answer any remaining questions.

To find out more about what to expect during recovery after rhinoplasty, request a rhinoplasty consultation with Dr. Rival at one of his three Toronto-area cosmetic surgery offices.

Richard Rival, MD, FRCS

Board-certified in Facial Plastic Surgery and Otolaryngology, Dr. Rival devotes his practice exclusively to enhancement of the face and neck, with a focused specialty in rhinoplasty.

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When You Wake Up

Most patients will have a light general anesthetic and be completely asleep during the procedure until they reach the recovery room area. The surgery itself can last anywhere from 1 to 3 hours. At our clinic in Toronto, rhinoplasty is almost always "day surgery" in that you will likely go home 2 to 3 hours after the procedure. You will feel somewhat drowsy, swollen and congested when you wake up. In some cases, rhinoplasty patients from Mississauga and throughout the Toronto area will experience nausea which is treated with intravenous medication.

You will return home with a small plastic splint covering the top part of your nose. The tip of your nose will be taped to hold the new shape. There will also be a small, folded piece of gauze under your nose referred to as a "moustache dressing" to catch any drainage of blood or mucous. If you have had an external approach rhinoplasty or nostril reduction there will be some tiny stitches under your nose. The splint and the stitches will be removed about 5 to 7 days after surgery.

Bruising & Swelling

Most patients will have some degree of bruising and swelling following their nose surgery. This generally increases and peaks on the second or third day and resolves within 1 to 2 weeks. Most people feel comfortable going out in public after the first week. Cover up make up can be worn after 5 days. Although the facial swelling is gone in the first few weeks the nose itself can take some time to reveal its final shape.

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There will usually be some nasal congestion following surgery, but this depends highly on the extent of surgery done. Most of the time congestion improves quickly after the first few weeks. A humidifier in your bedroom and frequent drinking of water will help.


Most patients are pleasantly surprised by the minimal discomfort experienced after rhinoplasty. Patients generally look worse than they feel. You will be provided with post-operative pain medication to be taken as needed. You can download our post-operative rhinoplasty instructions and review them in advance.

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