What is Recovery from a Rhinoplasty Like?

If you’ve been toying around with the idea of getting a nose job, there may be one unknown that’s holding you back from making the leap: a long and potentially painful recovery.

Fortunately, rhinoplasty recovery can be predictable, especially with the right plastic surgeon. Read on to discover what recovery from a rhinoplasty is really like.

8 Things to Expect from Your Rhinoplasty Recovery

1. Your final results won’t be visible for a while.

While you’ll be able to enjoy your new nose about two to four weeks after surgery, the truth is that your final results usually will take about6 months to one year to appear.

That’s because your nose will still have microscopic swelling, all of which could subtly impact your results. That’s why, if you’re not happy with the results of a previous rhinoplasty procedure, we recommend waiting six to twelve months before seeking out revision rhinoplasty.

2. You’ll need to wear surgical dressing for one week.

Your nostrils will be protected with surgical dressing to help keep the new nose shape in place during the first week of recovery. This dressing is typically removed once your plastic surgeon is satisfied with your healing progress.

3. Avoid getting water on your face.

You should avoid getting water or any other type of moisture on your face while you have the surgical dressing in place, as water could cause the splint to loosen. Shower with your face outside of the water or opt to take a bath. You can also use a wet washcloth to wash your face, being careful to avoid the nose.

4. You’ll feel uncomfortable for a few days.

Expect to feel some discomfort and pain during your first week of recovery, when swelling and bruising will be most pronounced. Your plastic surgeon may prescribe you pain medications to help with any discomfort.

You may feel the most uncomfortable during the first day of your recovery, especially in the immediate hours after surgery. You should expect some minor bleeding coming from your nostrils, plus you may find it difficult to breathe through your nose for a bit. That’s perfectly normal! Your nose will start feeling a little more normal as the days go on, especially if you give yourself time to rest and relax.

5. Your sleep position may change.

If you’re a side sleeper or you sleep on your stomach, your plastic surgeon will ask you to change sleeping positions to avoid disrupting your nose’s healing. Get used to sleeping on your back before surgery to help make yourself as comfortable as possible.

But “sleeping on your back” doesn’t mean laying flat on your back, as that could promote additional swelling. We recommend creating a little nest for yourself, where you can place a few extra pillows under your head and back.

Your best bet? Invest in a comfortable recliner. This chair puts you in the ideal position to get sleep without running the risk of sleeping on your side or experiencing more swelling.

6. Don’t make any social plans for the week after your procedure.

You’re going to be doing a lot of healing immediately after your rhinoplasty surgery. Plus, most people need their post-op splints to stay on for a minimum of one week; this time-frame ensures that the new nose isn’t accidentally damaged or injured during its most vulnerable healing stages.

For that reason, we recommend refraining from work and social activities for one week after your surgery. Taking this time off gives you the physical and mental space needed to fully devote yourself to recovery.

In other words, you won’t be rushing to get back out there before your nose (and your body) is ready!

7. Expect a follow-up appointment after one week.

You should expect to see your plastic surgeon for a follow-up appointment about five to seven days after your surgery. This appointment gives your surgeon the chance to take your splint off, as well as remove any stitches that may have been required during your surgery.

8. Be patient!

Part of having a healthy rhinoplasty recovery means giving yourself the time you need to fully heal from surgery. Don’t rush to go back to work, and don’t push yourself to attend social engagements before you feel ready. By giving your nose time and space to heal, you’re more likely to get those results you’ve been working for!

Take the Next Step – Request a Consultation

Want to learn more about what you can expect from your rhinoplasty procedure?

Schedule your consultation, or by calling Specialty Aesthetic Surgery at (212) 737-8700. We look forward to working with you!

Specialty Aesthetic Surgery serves the greater NYC metro area.

About our Surgeons

Bruce Moskowitz is an experienced and board-certified oculoplastic surgeon. His practice encompasses all areas of oculoplastic cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. He has a well-known reputation for revision surgery, and a large portion of his practice comes from other colleagues to revise sub-optimal outcomes.

Grigoriy Mashkevich is an experienced and double-board certified facial plastic surgeon. He belongs to a highly select group of surgeons with a focused specialization in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the nose, face, and neck.

*Individual results may vary.

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