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What’s It Like to Recover From Rhinoplasty?

Posted on: November 19, 2015  |   Category:

Rhinoplasty Before and After PhotosAs with any surgery, recovery from rhinoplasty is different for every person. It can be comforting and indeed helpful to ask others about their experience with healing from the procedure, but your particular experience will be unique. This is especially true because you may not require the same improvements as another person, and your surgeon may not have the same approach to the surgery.

In general, however, there are a few things that are common during recovery for all rhinoplasty patients: downtime, a splint or packing, and swelling and bruising.


The length of downtime following a rhinoplasty varies, but patients are encouraged to take at least one week off from work or school. Recovery may be a little longer with an open rhinoplasty. Patients who have to have their nose surgically broken may have more swelling, so they typically do not feel comfortable going in public for a couple of weeks. After two weeks, it is usually safe to return to strenuous activities and regular exercise.

A Splint or Packing

Most patients have an external splint or cast that covers the nose after surgery. This will protect the nose, help it take on its intended shape, and reduce swelling. It is typically left on for one week. Packing inside the nose will prevent excessive bleeding. This can be uncomfortable the first week after surgery, but not all patients will need it.

Swelling or Bruising

Swelling and bruising typically occur beneath the eyes and around the nose but can also extend to the cheeks and upper lip. One of the most important things to note is that swelling will dissipate over time, but it may not completely disappear for several months. That said, your nose will take a significant amount of time to conform to its intended shape.

After one week, when the cast or splint is removed from your nose, you will first notice swelling. By the end of the second week, the swelling and bruising may have dissipated enough that others may not be able to notice you have had surgery. Because you can closely inspect your nose and you have become accustomed to what it naturally looks like, the swelling will be obvious to you for several months. It can take up to a full year for the final results of your rhinoplasty surgery to become apparent.

To schedule your rhinoplasty consultation at Southwest Plastic Surgery, please call our El Paso, TX office at (915) 590-7900. For your convenience, you may also fill out our online contact form.