Rhinoplasty Recovery Expectations

For patients seeking rhinoplasty, one of the primary concerns is the amount of time required to recover from the procedure. The time requires depends primarily on whether or not the nose was broken during the surgery. A rhinoplasty procedure that simply clips cartilage is going to have a much shorter recovery period than a procedure that requires breaking the bones of the nose and allowing them to heal in a different arrangement or shape.

The Week of Recovery

In all rhinoplasty procedures, it is the first week that makes the most dramatic difference in the recovery from the surgery. In the first days, the nose will be swollen and painful, and there will be large amounts of packing in place to help the nose hold its new shape. Once the packing is removed, the worst of the pain is over from the surgery and all that remains a brace over the nose to hold its shape and some swelling.

If the nose is broken, there may be bruising as well around the nose and eyes that can last for an additional week before fading completely. After the first few days, the packing is removed and the worst of the swelling is starting to recede. For some patients this is a time to resume normal activities or even return to work so long as the additional bruising and swelling aren’t a problem.

Fully Healed

The nose won’t be fully healed for four to six weeks if bones were broken. It will look and feel healed long before that time period, however, but patients should exercise caution to protect the delicate tissue and bones from impact that may cause additional harm. For most patients, the most obvious time of healing is complete in ten to fourteen days.