The Rhinoplasty Recovery

Rhinoplasty, or the nose job, is a surgery that includes a two-stage recovery process. As only a small portion of the face is affected the procedure, mobility is not reduced much past the first few days following the procedure, but there are lingering side effects to the recovery that can take as much as a year to fully heal.

The Rhinoplasty Procedure

On the day of the surgery, the doctor will use a general anesthesia. Incisions will be made inside the nose when possible and the surgery will take place through the nostrils where possible as well. Bones may be broken or chiseled down and cartilage may be clipped to reshape the nose in the desired fashion. Once the newly shaped nose is covered again with skin and the sutures are in place, the surgeon will use packing materials like gauze to fill the nasal cavities in order to hold the newly reshaped nose in place. The surgery is then complete and the patient returns home to start the recovery.

The First Days of Rhinoplasty Recovery

Once the patient is home, he or she will have a hard time being mobile thanks to the lingering effects of the anesthesia and the discomfort from the procedure. Patients sometimes report being in greater discomfort from the packing materials in the nose rather than the surgery itself. Bleeding is expected in these first days and swelling and bruising is normal as well. Prescribed medication and pain reducers will help to keep discomfort manageable. The packing and sutures are removed in the first week following the procedure and the surgeon will put a brace on the nose to help maintain the new shape.

The Long-Term Rhinoplasty Recovery

The discomfort will disappear after the first two weeks leaving only bruising and swelling behind as the nose continues to heal and adapt to its new shape. While eighty percent of the swelling will be gone within the first six weeks of the procedure, some swelling can persist for up to a year following the surgery. Bruising fades more quickly, but in the rhinoplasty cases where the nose was broken, bruising around the eyes can persist for weeks, although make up helps to make these bruises disappear.