If you have concerns about how long your rhinoplasty recovery will take, know that everyone’s journey is different. Typically, you will need about 2 weeks to recover at home from your rhinoplasty procedure, but it may be 6 weeks or more before the swelling resolves enough that you can begin to see what your nose might look like. Your board-certified plastic surgeon can alleviate your concerns and give you realistic expectations about your downtime.
Although each person’s experience is slightly different, here is an approximate timeline of what you can expect.
Rhinoplasty Recovery Timeline
1 Day Post-Op
Expect to feel tired and groggy immediately after your surgery. You will need someone to drive you home after and help you get settled at home. It’s a good idea to fill any prescriptions beforehand so you have them handy to manage discomfort.
2 Days Post-Op
You will feel tired and have some swelling and bruising around the nose. Remember, don’t drive if you are taking any pain medication. Your plastic surgeon will recommend sleeping on your back with your head propped up under several pillows. This position will avoid putting a strain on your incisions and help with the healing process.
1 Week Post-Op
This may be a frustrating week, as most patients experience increased swelling and bruising. However, you should experience only mild discomfort. Your surgeon will remove your nose dressings about 7 to 10 days after surgery, so you can look forward to the big reveal at the end of this week or the beginning of Week 2. Don’t be discouraged by the swelling around your nose, as you still have some recovery time to get through.
Weeks 2 & 3 Post-Op
Most patients can return to work after 2 weeks if they feel well enough and their plastic surgeon clears them. If your job requires strenuous activity, give it another week or 2. You will see an improvement in swelling, and even more of your rhinoplasty results should be emerging.
Weeks 3 & 4 Post-Op
You will feel more like your usual self as you reach the 3- and 4-week mark! Some people even feel ready to go out socially and meet with friends at this point. Don’t be discouraged by lingering swelling—it may take 6 months to a year to completely resolve.
Week 6 Post-Op
Your swelling should have decreased dramatically, and you should be ready to resume strenuous exercise. Make sure to check in with your plastic surgeon and work up to your usual workout routine. You will be enjoying the results of your rhinoplasty even though your full results are still a few months away.
Read this helpful blog post from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons for answers to some commonly asked questions about rhinoplasty recovery.
Rhinoplasty is for anyone who wants to make subtle aesthetic changes to their nose or has breathing issues. We help many men and women regain their confidence with rhinoplasty surgery, as you can see in these before and after photos. To see how rhinoplasty can help you achieve your dream nose, request a consultation or call us at (980) 949-6544 to schedule an appointment.