How long does it take to recover from rhinoplasty surgery?
It typically takes about two weeks to recover from nose surgery. Your surgeon will discuss how long it will be before you can return to your normal level of activity and work. After surgery, you and your caregiver will receive detailed instructions about your post-operative care, including information about:
- Normal symptoms you will experience
- Normal nose-bleeding for the first 24 hours
- Potential signs of complication
It is vital that you follow all the patient care instructions your surgeon provides. It is also important to know that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals. You will need to wait for several weeks before you can engage in exercise or athletics.
What can I expect in the early stages of my nose surgery recovery?
- You may need to wear a nasal splint over your nose for support. The splint will protect your nose while you sleep and shield it from accidental bumps. You may also have a small triangular bandage beneath the tip of your nose.
- You will have nasal packing inside your nose for additional support; it acts as an internal splint to hold everything in place and to keep the airway clean and free of crusts. Many patients dislike the idea of anything in their noses, so adjusting to the nasal packing may be difficult. Some surgeons insert a small tube in each airway to allow the patient to breathe more freely when the packing is in place.
- Expect some swelling and bruising and possibly some discomfort. Your face will be puffy, and the areas around your nose and eyes will be bruised and swollen after surgery. Your surgeon may recommend cold compresses to help minimize the swelling and reduce pain. You may need to keep your head elevated and relatively still for the first few days after surgery.
- Your surgeon may prescribe a pain medication to deal with any pain you may experience.
- You will have to limit your activities for a few days to weeks.
What can I expect in the first two weeks?
- All surgical packing within your nose will be removed within four to seven days after surgery.
- The splint and bandages on your nose will be removed in a week to ten days.
- It takes about ten to fourteen days before most of the swelling and bruising improves, but could take three weeks for really “bad” bruising.
- Your return to work or school depends on how much exertion your job or your school activities require. Most normal activities, including exercise, can usually resume within three weeks.
- You should avoid strenuous exercise, straining, bending, and lifting until cleared to do so by your plastic surgeon.
What can I expect after two weeks?
- You may have minor swelling of your nose for up to a year, but it most likely will not be noticeable to others after one month.
- You will have to wait a few months before you can expose your reshaped nose to direct sunlight.
- If your nasal bones were altered, you will have to wait a while before you can wear glasses without proper support, such as tape.