Hello. This is a really interesting and important question to ask.
You should think about your recovery from rhinoplasty surgery in three ways:
1) Visible recovery
Every patients swells and bruises differently, however most people experience moderate swelling and bruising for at least a week. Some patients experience bruising around the eyes, while some do not. You will see the results of your surgery as soon as the cast is removed, but it it really takes up to 6 months for the complete result to be visible. I tell my patients they will be "restaurant ready" in two weeks, although many of them feel comfortable being seen at social events earlier than this. You cast will stay on for one week and it is important that you do not remove it before then.
2) Physical recovery
Following nasal surgery, it is critical that the nose not sustain any trauma for 6 months to a year. It does take that long for the structure which have been adjusted to heal properly.
3) Psychological recovery
Only healthy people with realistic expectations of rhinoplasty surgery should have the procedure. While rhinoplasty can improve the way a patient looks and give them greater confidence, it can not change their life. Cosmetic surgery can be stressful for some people, and is not well suited to those that have unhealthy motivations. Before you decide to have surgery, please ensure that you are 1) motivated to make a change for yourself, and not under pressure by anyone else 2) are in a financial situation that allows you to pay for the surgery comfortably 3) that you can arrange to take suitable time off from work and other life activities. Following surgery, you may feel slightly depressed or concerned. I always recommend that my patients have a friend or family member who can be there to support them emotionally. All in all, most patients are thrilled with the results of their rhinoplasty and very happy with their decision.
If you are healthy and realistic about what rhinoplasty can do for you and of the recovery period, you may be an excellent candidate for the surgery. While common, rhinoplasty surgery is one of the most complex cosmetic procedures. Please do your research carefully and choose a Facial Plastic Surgeon who can show they have extensive experience with cosmetic rhinoplasty. Ask for computer imaging as it is an excellent way to communicate with your doctor.
All the best to you.