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Nose Surgery Recovery Time?

Assuming it takes...3 weeks before going back to work w/out anyone noticing the effects. my question is when are all signs of nose surgery gone from the public eye

Doctor Answers 11

Signs of Rhinoplasty

Thanks for your question -

It depends on exactly what you mean. If you mean to a trained eye there may always be signs of previous surgery.

If you're referring to people that know you well... a dramatic change in your nasal contour will probably always be noticeable.

If you're referring to swelling and bruising post-op -
Most bruising will resolve in 2-3 weeks. The swelling can be more variable and can depend on what type and how much work you've had done. Nasal tip swelling is usually the last thing to get better and can last 6 months to a year. Usually this swelling is relatively swelling and the majority of the swelling should resolve after about 4 weeks.

I hope this helps.

Average Recovery Time After a Gr8 Rhinoplasty

Hi Gr8P in SF,

The time period for the signs of rhinoplasty to be undetectable by the public eye varies anywhere from one week to forever, depending on many factors.

A subtle rhinoplasty by an expert rhinoplastic surgeon who handles the nasal tissues with gentle care and operates in the proper surgical plane may be very presentable to the public within one week. On the other hand, we have all seen rhinoplasties that are not only noticeable from across the room, but for years after the surgery (Michael Jackson).

In general you should be "presentable" after 10 to 14 days, and certainly by 3 weeks. The external approach, or open rhinoplasty will take 5 to 7 days longer for swelling to resolve.

Good luck and be well, choose your rhinoplasty surgeon carefully.

Dr. P (considering changing to "Dr. Gr8P in LA" after seeing your name)

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Signs of nasal surgery

Generally, any friends will know immediately and forever if significant changes were made.

If you are asking whether someone who never knew you, will be able to tell if you have had surgery, that is possible at 3 weeks.

In regards to swelling, it may take 6 months before 95% of the swelling is resolved. That is why we frequently do not judge or take pictures until 6 months after surgery.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Recovery post nose surgery.

Post surgery swelling and bruising differs for each individual. Most of the time I tell patients to take about 10 days off work depending how they feel. Once the internal/external splint are removed in a week you will feel relieved. By your 3rd week I would say most bruising and swelling should be gone.

Jaime Perez, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Rhinoplasty recivery

Most of my patients return to work a maximum of two weeks postop and frequently do so after one week. Obviously, if changes are made to the appearance of the nose, they will be evident whether you reveal it one week or three weeks postop. In terms of bruising or black eyes, these are variable and it is difficult to predict their duration as everyone heals differently.

Robert L. Kraft, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Recovery From Rhinoplasty

Recovery varies from patient to patient for physiologic, anatomic, and psychological standpoints.  Variables include the extent of the Rhinoplasty procedure, the need or lack thereof for osteotomies (breaking the nasal bones), and the tendency for a patient to bruise.  In my hands, the nasal cast is generally removed at 1 week and the nose is retaped with brown paper tape for a 2nd week.  From a public perception standpoint, most observers will not be able to diffrentiate between a nasal dressing after Rhinoplasty and that used after a nasal fracture.  I encourage concerned patients to use the "broken nose" excuse after the procedure. 

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Recovery Time After Rhinoplasty

The nose undergoes significant changes in the first 2 to 12 weeks following rhinoplasty. The swelling gradually dissipates over the first several months and thus the appearance of the nose changes gradually.

  • When the cast is removed after one week, the nose will look swollen.
  • Usually by the end of the second week, the swelling and bruising have subsided enough that the casual observer will not readily notice that the nose has been operated on.
  • To the patient, the nose will look swollen or "puffy" for several months.
  • By about 3-4 months, the majority of the swelling will be gone but will look larger in photographs.
  • It can take as long as a year for the final shape to become apparent.
  • You should give yourself several months if if there are any work or social engagements that would cause concern.

C. Spencer Cochran, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 119 reviews

10-14 days after surgery

Most patients are able to return to work in 10 days after a nasal surgery. They are able to get back in their normal social activities and exercise approximately 10 to 14 days after resetting the nasal bones. packing is no longer placed inside the nose, the stitches are dissolvable and all incisions are placed on the inside of the nose through closed rhinoplasty techniques. For many examples, please see the link below to our rhinoplasty photo  Gallery

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Nose surgery recovery roughly 10-30 days

For most patients bruising resolves after about 10 days and post-operative swelling is only minimally visible after 30 days.

However, many variables can enter into the timeframe for the individual: did you are osteotomies (bone cuts which can increase swelling and brusing), did you have an "open" or "closed" rhinoplasty, did the rhinoplasty involved major work or just a refinement, what was the skill and experience of your rhinoplasty surgeon.

Conservatively, you should plan to be presentable in public in 3-4 weeks, probably not a good idea to plan a big social or professional event prior to that. Having said that, as the other surgeons have commented, full resolution (to the trained eye) of all swelling can take 8-12 months - only at that time do you get a look at the real result.

The most important thing is to pick your rhinoplasty surgeon carefully. Try to make sure rhinoplasty is a significant component of their practice (>25%).

Good Luck

Paul L. Leong, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

One to three weeks.

Bruising is the main issue after nasal surgery. Swelling is mostly gone in 7-10 days, but there are exceptions. We say that the nasal swelling is completely gone in 6-12 months.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.