How Many Days Should I Have Someone Care for Me After Rhinoplasty?

I am planning to take 10 days off from work for rhinoplasty. I would like to know how long should I have my spouse be available to care for me. Is it 24 hours or longer?

Doctor Answers 13

Care after Rhinoplasty Surgery

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Post op assistance after rhinoplasty surgery is usually only necessary for 24 hours. However, it is not recommended that you drive or do anything strenuous at that time. On the other hand, if you are skillful or convincing try to get him to care for you for the full 10 days. Good luck! 

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Rhinoplasty Recovery

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Laurelee, most of our patients here in San Diego typically require some degree of assistance for only 24 hours following rhinoplasty. Thereafter, they are, for the most part, on their feet capable of taking care of themselves fairly independently. Most of my rhinoplasty patients are off of the narcotic pain medication within 48 hours or so - even with osteotomies (where we break the nasal bone). I would consider it a luxury to have someone caring for you for longer periods of time. That being said, there are always exceptions to every rule. If you have more pain than average or experience more bleeding, for instance, you may need to have someone helping you for upwards of 2-3 days. I would consider it unusual in my practice for my patients to require help any longer than this. Wishing you luck in your recovery.

John M. Hilinski, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Caregiver needed for first 24 hours after rhinoplasty

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Rhinoplasty is an outpatient procedure that is usually performed under general anesthesia.  It is important that you have a friend or relative take care of you for the first 24 hours after the procedure.  The next day patients are usually okay on their own.  There is usually a minimal to moderate amount of pain and discomfort, no packing placed inside the nose, and the stitches are placed inside the nostrils and are dissolvable.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Rhinoplasty recovery made quick and easy

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Here are a few things to make your rhinoplasty recovery more simple

  1. plan ahead and prepare a comfortable place to recover.  Collect reading materials and comfort items so they are close at hand.
  2. You need to keep your head elevated for 24-48 hours so create your recovery area accordingly
  3. get a bag of frozen peas and separate it into 6 or 8 snack size zip lock bags so you can have comfortable ice packs to place over your nose.
  4. prepare food in advance
  5. have plenty of liquids close by

If you follow these steps then you will probably only need to have your husband be with you for 24 hours.  Thereafter you should be OK on your own during the day.  In my Salt Lake City, UT practice I try to help my rhinoplasty patients prepare before the surgery so it makes their recovery more enjoyable.

Richard H. Fryer, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 299 reviews

Someone to watch over you after rhinoplasty

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Dear Laurelee

Of course every patient and recovery are a little different, but having someone help you for the first few days is important.  Best Wishes

Travis T. Tollefson, MD, MPH
Sacramento Facial Plastic Surgeon

Rhinoplasty Recovery

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I insist that my patients have a responsible adult care for them for the first 24 hours after surgery.  This is related to the affects of the anesthesia, not the surgery.  After 24 hours you are free to drive and tend to non-stressful activities of daily living such as preparing meals, tending to normal hygiene, caring for the surgical site, and whatever else you would like to do that doesn't involve cardiovascular exertion, bending, and lifting more than 8 pounds (gallon of milk).

Louis W. Apostolakis, MD
Austin Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Recovery following rhinoplasty

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Most patients, following a rhinoplasty will need help for a few days.  A lot of the recovery depends on whether or not you will require a nasal packing.  As long as you do not have any bleeding complications or difficulty with anesthesia a few days of assistance will usually be fine.   It is very difficult to determine for each individual the amount of time they will need before they will be able to care for themselves.   You will have some bruising and swelling and sometimes your eyes will be swollen making driving difficult.  You also will not be able to drive as long as you are taking pain medications.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Rhinoplasty post care

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i always saythe longer the better. If a family meember wants to help out for a few days it will make your life easier.  24-48 hours is probably ideal.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Rhinoplasty recovery recommendations

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Rhinoplasty recovery is generally not too bad.  Most patient only need assistance for about 24 hours or so after surgery.  After that, the main complaint is generally swelling and congestion.  Some bloody drainage from the nose is normal, but substantial nose bleed is not expected.  The amount of swelling and bruising after rhinoplasty can range from minimal to dramatic.  You should plan on icing the nose per your surgeon's instructions for 24-48 hours to minimize the swelling and bruising.  You can and should be up and about however starting the day after surgery (don't just sit in bed all day).

You should NOT do any heavy lifting, strenuous activity or exercise for the first 10-14 days, again depending on your surgeons instructions.  This could cause a nosebleed and/or increase the swelling.  

The first two weeks after surgery will take care of most of the swelling and bruising, however, it is normal for some of the edema to take quite a bit longer to subside.   After two weeks most people feel perfectly comfortable going out in public.  

If you experience severe pain, nose bleeding or anything else which seems out of place, give your surgeon a call.  Best wishes!

Michael Bowman, MD
Roanoke Facial Plastic Surgeon

Rhinoplasty Care

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We require 24 hours and recommend 48 hours. Keep in mind, you are not able to drive until you are off of your narcotic pain relief. You also may be very drowsy and unable to care for your wound site. If you have further questions, it is always best to talk to your surgeon.
Best of luck to you!


Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

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.