Recovery Time for Deviated Septum Surgery

How long does it take a nose to look representable in public again after a surgery for a deviated septum ? Are there any blue/purple bruisings below the eyes after such a surgery?

Doctor Answers 10

Recovery time for a septoplasty

 The recovery time for septoplasty is much less than a rhinoplasty. There is no bruising or swelling on the outside of the nose since the work is performed through the nostrils in the back of the nose.  The nasal bones are not broken  like in a rhinoplasty.  A septoplasty is performed for obstructing cartilage and bone blocking air flow dynamics in posterior part of the nose. There is no packing placed inside the nose, therefore it is not significantly painful, just uncomfortable since patients are unable to breathe out of their nose due to the swelling. Patients are usually able to go back to work within 5-7 days after a septoplasty procedure.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Recovery after septoplasty is typically rapid with little to no externally visible changes

Isolated septoplasty (performed through a closed approach) will not leave any external incisions, and does not usually result in any bruising or swelling.  If packing is used, the nose can appear swollen while the packs are in place.  Many surgeons, myself included, do not use packing as it is uncomfortable and not necessary.  Siliastic splints may be placed on the sides of the septum to facilitate healing, but these do not alter the appearance of the nose.  The rate limiting step to being presentable in public is probably the draining and crusting that is normal after septoplasty.  Many patients are able to go in public with no tell-tale signs within days after surgery.  You should be black-tie ready in ~1 wk.  

Donald B. Yoo, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Visable effects of septoplasty

A septoplasty procedure should only change the position of the septum for better breathing. Sometime this will tend to straighten a crooked nose but, bruising rarely happens and it really sounds like you had a rhinoplasty and not just a septoplasty. Revsion surgery if needed usually takes place at one year

David A. Bray, Sr., MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Recovery after a septoplasty

You should not have significant visible bruising around your eyes after a septoplasty. However, if you have a rhinoplasty at the same time with nasal bone fracturing, you may have bruising for about 7-10 days. Taking Arnica before and after surgery can help minimize the bruising and swelling.

Best wishes,


William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 279 reviews

First 24 hours most difficult.

Recovery following septoplasty varies from patient to patient and depends on several factors. These include the type of procedure performed, the wound healing characteristics of the patient and the patient’s employment and social situation.
Following septoplasty, patients have several concerns. They want to know when they will feel better and look good enough to return to public, as well as when they can resume normal and strenuous activities. They also want to know when residual swelling will disappear and when their final result will be achieved.
After septoplasty, nasal packing is usually removed within 24 to 48 hours following surgery. Internal nasal splints are typically removed in one to three weeks following surgery if they’ve been utilized to stabilize nasal structures.
Most patients are surprised at how good they feel two to three days following surgery. Depending upon their social situation and employment, many patients don’t feel like going out in public for at least a week. This is primarily due to the bruising and swelling which accompanies this procedure.
Most routine activities are resumed in seven to ten days and strenuous activities can be resumed in four to six weeks following surgery. Small amounts of residual swelling may persist for 3 to 4 months following septoplasty.
Patients typically find the first 24 hours of recovery difficult. Once the nasal packing is removed they quickly feel better.

Deviated Septum recovery

There is always a possibility of bruising with any surgery. There will be swelling but usually you are presentable in public within a week,

Jeffrey W. Hall, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Recovery time for Septoplasty

The recovery time for a septoplasty depends on the level of complexity of your septal reconstruction.  In some cases, a simple septoplasty can have downtime of 3 days with little to no external swelling and limited nasal obstruction early on.  More complex septal reconstructions can have longer periods of downtime, typically around one week.  In these cases, the nose may have other procedure performed at the same time as well and recovery would be closer to that of a rhinoplasty.  

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Recovery Following Septoplasty

Depending on whether or not your surgeon places packing and how much  is placed inside of your nose following septal surgery, you may notice some external swelling which should subside shortly ie., a day or two after the packing is removed.  There is typically no bruising related to the surgical portion but depending on how your surgeon anesthetizes your nose you can get some bruising from the injections.

Christopher Tolan, MD
Saint Paul Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Recovery Time after Septoplasty

The septum is the dividing cartilage and bone that separates your nasal airway into two passages. It begins in the middle of your lip and extends all the way to the back of the nasal cavity. It's purpose is to allow relatively equal flow of air through each side of the nose. It also provides some support for the tip of the nose.

After septoplasty surgery if the procedure is confined to the septum alone, the appearance of the patient is changed very little if at all. Generally there is no bruising of the face or eyes. There is often splints, or plastic sheets, placed inside the nose to keep the septum in place while it heals. However, the splints are not generally visible to anyone else. The splints are usually removed 5-7 days after surgery. In some cases, nasal packing with foam or other materials may be needed that may cause nasal blockage and cause a patient to sound as if they have a cold.

If rhinoplasty (correction of outer portions of the nose) is performed, then bruising of the eyes and swelling of the outside of the nose is expected for about 7-10 days.

Temp Patterson, MD
Burley Facial Plastic Surgeon


Thank you for your question.  Septoplasty is usually done endoscopically which is minimally invasive, quick recovery, no bruising, no packing and no splints.  Patients can usually have surgery on Friday and go back to work on Monday.  There are no external signs of an internal functional septoplasty (for breathing only and not cosmetic).  Good luck, Dr. Bublik.

Michael Bublik, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 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.