How Long After a Rhinoplasty Does the Face Look “normal” Again?

I understand that you won’t see the full results of a nose job for almost a year after the surgery. But what I’m wondering is when does the face look normal again after the surgery? Like, no swelling, cast, bruising, etc. When you see before and after picture of nose jobs, the after picture usually looks as though the person has completely healed. How long after the nose job is the “after” photo usually taken?

Doctor Answers 13

Recovering from rhinoplasty

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The initial healing period is about 2 weeks. You will have a hard cast on the nose the first week followed by brown paper tape the second week. Any bruising around the eyes after surgery is typically resolved at 2 weeks post-op, but it may last slightly longer depending on the patient. You will still be swollen after 2 weeks, but able to go back to work and resume normal activity. Some patients return to work sooner, but it really depends on the individual. The time of the "after" photos can vary, and it really depends on the surgeon. For example, there may be a single after photo, or a series of after photos at 3 month time intervals documenting the patient's healing progress.  I hope this helps, and best of luck to you.

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Obvious stigmata a rhinoplasty usually gone in a couple weeks.

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The plastic surgeons on this website are constantly reminding patients the changes occur after rhinoplasty for months. However the obvious swelling that gives away a rhinoplasty is usually gone a couple of weeks.

New Nose Recovery Time is 6-8 days

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Cosmetic rhinoplasty recovery time varies somewhat depending upon the amount of work that's done (tip alone, bridge alone, tip + bridge) and if the surgery is a revision or a first time rhinoplasty. Generally speaking, however, my patients are encouraged to return to work or school 6-8 days after surgery. They are told in advance that they can expect to be a little swollen, but they'll be very presentable.  What little bruising typically remains is very amenable to light makeup. Additionally, I educate patients that at 6-8 days their smile might feel a little strange since the nasal base is swollen which in turn affects they way the upper lip moves. This is not something others notice, but patients can feel self conscious since they think others notice it.  

If a patient is getting married or has some other important life event, I suggest waiting 2-3 months to heal more fully. This is also the time when we take "early" postoperative photos. Final postoperative photos are generally taken at 1 year after surgery. I suspect that all photos you see on websites (such as this one) are taken anywhere from 3-12 months after surgery. Hope this helps!  

Randolph Capone, MD, FACS
Baltimore Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

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Healing after rhinoplasty

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The majority of patients will be swollen, but look "normal" after 10-14 days.  It will vary from patient to patient and the specifics of surgery, but most people will return to school or work at this point.  "After" pictures are usually taken at 1 year, but may range from 6 months to several years post-op.  

Donald B. Yoo, MD
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How Long After a Rhinoplasty Does the Face Look “normal” Again?

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        In a closed rhinoplasty, most patients will look very good at 2 to 3 weeks.  




Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Rhinoplasty recovery and healing time

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 After a rhinoplasty, most patients are able to return to work or social activities within 10 days. On a rare occasion some bruises last longer than that. Most of the visible swelling and bruising is dissipated at one  month, however full healing takes at least a year after the procedure. Patients with thick oily skin in the nasal tip tend  to heal over a much longer period time

William Portuese, MD
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Normal Rhioplasty Recovery

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Recovery depends on how you define it.  It is also variable for this procedure based on the extent of the operation and the thickness of the skin.  On average most patients can return to social activities after about 10-14 days.  At 3-4 weeks a significant amount of swelling has resolved so that the swelling is not obvious to the casual observer.  It takes 6-12 months for the swelling to resolve enough to be photo ready.  Final results cannot be fully evaluated until at least 12 months. 

George Bitar, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

How Long After a Rhinoplasty Does the Face Look “normal” Again?

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Most patients can return to work and social activities one week following surgery. Bruising can occasionally persist for up to 10 days depending upon exactly what was done during surgery. Post-surgery photos are typically taken at 3-12 months following surgery when the swelling has mostly subsided. I hope this information is helpful. 

Time and rhinoplasty

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Usually within a week or two you look fine. The black and blue is usually gone by the end of the second and at most the third week, most of the swelling is gone too. My patients are usually out and about as soon as the cast comes off which is 5 - 7 days post op.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

How Long After a Rhinoplasty Does the Face Look “normal” Again?

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Dear Girlygirl,

Thank you for your question.  While this can vary a little from patient to patient, most patients like to stay home the first week as they are very swollen and bruised.  The second week, they start to look presentable and that is when they usually go back to work.  However, it is not until the second month until a great deal of the swelling is gone.  There is still some residual swelling for 6 months to a year and during that time you might noticed that the nose can swell a bit from time to time, especially with a lot of exercise, but this gets better and better with time.  I take most of my 'after' photos at 2 months.

Best Wishes,

Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 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.