How long is a typical recovery from a septoplasty, reduction and rhinoplasty procedure? How long would I have to be out of work?

Also, I realize that nothing guaranteed, but is there a good chance that breathing will improve dramatically?

Doctor Answers 10

Typical recovery from a septoplasty, reduction and rhinoplasty procedure

Each physician have different guidelines regarding post operative care. Typically, light activity can resume 5 to 7 post surgery. More strenuous activity is generally started 3 to 6 weeks post surgery.  Residual swelling that can take 6 to 12 months to resolve but not noticable to the general public. Consult with your surgeon regarding your case as he or she will know the scope of surgery and the specifics about you.

West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

How much time off should I take from work/school after a rhinopalsty?

A week off from school or work is recommended while the nasal bandages are in place. Most patients are able to work on the computer from home or do homework after a few days of rest to let the effects of anesthesia wear off.  If your work requires significant physical activity you want to wait at least 14 days to prevent any increases in your blood pressure or heart rate that can lead to bleeding while your nose is still in the early stages of healing. You also want to avoid any activities that increase swelling such as having your face down or bending over frequently. You can return to full normal activities after 3 months when a lot of the swelling has subsided and the nose has healed to sufficient strength. 

Jason Roostaeian, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

How long is a typical recovery from a septoplasty, reduction and rhinoplasty procedure? How long would I have to be out of work?

I think that at 7 days or so, which usually coincides with removal of the splint, nonstrenuous activities such as work may be resumed.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Most recovery after septoplasty or rhinoplasty takes about 7-10 days

Most of the immediate recovery after nasal surgery, such as septoplasty and rhinoplasty, takes about 7-10 days. While some patients have gone to work within 24 hours, most patients plan about a week off work or school. Cast and splints come off about 1 week after surgery. Heavy lifting, exercise, and sex can be resumed after about 2 weeks from nasal surgery. Contact sports is generally allowed after 6 weeks. Each plastic surgoen has his/her own routine care instructions after rhinoplasty. Be sure to follow their instructions.

Breathing may get better immediately after surgery, but normally may take some time to appreciate due to expected swelling.


Dr. Chaboki

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Septorhinoplasty recovery

Typically, we ask patients to take 7-10 days off from work to recover. The internal nasal splints and external nasal cast are removed within 7 days. Swelling and bruising are partially resolved at this time and can camouflaged with makeup. Internal nasal swelling can take a number of weeks to subside, and breathing will typically be worse immediately after your procedure. Septoplasty, is a functional nasal surgery, meaning it is performed to open the nasal airway and improve breathing. Your final degree of improvement seen after septoplasty is dependent on the degree of septal deviation and nasal obstruction present prior to surgery. Patients with severe deviation will get marked improvements in breathing after the procedure. Other factors beyond the nasal septum play a role in your ability to breath through your nose. Functional issues like enlarged turbinates, as well as allergic nasal issues also play a role. I suggest you followup with a board certified facial plastic surgeon who specializes in nasal surgery. Good Luck

Anthony Corrado, DO
Philadelphia Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

How long is a typical recovery from a septoplasty, reduction and rhinoplasty procedure? How long would I have to be out of work?

Most patients return to work about 7 days after surgery. By that point, the splint and any sutures have been removed. Bruising can persist up to 10 days but is typically resolving by the one week time point. With regard to results, one of the risks is continued nasal breathing problems. However, in most cases where patients have a clear source for their nasal breathing problem, septorhinoplasty can significantly improve breathing. I hope this information is helpful.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Stephen Weber, MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 129 reviews

Recovery from a septoplasty and rhinoplasty

Most patients in our practice take 10 days off from school/ work/ social schedule before going back. There can be visible bruising and swelling after the rhinoplasty for the first 10 days, and significant nasal obstruction due to swelling after the septoplasty.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Time off work for rhinoplasty

Our patients typically will take one week off for rhinoplasty. The splint will be off and things look quite well by then, though the bruising will stay around a week or two longer. It is difficult these days to get more time to recover, but for the majority, a week will do.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews


First you have to be evaluated to see if you are a candidate for those surgery, then talk to the doctor. Different physicians use different techniques, usually recovery is rapid. The splint is off in 5-7 days, I do not use packing, but still breathing is not back to normal for 3 weeks or so, All black and blue is usually gone at the most - 3 weeks. The cosmetic change is seen quickly, but it may take up to a year for all of the fine swelling to go away. Usually 60% is gone within 2 -3 weeks.

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

Recovery From Nasal Surgery

In general, most patients take 1 to 2 weeks off work to recover from Nasal Surgery. Internal and external swelling can linger on for weeks to months. Over time, you breathing should improve dramatically as a result of the septoplasty portion of the surgery. Consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who performs lots of nasal surgeries for your best result.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 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.