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 11

Typical recovery from a septoplasty, reduction and rhinoplasty procedure

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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.

Rhinoplasty Recovery

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Depending on the type of rhinoplasty and the amount of work done dictates how long someone recovers from a rhinoplasty. With saying that, 1 week post op you will be recovering with a cast over your nose (no cast if only breathing surgery performed).  Most patients require NO pain medication after day 1-2. You are surprisingly comfortable usually with little to no swelling and minimal to no bruising. ~50% of our patients get NO bruising at all; the other ~50% get minimal bruising that is usually completely gone by the day the cast comes off. 1-6 weeks post op includes you resuming all normal functional activities such as work, socializing and light physical activity. Heavy physical activity (running, jogging, heavy weight lifting, downward face poses for yoga/pilates) are restricted until after week 6. During this time the minor swelling of the nose will slowly start to subside (but even with the swelling, the nose generally still looks smaller than it did pre-operatively). 6 weeks to 1 year post op includes dorsum healing and final swelling to go down. 

Best of luck,

Deepak Dugar, MD Scarless Rhinoplasty Expert Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Deepak Raj Dugar, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

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

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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. 

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

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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

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

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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

Septorhinoplasty recovery

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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 40 reviews

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

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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

Recovery from a septoplasty and rhinoplasty

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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.

Time off work for rhinoplasty

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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.


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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.

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.