Recovery Time After Rhinoplasty w/ Rib Cartilage Graft?

I had rhinoplasty 6 days ago with rib cartilage graft involved. In the middle of my stomach pretty large area is pink and numb (size of my palm). It is not around the scar,it's close to the middle of my stomach.I'm guessing it's above th area where cartilage been removed.I do have numbness around the scar area too,but not as much.I'm wondering if it's normal recovery process, or not. How long is recovery time after rib cartilage graft rhinoplasty?I mean when I'll be able to work out normally?

Doctor Answers 6

Rib cartiglage recovery

The recovery from rib harvesting definitely adds some discomfort and prolongs the recovery time from a rhinoplasty. It may take a few weeks for the rib discomfort to improve.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Recovery After Rib Graft Rhinoplasty Will Be About 6 Weeks

It sounds like the observations you are seeing on your stomach are normal, numbness and some bruising. Keep an eye on the pink area to make sure it does not get bigger and more red, signs that it could be an infection. Otherwise, I doubt if you will feel very confortable working out for at least a month and perhaps as long as 6 weeks after your rib graft rhinoplasty. The rib graft donor site may feel fine earlier than that by it may be a different story when you start twisting your torso and moving your arms in more active exercises.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Recovery after rhinoplasty with a rib graft

Recovery from rhinoplasty is typically about a week, though the rib graft will change things quite a bit. The ribs have multiple muscular attachments and the soreness may linger for many weeks. Full exercise may be delayed for four to six weeks without tremendous resolve. The pinkness surrounding the graft site deserves your doctor's attention.

Best of luck,


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

Recovery after rhinoplasty with rib graft.

At 6 days post-op, the things you describe sound normal. You should be seeing your surgeon in a day or two; if not, keep an eye on the area of pinkness near your rib graft donor site. This sounds like normal bruising, but if it enlarges, becomes tender or warm to touch. or you develop fever or chills, it might signify infection. I assume you are on antibiotics, but this does not guarantee "no infection," it just diminishes the risk of this. If you are concerned, see your surgeon before your scheduled recheck!

Get activity recommendations from your surgeon. Best wishes!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

Numbness after surgery

Only six days after surgery, you should expect temporary chances such as numbness, tingling, ext.  If you have any specific concerns, you should address these with your surgeon.  I would assume that you have a post op visit scheduled soon as you are only six days after surgery.  As long as you do not have fever, trouble breathing or pain out of proportion to the surgery that you had, you likely do not have any immediate need for concern.


Good Luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Numbness and swelling after rhinoplasty

In general, almost all noses are numb right after a rhinoplasty. In most cases its the tip that is numb, but this numbness can extend down to the upper lip, and in rare cases some of the teeth. There are nerves that are cut and stretched during a rhinoplasty, and it takes a long time for those nerves to start working again. This is true of an open as well as closed rhinoplasty, although it tends to be more extensive in open rhinoplasty. This could also be more extensive if a septoplasty is performed at the same time. A revision rhinoplasty is a much harder surgery with a lot of internal scarring to cut through. This can also be a reason for prolonged numbness. This, along with the swelling, gives you a stiff, plastic type feel, and can give you an odd smile. However, the nerves will start working and again, and your nose stiffness will go away with time. As the nerves grow back, you may feel some tingling, itchiness and on occasion pain. This takes in most cases months, but can take years in rare cases. Extremely rarely, the numbness is permanent, although I have never seen such as case.
Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 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.