How Long Does It Take to Heal from Rhinoplasty?

Doctor Answers 3

It depends on exactly what the problem is.

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 For the average procedure, it takes two weeks for the bruising to go away and 6-12 months for the nose to be totally healed. It also depends on the skill of the surgeon. 

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Visible, Physical, and Psychological healing are important to consider

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Hello. This is a really interesting and important question to ask.

You should think about your recovery from rhinoplasty surgery in three ways:

1) Visible recovery

Every patients swells and bruises differently, however most people experience moderate swelling and bruising for at least a week. Some patients experience bruising around the eyes, while some do not. You will see the results of your surgery as soon as the cast is removed, but it it really takes up to 6 months for the complete result to be visible. I tell my patients they will be "restaurant ready" in two weeks, although many of them feel comfortable being seen at social events earlier than this. You cast will stay on for one week and it is important that you do not remove it before then.

2) Physical recovery

Following nasal surgery, it is critical that the nose not sustain any trauma for 6 months to a year. It does take that long for the structure which have been adjusted to heal properly.

3) Psychological recovery

Only healthy people with realistic expectations of rhinoplasty surgery should have the procedure. While rhinoplasty can improve the way a patient looks and give them greater confidence, it can not change their life. Cosmetic surgery can be stressful for some people, and is not well suited to those that have unhealthy motivations. Before you decide to have surgery, please ensure that you are 1) motivated to make a change for yourself, and not under pressure by anyone else 2) are in a financial situation that allows you to pay for the surgery comfortably 3) that you can arrange to take suitable time off from work and other life activities. Following surgery, you may feel slightly depressed or concerned. I always recommend that my patients have a friend or family member who can be there to support them emotionally. All in all, most patients are thrilled with the results of their rhinoplasty and very happy with their decision.

If you are healthy and realistic about what rhinoplasty can do for you and of the recovery period, you may be an excellent candidate for the surgery. While common, rhinoplasty surgery is one of the most complex cosmetic procedures. Please do your research carefully and choose a Facial Plastic Surgeon who can show they have extensive experience with cosmetic rhinoplasty. Ask for computer imaging as it is an excellent way to communicate with your doctor.

All the best to you.

Thomas Buonassisi, MD
Vancouver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 114 reviews

Healing from Rhinoplasty takes up to 12 months

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A rhinoplasty is a very delicate and complicated operation. The structures in the nose are small and even a mild amount of swellling may obscure the result. However, the following is a rough guideline for the healing process:

1-3 Days After Surgery: Some discomfort. Some bruising. Surprisingly, many patients tell me they have very little pain after a rhinoplasty. Most people feel very good after about 2-3 days.

5-7 Days After Surgery: a lot of the swelling goes down. Almost all of the bruising is gone. Most people can return to work and social interactions without looking like they had an operation.

4 Weeks After Surgery: maybe 90% of the swelling is gone. The nose looks very good and close to what it will look like once it is done healing. There is still swelling present which may look like a small bump on the bridge of the nose or it may make the tip look a little wider.

6 months After Surgery: I would say 99% of the swelling is gone. The nose is almost completely healed. There can still be some changes happening.

12 months After Surgery: The nose should be completely healed by now. There should be no swelling left. Whatever the nose looks like at this point is probably what it will look like forever. If there is anything the patient is unhappy about, they should usually wait 12 months before undergoing revision.

John Diaz, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 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.