How Long is Healing Period for Rhinoplasty?

My doctor says that in 3-4 weeks after Rhinoplasty, that the nose is about 85% of the way it's going to look. Is this true? The doctor has 14 years experience and is a board certified ENT in Florida.

Doctor Answers 24

Rhinoplasty Healing Time: How Long is It?

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Healing time and recovery time are two different things. You should be able to see most of your results as soon as the splint is removed (2 to 4 days in most cases). After that you may have a little swelling and I would agree that you will see about 80to 90% of the final result.

At this point you are recovered but you are not totally healed. The final healing process takes about 1 year. You will see scar changes that almost imperceptible change the shape of your result. These changes are usually detected on photographs but few people actually see them.

In general, I give the following rule of 3s. Your are recovered at 3 days, have 80 to 90% of your result at 3 weeks and almost your complete result at 3 months.

I hope that helps.

Best regards.

Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

How Long is Healing Period for Rhinoplasty?

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Thank you for your question. 

With any nasal surgery, the name of the game is patience. At one week, we would expect you to have quite a bit of swelling and bruising still noticeable and may have trouble breathing out of one or both nostrils. By the end of two weeks, typically, you will still be swollen but look more like you have a bad cold, rather than post surgical. Swelling can take up to a year to be completely gone, however, by 9 weeks you will look very good and should see big difference from your pre-op pics. 

Jon Kurkjian, MD
Fort Worth Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Rhinoplasty Healing

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Thanks for your question. Generally speaking, that assessment is correct. It's important to keep in mind that rhinoplasty recovery is slightly different for everyone, and your doctor may have varied post-op recommendations based on the details of your specific procedure. Most of the time, patients have their cast and sutures removed one week after surgery at which time they can see their rhinoplasty results for the first time. Any external swelling and/or bruising that is present rapidly diminishes over the course of the first month. After the first month, the changes become much more subtle as the internal swelling goes down. It can take a full year for the internal swelling to completely subside. Good luck with your procedure!

Babak Azizzadeh, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Rhinoplasty Recovery

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Thank you for your question. 

Straining, bending and lifting should be avoided during the early postoperative period. In many instances, you may be able to return to work within 7 to 10 days after surgery. Most normal activities including exercise can usually be resumed within three weeks.

It will be a few months before you can expose your reshaped nose to direct sunlight. Your nose will be sensitive during this time, and you must be conscientious about using a sunblock to protect your skin. If the bones of your nose were altered, it may be a number of weeks before you can wear glasses without special support such as tape. Best of luck!

Dhaval M. Patel 

Double Board Certified 

Plastic Surgeon 

Hoffman Estates 




Dhaval M. Patel, MD
Hoffman Estates Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Healing after rhinoplasty takes time--be a patient patient!

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Your doctor gave you a good estimate of the healing time, but everyone's skin is different. Thicker skinned patients sometimes take longer for all the swelling to subside. I take photos of patients at 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months and 1 year. The appearance of the nose continues to improve over time. However, certainly MOST of the swelling goes away early and small amounts that increase the refinement of the nose take months. I tell my rhinoplasty patients they need to be a patient patient!!!

Theda C. Kontis, MD
Baltimore Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Expected Healing Time after a Rhinoplasty (nose job)

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Recovery from Rhinoplasty is fairly predictable.  What I tell my patients is there is essentially three phases of recovery.

The first phase is the first week in which they will typically have a bandage on their nose made up of some light brown (flesh colored) tape covered by a firm splint.  The nose is not packed unless there was an issue with bleeding during or at the end of the procedure.  (Packing is extremely rare, given the more contemporary Rhinoplasty techniques now employed as well as the medications utilized in the OR that minimize bleeding.)  Because the nose is not typically packed, the postop pain is minimal, and feels more like congestion from a head cold.  Even if you have zero bruising and swelling, the bandage is a dead giveaway, so most patients lay low socially the first 7 seven days.

At one week, the dressing is delicately removed in the office and the nostrils and skin cleaned.  At this point there is obviously some swelling, and I tell my patients in advance that between the first and sixth week I wouldn't have any keepsake photos taken, but will be fine for their normal day to day activities except for any contact sports.  I advise them not to bump the nose or wear glasses for the first six weeks as the bones heal into their new position.  During that second week they may require some makeup depending on if they bruised, and if so to what degree.  Our Esthetician routinely sees every Rhinoplasty patient at their one week postop appointment, and if some camouflaging is indicated, helps the patient with that.

The last phase is between 6 weeks and one year.  At six weeks, there is typically still a small amount of swelling noted, and is typically in the tip of the nose.  This is swelling that usually only I and the patient are aware of, but not anyone else.  Over the remainder of that year this small amount of swelling waxes and wanes and eventually is permanently gone.  There are no restrictions from glasses or activities after six weeks.

Hope you found this answer helpful.  All the best!

Burke Robinson, MD, FACS
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Swelling Will Hide True Results

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Swelling will hide your results, and will be at its worst in the first one to two months after your surgery. However, the tip will remain swollen for up to a year (and in some cases, it can even be two years depending on your rate of recovery). It is difficult to say how much of a percentage of your results should appear while you recover, as everyone recovers at their own rate.

Rhinoplasty Healing Period

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Patients can expect to start healing  by 14-17 Days. you can return to work 7-8 days after surgery. For a complete 100% full recovery will take longer about 30-90 days.


Edward E. Dickerson, IV, MD
Fayetteville Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 127 reviews

Rhinoplasty - healing

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You will likely have a cast on for about 1 wk after surgery. Sometimes surgeons keep tape on the nose for 1-2 wk after surgery. If you have your nose broken, you'll likely have some bruising around your eyes and nose for about 2 weeks but usually this can be covered with makeup after the first few days.  Usually by the end of the second week, most of the swelling has gone down.  By the 4th week, you can usually resume mild exercise and cardio.  However, the final result after rhinoplasty usually takes about 3-4 mo so be patient!

Dr. Cat Begovic M.D. 

Healing Period After Rhinoplasty

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The nose undergoes significant changes in the first 2 to 12 weeks following rhinoplasty. The swelling gradually dissipates over the first several months and thus the appearance of the nose changes gradually. It is difficult to put a percentage on the amount of swelling that remains at any given tip period.

The nose undergoes significant changes in the first 2 to 12 weeks following rhinoplasty. The swelling gradually dissipates over the first several months and thus the appearance of the nose changes gradually.
• When the cast is removed after one week, the nose will look swollen.
• Usually by the end of the second week, the swelling and bruising have subsided enough that the casual observer will not readily notice that the nose has been operated on.
• To the patient, the nose will look swollen or "puffy" for several months.
• By about 3-4 months, the majority of the swelling will be gone but will look larger in photographs.
• It can take as long as a year for the final shape to become apparent.
• You should give yourself several months if if there are any work or social engagements that would cause concern.

Swelling can persist during this time, particularly in the tip and over the area where a boney hump was removed. Following a hump removal during a rhinoplasty, it is very common for there to be excessive swelling over the central portion of the nasal bridge overlying the area where the boney hump was removed. This area often appears more swollen that the rest of the bridge and can remain swollen for several months. As a result, patients frequently worry that the bump will be permanent.

Taping the bridge of the nose and the supratip area (area above the tip) can significantly reduce postoperative edema (swelling). Gentle pressure from the tape does two things. First, it can help 'press' out some of the swelling that results from trapped fluid in the tissues. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, pressure on the tissues causes the collagen fibers in scar tissue to become more organized, which reduces the volume of the swollen area.The most effective for taping is in the first six months after surgery. You should still get a benefit even if you havent started taping until 2 months after surgery.

It is very common for rhinoplasty patients to report (in the first several weeks after surgery) that their upper lip feels stiff and that it is difficult for them to smile. Fortunately, this resolves by itself in the first several weeks after surgery as the swelling subsides. Be patient, your smile should return to normal.

Bruising and swelling are a normal part of rhinoplasty recovery. They are dependent on several factors related to both the surgical technique and the patient. Techniques that increase bruising and swelling include whether or not the nasal bones were broken (osteotomies), the extent of soft tissue dissection/elevation from the bony-cartilaginous framework, and whether the surgery was performed open or closed. Patient factors include age, skin thickness, nutrition, bleeding tendencies/disorders, and medications that thin the blood.

Obviously, not many of these variables are within the control of the patient; however the extent of the bruising and the severity of swelling can be minimized by following these tips:
• Avoid any medications that thin the blood for a minimum of 2 weeks before surgery and do not resume them until your physician directs you to. These medications include (but are not limited to): aspirin, ibuprofen, anti-inflammatories, heparin, lovenox, coumadin, plavix.
• Avoid multivitamins/herbal remedies/teas etc that contain high levels of Vitamin E, Ginseng, Ginko -- these can cause you to bleed more freely.
• If you have a tendency to bleed or bruise easily, have a history of a bleeding disorder, or have a family member with a bleeding disorder, you should discuss this with your physician before surgery.
• Ice packs to applied to the cheeks for the first 48 hours
• Keep you head elevated higher than your heart. This will help minimize the amount of edema (swelling).
• Avoid smoking
• Herbal supplements such as bromelin, papaya extract, and arnica may be of benefit, but few studies have proven their effectiveness.
• Sun exposure in the first several months following rhinoplasty can cause the skin of the nose to become red or "splotchy". It can also predispose you to getting sunburned more easily. For the first several months after rhinoplasty, patients should wear sunscreen and/or a hat to prevent the above mentioned problems.

Surgeons frequently place an external splint on the exterior of the nose after surgery. The casta can help preserve the operative result and also can aid in reducing swelling. Most surgeons leave the cast in place for one week.

C. Spencer Cochran, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 149 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.