Rhinoplasty for Teens - How Long Does It Take to Recover?

I am going into eleventh grade and I am VERY insecure about my nose. It has a gross dorsal hump and it looks very harsh from the sides, but normal from the front. Anyway basically I was wondering how long it took to recover from a dorsal hump correction?? If I got it done next summer (We get out in mid May and go back in early August) would it have enough time to heal over the summer and look good going into twelfth grade?

Doctor Answers 17

Healing time

That would be perfect. Many teens either choose the summer between junior and senior year or between high school and college to have this done. Your timeline is perfect. if you have the surgery in May you'll look great by August and have little to no activity restriction. One note of caution would be to inquire if you do any varsity team sports such as volleyball or basketball where there is a higher risk of being hit in the nose. If you are involved in these you might want to consider waiting until high school graduation. 

West Palm Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

You may resume normal social activities 8-14 days after Rhinoplasty Surgery.

I read your concern. When your dressing is removed 1 week after rhinoplasty surgery, you'll be swollen and bruised, but this may be concealed with artfully placed makeup. In my practice, we color-match your foundation at the time of your pre-op visit, so bruising may be concealed and social activites may be resumed.

In my experience, 80-90% of your post-surgical swelling will be gone one month post-op. It may take a full year for all of your swelling to resolve, but this will not be noticeable to most observers.

Good luck, and choose your surgeon wisely.

Regards from NJ.

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 418 reviews

Rhinoplasty recovery for teenagers

It sounds like you have planned this out correctly. I have a large number of patients who request nasal surgery in your exact age range and I tell them to give themselves 3 months before professional (i.e. yearbook) photographs in order for the majority of swelling to be gone. That being said, however, there is still some swelling present and to varying degrees in different patients. Those of darker skin usually require longer for the swelling to dissipate as do those who have had an open rhinoplasty approach. This past holiday I performed quite a few endonasal or closed rhinoplasty operations on women your age. They were both back to class 2 weeks after surgery with minimal swelling. Hope this helps. 

Giancarlo Zuliani, MD
Rochester Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Teen Rhinoplasty Recovery

May sounds like a perfect time to have the procedure done.  May is one of the busiest times of the year for us.  There are lots of students (and teachers) who take advantage of the summer break to recover from surgery.

Suresh Koneru, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Technique specific recovery!

Rhinoplasty recovery time depends on the type of incision (open versus closed) as well as the area manipulated.

For a person looking for a dorsal reduction with no tip work, a closed technique can yield great results with minimal downtime. The splint comes off in 5-7 days and you should see you improvement almost immediately. Residual swelling can slowly diminish over time.

Robert M. Freund, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews


The first question is have you stopped growing?  Rhinoplasty should be performed after you have stopped growing as further growth after surgery can affect the final outcome.  Most likely if you're going into 11th grade you have stopped growing.  If you're not sure check with your primary care physician. 

In some patients isolated hump removal is a good procedure.  In others a more comprehensive procedure should be performed to keep your nose in aesthetic harmony.  Before surgery you should discuss this with your surgeon.

Swelling after rhinoplasty can vary between patients and surgeons.  it is best to discuss this issue with your surgeon as to specifics.  In general most patients will have only some mild swelling, possible bruising one week after surgery and will be able to go out without others noticing that you had a procedure.

Paul Carniol, MD
Summit Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Recovery After Rhinoplasty in Teens

Recovery after rhinoplasty is no different for teens than it is for adults. First, don't believe overly rosy predictions about a rapid recovery because it may not apply to you. There are two types of swelling: the acute swelling which is noticeable to everyone (lasts 3-4 weeks on average) and the more subtle long-term swelling, which will be noticeable to you, your surgeon, and maybe family members (lasts up to one year). The key question is whether or not you are having any work done on the nasal tip because tip swelling takes the longest to go away and lasts a little longer if an "open" or external approach is used. If all you are correcting is the dorsal hump, then you should look fine after 2-3 months.

Joseph Fata, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

How long does it take to recover from nasal hump reduction?

Unfortunately, there is not a standard answer for this because it depends on the amount of hump reduction and whether any additional nasal work is done.

In the simplest case, a small hump that can be filed down, essentially full recovery takes about 3-4 weeks.  Often there is no bruising, almost no discomfort and only 'social' downtime.

With large hump reductions, recovery takes up to a year.  The reason for this being that the cartilage needs to be reconstructed to match the lower nasal profile and the skin needs to contract over the resulting smaller framework.  Think how long it takes for a woman's abdomen to return to normal after a pregnancy.

If you are contemplating a reducton rhinoplasty, make sure that you choose someone with experience and knowledge.  Done poorly, without concern for the function of the nose, reduction rhinoplasty will lead to nasal obstruction and a difficult revision surgery. 

Joseph Campanelli, MD
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Rhinoplasty recovery

The initial recovery from rhinoplasty is 10 to 14 days to the point where you will feel comfortable in public and resume activities. After that there are gradual changes going on for 6 to 12 months. 80 to 90 percent of swelling is usually gone at 6 weeks.

David Nicholas Csikai, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Like most things, it depends...

Patients always want to know "how long the recovery is."  Good question, it's just tough to answer.  The nose swells quite a bit in some instances after surgery and can take months for the majority of the swelling to go down.  There are many factors that affect this.  One of which is what techniques are being used in the case.  For you, if you have your hump removed and then have some swelling, there is a good chance that your nose will actually be smaller after surgery despite the swelling, just because the hump is gone.  Practically speaking, I think you would likely feel very comfortable after 2-3 months going back to school after surgery and likely even earlier.  Good luck.

Colin Pero, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 14 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.