Is 1 Week Enough Recovery Time for Rhinoplasty?

I'm getting Rhinoplasty in 3 days. I return to school 1 week after the surgery. Is that enough time to heal?

Doctor Answers 11

Recovery Time from a Rhinoplasty

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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!

Okay to return to school or work one week after rhinoplasty

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One week is an acceptable time to return to school or work after the rhinoplasty surgery. Full healing, obviously, has not taken effect, and there could be residual swelling and bruising around the nose that may be detectable. It is still acceptable to go to school with some residual bruising and swelling.

Most patients can pass the "bus stop test" within two weeks.

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The most obvious short-term evidence that a patient has had a rhinoplasty is the bruising around the eyelids and the swelling. While everyone heals a little differently, I usually tell my patients that within two weeks most of them can pass what I call "the bus stop test." This means that they could stand next to someone at a bus stop and the person wouldn't look over and think, "Whoa! What happened to that guy?"

One week might be pushing it in terms of time-frame if you really want to be discreet.

All the best,


David C. Pearson, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon

Rhinoplasty Recovery

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Thank you for your question. Usually people are back to work/school in about a week. However, You are not going to see your final result in a week. Significant swelling and bruising may last a few weeks. Since the healing process is gradual, you should expect to wait up to one year to see the final results of your rhinoplasty. You are likely, however, to begin enjoying your new look within weeks of your surgery. Best of luck!

Dhaval M. Patel 
Double board certified
Plastic surgeon
Hoffman Estates

Returning to work 1 week following rhinoplasty.

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We generally recommend that you take a week off work and avoid strenuous physical activity for three weeks. Contact sports must be avoided for 3 months. Certain splints/dressings may be required during the first week.

Nasal surgery produces moderate discomfort which can be controlled by medication. You will be asked to keep your head elevated and apply cold compresses to your eyes to reduce postoperative bruising and swelling. After about one week, the splint is removed. Much of the swelling and discoloration will have disappeared by that time but the duration of these factors varies. The early results of this surgery are evident in two to three weeks and are usually quite gratifying. However, you will continue to notice an improvement in the contour and form of your nose for six to twelve months as the last remnants of the swelling disappear.

Healing after Rhinoplasty

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Healing after a rhinoplasty will take months. However, swelling and bruising will have resolved enough that  it will not be noticeable to most people, especially with the help of a little make-up. Physical activities should be limited so you don't traumatize the nose.   You'll do fine.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Many things can be done to lessen the recovery time following a rhinoplasty

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There are different times for recovery for each individual. You may expect some bruising under your eyes. This may last for a week or so. There are many things that you can do in a proactive manner to decrease your bruising and thus decrease your healing time. There will be a splint on your nose for the first week. Avoid aspirin and aspirin containing products for two weeks prior to surgery, try a product that contains arnica such as Sineech, elevation and ice following surgery also helps

Healing after rhinoplasty typically takes a few weeks

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Hi there,

Healing for any facial cosmetic procedure typically takes weeks for the swelling and bruising to substantially subside, and rhinoplasty is not an exception.

Rhinoplasty often involves breaking the nasal bones to reset their location, and this manoever often produces bruising under the eyes that can take up to two weeks to dissipate. The swelling of rhinoplasty also may take about two weeks to subside to the point where the average onlooker would not notice. Also, the nasal splint (cast) is usually left for one week, but after it is removed, the nose may need to be taped in places for another week.

And so if your surgeon is planning osteotomies (breaking the bones of the nose), then you should be prepared for a few weeks of bruising/swelling. However, If you are having a rhinoplasty that does not involve breaking the nasal bones, you may be able to avoid the more substantial bruising/swelling and get away with returning to school in a week. (As long as you don't mind a little bit of swelling and showing up to class with tape on your nose)

Good luck!

Tanuj Nakra, MD, FACS
Austin Oculoplastic Surgeon

Most of the time - yes

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The vast majority of patients take only one week off to heal after their Rhinoplasty. Obviously the nose takes a year or more to heal thoroughly but within about 10 days after surgery, the nose should look decent enough for most people not to recognize you had surgery. This again depends on your nose, your healing and your surgeon's skills. But most patients only take one week off work or school. The nose is 70-90% done healing by 3 months and the remaining 10% takes 1,2 or even 3 years or more.

Healed from Rhinoplasty in a week

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Dear Twi_vamp,

After one week your splint will probably be off and if your surgeon uses packing it will probably be out. You are still in the early healing phase. although your nose may look good it is still possible for the next 3-5 weeks to re-break the nose and cause it to shift. The swelling will still be present and the bruising may last for a while.

With my patients I advise them to avoid crowds for at least 4 weeks and sun for 8 weeks. I also advise them that the final result can take from 6 months to one year.

I hope this helps you but I would definitely sit down and talk to your plastic surgeon about this or call the office to speak with one of the nurses. Good luck on your surgery.

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.