Social Downtime After Rhinoplasty

I booked Nov. 6th - 20th off work. On the 7th I'm getting rhinoplasty done. Will the visible brusing and swelling be gone by the 20th? I dont want anyone to notice. How long is the social downtime?

Doctor Answers 21

Recovery time after rhinoplasty

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I usually advise my patients to plan on 10-12 days after rhinoplasty if they want to "get away with it." However, many patients look great at the one week point, once the splint and tape are taken off, and return to work and social activities at this point.

Each individual patient recovery experience varies depending on the patients skin type, propensity for bruising, and the amount of work which was done during the surgery.  Icing the nose, elevating the head, and taking supplements such as arnica montana and bromelain can help speed up recovery as well. 


Dr. Mehta

Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

After Rhinoplasty: Give Yourself Time to Recover

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Depending on the techniques used, the majority of post-rhinoplasty swelling and bruising can last 2-3 weeks. After the first week, your nose will appear swollen to you and to anyone else that sees it. By the end of the second week, much of the early swelling will have subsided, and whatever bruising remains can often be covered up with make-up. By the end of the third week, much of the swelling will have gone down and the casual observer may not notice that your nose is swollen. However, when you look in the mirror your nose will continue to look "puffy" or swollen to you for 2-4 months after surgery.

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

You are presentable a week after Rhinoplasty

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Usually, it takes about one week after the rhinoplasty surgery to go back to your daily, non strenuous activities. For seven days, patient has an external splint placed on the nose. By the time it gets removed, most bruising and swelling resolves. The pain after the surgery is controlled by pain killers prescribed by your surgeon but pain is usually very mild.

Patients notice some changes and swelling in the nose site even up to one year after the surgery. Although the healing process takes long time it should not be accompanied by any pain or discomfort. With any questions or concerns you should always call your surgeons office. Make sure you seek the best professional in your area to perform your surgery.

It depends upon your surgeon and how well you heal

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Hi Billabonggirl,

Social downtime from rhinoplasty should be about 5 to 8 days. The amount of time that you have taken off should be more than enough to let your swelling and bruising resolve.

I do not use nasal packing following rhinoplasty. I have found that this not only is a great deal more comfortable for my patients after surgery, but also that they do not bruise or swell as much as patients who do have "packing". Individuals vary, but you can enhance your healing time by avoiding aspirin and anti-inflammatory products, smoking, and drinking for two weeks before and after your surgery. Arnica for a week before may be helpful. Sleep with your head elevated above your heart for the first 3 days, and use ice frequently.

Lastly it helps to have a surgeon with "a gentle touch" and not a "heavy hand". Your surgeon is the best source to answer this question. Hopefully you have chosen your surgeon most carefully. Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Healing after Rhinoplasty is in stages

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Healing after Rhinoplasty should be viewed in several stages: Early, immediate, and late.

Early healing is the time that is required to gain, what I like to tell my patients, "social acceptability." I typically tell women to plan for about 7-10 days. Men are told that this time is usually 10-14 days. The difference lies in a woman's ability to use concealer and other cosmetics to hide minor bruising, which usually fades between 5-10 days. The other difference is that men tend to have thicker skin, which stays swollen longer. By 14 days, which is when you plan to return to work, most of the dramatic swelling should be gone and bruising should also be gone.

Intermediate healing is between 1-3 months when the nose (especially the tip) begins to approximate the shape you want. Subtle goals, such as deeper shadows along the side and a very refined or narrow nasal tip are not always going to be completely there yet.

Between 3-12 months is the late stage, where your true "final" result should come out.

Richard W. Westreich, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Social Downtime After Rhinoplasty

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After Rhinoplasty, plan 5-7 days away from work and most social commitments.

Bruising and the possibility of black eyes can be an important variable. Be sure to stop anything that thins the blood, like aspirin, ibuprofen, even vitamins and minerals for 14 days before surgery to minimize the possibility of bruising.

Use your ice mask at least 20 minutes/hour consistently the first 3 days to minimize swelling and bruising.

Arnica and bromelain can be useful herbal remedies for preventing/minimizing bruising and swelling.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Rhinoplasty is often not too painful post operatively

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If the nasal bones are broken a patient may have more extensive bruising.  In most cases the patient is back to limited activity after one to two weeks and most bruising is gone after the first week.

Robert Mounsey, MD
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon

2 Weeks and Make-up

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Two weeks should be OK but there, or course, is no guarantee. Bruising under the eye may last up to three weeks in some cases. With make-up you should be fine.

Social downtime is about 2 weeks

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If you want to make sure friends and family don't notice any swelling or brusing, you should allow 2 weeks of downtime.

If you are getting your surgery On November 7th, then all visible brusing and swelling should be gone by the 20th.

Usha Rajagopal, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Recovery After Rhinoplasty

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This is a great question. Downtime after rhinoplasty depends on the approach and extent of enhancement required. A closed approach usually required less time as there is less disruption of the nasal tissues. An open approach typically results in slightly more swelling and therefore a little more downtime. In addition bruising is related to "osteotomies" - technical term for breaking the nose in order to narrow the width of the bones. 

That said - I typically ask for 2 weeks of healing before the majority of bruising and swelling resolves and make up can conceal any residual bruising if present. 

David Shamouelian, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 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.