Nose Surgery Recovery Time?

Assuming it takes...3 weeks before going back to work w/out anyone noticing the effects. my question is when are all signs of nose surgery gone from the public eye

Doctor Answers 14

Signs of Rhinoplasty

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Thanks for your question -

It depends on exactly what you mean. If you mean to a trained eye there may always be signs of previous surgery.

If you're referring to people that know you well... a dramatic change in your nasal contour will probably always be noticeable.

If you're referring to swelling and bruising post-op -
Most bruising will resolve in 2-3 weeks. The swelling can be more variable and can depend on what type and how much work you've had done. Nasal tip swelling is usually the last thing to get better and can last 6 months to a year. Usually this swelling is relatively swelling and the majority of the swelling should resolve after about 4 weeks.

I hope this helps.

Average Recovery Time After a Gr8 Rhinoplasty

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Hi Gr8P in SF,

The time period for the signs of rhinoplasty to be undetectable by the public eye varies anywhere from one week to forever, depending on many factors.

A subtle rhinoplasty by an expert rhinoplastic surgeon who handles the nasal tissues with gentle care and operates in the proper surgical plane may be very presentable to the public within one week. On the other hand, we have all seen rhinoplasties that are not only noticeable from across the room, but for years after the surgery (Michael Jackson).

In general you should be "presentable" after 10 to 14 days, and certainly by 3 weeks. The external approach, or open rhinoplasty will take 5 to 7 days longer for swelling to resolve.

Good luck and be well, choose your rhinoplasty surgeon carefully.

Dr. P (considering changing to "Dr. Gr8P in LA" after seeing your name)

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Signs of nasal surgery

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Generally, any friends will know immediately and forever if significant changes were made.

If you are asking whether someone who never knew you, will be able to tell if you have had surgery, that is possible at 3 weeks.

In regards to swelling, it may take 6 months before 95% of the swelling is resolved. That is why we frequently do not judge or take pictures until 6 months after surgery.

3 Recovery Phases 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!

Recovery after rhinoplasty

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The recovery time after a rhinoplasty depends on what was performed.  If the bony portion of the nose was infractured, then usually a splint is placed for one week.  After the splint is removed, it is recommended to maintain light activities for another week.  No straining or heavy lifting for about 6 weeks after the procedure and evaluation by your surgeon.  Different surgeons may have varying postoperative regimens that should be adhered to.   Best of luck. Dr. Michael Omidi

An in-person exam with a board-certified plastic surgeon is the best way to assess your needs and provide true medical advice.

Recovery from nasal surgery

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After nasal surgery, a cast will be in place for one week. Some bruising and swelling may persist for two weeks, but after that time, any residual bruising can be easily covered with makeup. The general public, outside of those who are close to you, will probably not notice any swelling or bruising at this point.

To evaluate the final result of rhinoplasty surgery, it takes one full year. However, after three months, most patients have about 90% of their final result.

Vito C. Quatela, MD
Rochester Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Recovery post nose surgery.

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Post surgery swelling and bruising differs for each individual. Most of the time I tell patients to take about 10 days off work depending how they feel. Once the internal/external splint are removed in a week you will feel relieved. By your 3rd week I would say most bruising and swelling should be gone.

Rhinoplasty recivery

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Most of my patients return to work a maximum of two weeks postop and frequently do so after one week. Obviously, if changes are made to the appearance of the nose, they will be evident whether you reveal it one week or three weeks postop. In terms of bruising or black eyes, these are variable and it is difficult to predict their duration as everyone heals differently.

Recovery From Rhinoplasty

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Recovery varies from patient to patient for physiologic, anatomic, and psychological standpoints.  Variables include the extent of the Rhinoplasty procedure, the need or lack thereof for osteotomies (breaking the nasal bones), and the tendency for a patient to bruise.  In my hands, the nasal cast is generally removed at 1 week and the nose is retaped with brown paper tape for a 2nd week.  From a public perception standpoint, most observers will not be able to diffrentiate between a nasal dressing after Rhinoplasty and that used after a nasal fracture.  I encourage concerned patients to use the "broken nose" excuse after the procedure. 

Recovery Time 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.

  • 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.

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.