Recovery Process After Rhinoplasty

Updated on November 9, 2020

Rhinoplasty, more commonly known as a nose job, is a popular cosmetic procedure that is used to alter the shape and size of an individual’s nose or to repair it. Before their surgery, the patient will have a deep discussion with the plastic surgeon about their possible surgical limitations, their goals and their anticipated results. This is an essential component of pre-surgical planning. The surgery will usually be carried out in an outpatient surgicenter facility under general anesthetic. Assistance will be required for the first day after the surgery and several office visits for optimal results and nose care will be required. Now you know a bit about the surgery, today will be discussing the recovery process. 

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Swelling and bruising of the nose, around the eyes, cheeks and upper lip is to be expected. This will gradually subside after 7-10 days. Ice packs can be used to minimize these issues and can help with the pain. The patient will be monitored after their surgery by a nurse in a recovery room. Once they have recovered from the anesthetic, the patient can go home. Transportation will need to be arranged. 

Home Care 

At home, bed rest is required. The patient should use 2-3 pillows to elevate their head. When the head is above the heart, swelling will be reduced. Assistance should be available for when the patient needs to leave the bed. The right diet and proper rest will promote healing. Straining should be avoided in the bathroom. The doctor will provide post-op care and contact details in case of issues or concerns. 


A nasal cast or splint will cover the external area of the nose after surgery and is normally removed a week later. The cast may come off prematurely if the swelling goes down, but this will not affect the results. The patient will be given painkillers and antibiotics after surgery. In some cases, steroids will be prescribed pre- or post-op. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and aspirin should be avoided. 

Side Effects 

Aside from bruising and swelling, patients should expect moderate bleeding from the nose after rhinoplasty. This will gradually decrease, and a gauze dressing will be supplied to collect the blood. Nausea and vomiting are to be expected and can be prevented by avoiding hot liquids and eating a soft, cool and light diet several days after surgery. Medication to settle the stomach will be prescribed. 

The Surgeon 

Before undergoing any type of plastic surgery, the patient should do their homework and research potential medical facilities and plastic surgeons. This is to reduce the risks and complications that are associated with any kind of surgery and to ensure optimal results. Finding a reputable facility in your area, like SpaMedica, will not happen overnight. You should look into the medical team and reviews. 

Every rhinoplasty will vary. For accurate information about aftercare, recovery and results, the patient should talk to their board-certified plastic surgeon. This information is crucial. Thorough research should always be carried out before any cosmetic procedure. Patience is required for desired results.

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