Rhinoplasty Recovery: What to Expect


Close to 220,000 rhinoplasty surgeries are performed annually according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. This makes it the most common facial Plastic Surgery procedure. Rhinoplasty Surgery in Dubai can help you to achieve a more balanced facial profile and improve breathing simultaneously.

Common cosmetic requests associated with rhinoplasty include refining the tip, reducing breathing, and/or correcting asymmetries. Nasal obstruction can cause difficulty in breathing through the nose. A deviated septum – septum is the midline wall of cartilage that divides the left and right sides of the nose- that occurs near-critical regions of nasal support and can cause both breathing difficulty and improper nasal shape. Rhinoplasty addresses septal deformity and strengthens key breathing areas of the nose by strategically placing cartilage grafts.

If you are considering rhinoplasty surgery, it is important to know and understand what to expect at every step of your recovery. Every individual recovers differently and we have put together a guide to give you a general understanding of what to expect to post your Rhinoplasty Surgery. The average recovery time is usually two to three weeks but this tends to vary from patient to patient depending on the extent of the surgery.

0-7 days post-op

Rhinoplasty is performed under general anesthesia which wears off one to two hours after the surgery. It is an outpatient surgery hence you will go home the same day. Most patients say that rhinoplasty recovery is not painful but rather uncomfortable, especially in the first few days. After the surgery you may experience some pain around the sinuses and pain medication is usually prescribed for this, swelling around the nasal area and under the eyes, bruising, and a bit of bleeding from the nose but this is common and you should not worry about it.

To help reduce the slight bleeding and swelling, your Plastic Surgeon might place nasal packing inside your nose during surgery and remove it the next day. An internal splint may be placed inside your nose and it usually stays there for about a week. Avoid blowing your nose as you could risk opening the incisions, instead gently wipe the drippings.

To reduce the swelling around the eyes, place small, light ice packs on every 15 minutes on them and avoid putting pressure on the nose. Sleep with your head elevated and avoid wearing clothing that pulls over your head.

1-2 weeks post-op

After about a week, the splint and cast will be removed and the swelling will have gone down. The shape of your new nose is visible at this time but keep in mind that the final results will be visible once the swelling has gone down completely.

You can resume work at this time and cover your bruises with makeup if necessary. Avoid strenuous activities during this time as they may increase blood pressure beyond what’s healthy for healing your tissues.

3-6 weeks post-op

After a few weeks, you can start wearing glasses again but for short periods. Your Plastic Surgeon will guide you on this since every patient is different.

You can resume exercising within the first 6 weeks but this will depend on your Plastic Surgeon’s recommendation. However, you should start working out gradually to build up your intensity.

3-6 months post-op

The nose is usually very vulnerable in the first three months after healing hence it is important to protect it from trauma including accidental bumps. The swelling should have subsided dramatically within six months but keep in mind that the tissues are still healing and settling.

1-year post-op

The final results of rhinoplasty surgery can take up to a year to be visible. This is the period it takes for the skin to shrink to the level of the new bridge structure or the underlying framework.

If you are considering rhinoplasty revision surgery, your Plastic Surgeon will recommend waiting until the final results are visible.

To Know More

Your Plastic Surgeon plays an important role throughout the entire process of your Rhinoplasty Surgery including the recovery. To have a successful Rhinoplasty Recovery, it is vital to follow your Plastic Surgeon’s post-op instructions and to contact him/her if you think you are experiencing something out of the normal during the recovery. At Al Shunnar Plastic Surgery Dubai, we have Board-Certified Plastic Surgeons who are experts in Rhinoplasty Surgery and will walk with you every step of the way. Contact us to book a consultation with one of them.