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Rhinoplasty Recovery: What to Expect

Posted on Saturday, September 16th, 2017 by Douglas M. Stevens, MD

One of the topics extensively covered during a pre-operative rhinoplasty consultation is the recovery period. Rhinoplasty candidates want to know what kind of side effects they can expect after surgery and when they can likely return to work or school. Although there are no hard and fast rules about rhinoplasty recovery, Dr. Douglas Stevens can share some general guidelines and information with interested candidates.

Swelling and Bruising

Dr. Stevens wants to stress that everyone heals differently and at their own pace. In the majority of cases, patients start to feel like themselves again within about two weeks.

Two of the most common post-operative side effects are bruising and swelling. Most of the swelling and bruising should subside by the end of the second week of recovery. By that point, the external splint and any internal packing have been removed and makeup can conceal residual bruising.

It’s also important to know that the nose may feel firm or numb for several months (up to a year). Because the nose may not be able to sense heat, it should be carefully protected from the sun with sunscreen and a hat. Without any protection, it could burn quite easily.

Going Back to Work or School

Dr. Stevens clears patients to return to work or school when he feels they are ready. Normally, patients that work desk jobs can return in one to two weeks. Patients that work more physically demanding jobs should expect to take a few additional days off work before returning.

Resuming Exercise

Dr. Stevens typically clears patients to resume light exercise after a few weeks. Strenuous exercise is usually OK after six to eight weeks. Contact sports should be avoided for up to six months to avoid the possibility of hitting and injuring the healing nose.

Overall Results

As soon as the nasal splint is removed, there is an immediate and noticeable improvement in the shape and the appearance of the nose. Most patients are ready to go out in public 10 days to two weeks after surgery. The results improve over time.

Note that although the nose looks significantly better after a few weeks, it can take up to a year for swelling to completely subside and the nose’s final shape to stabilize.

Questions about Rhinoplasty Recovery? Call Us!

If you have additional questions about rhinoplasty recovery, Dr. Stevens invites you to contact our practice. Call or email us today.

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Douglas Stevens, MD
Facial Plastic & Laser Center

15721 New Hampshire Court
Fort Myers FL 33908 (239) 481-9292

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