Nose Surgery Recovery

The nose job is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons 2020 report. Men and women get rhinoplasty for a myriad of aesthetic or medical reasons.

But, whatever your reason, here is what to expect from your recovery journey after a nose reconstruction surgery.

First Week After a Rhinoplasty

Pain and swelling are the most pronounced the first week after surgery. Keep your head elevated during the first 24 hours after the nose job to reduce swelling and improve circulation in the nose. Sleep with your head facing up and elevated. Lying on your side shifts your head pressure on your nose, increasing swelling.

After surgery, most surgeons pack or splint the surgical site internally and place a bandage on the outside to maintain the shape of your nose. The surgeon will remove the dressing and stitches after a week of recovery.

Aside from swelling, you will also have bruising and tenderness around your cheeks and eyes in the first week. Much of the discomfort and bruises will heal after the first week or two; however, some external swelling may persist for longer. Your doctor will give you pain medication to handle the pain, soreness, and discomfort during this period.

Week Three to Six Post-Surgery

Expect a little swelling that is only noticeable between you and the plastic surgeon (most of it will be internal).

At this point, you should be able to return to your normal routine without anybody noticing you had a nose procedure. However, avoid strenuous activity during this period to keep your nose from overworking. The tissues are still healing. Therefore, limit your schedule to essentials.

One Month to One Year Post-Surgery

The soft tissues in the nose hold on to swelling for a long time compared to other body parts. Although it gradually reduces, the state may persist for up to one year before your nose goes to the desired shape. The swelling itself is only visible to you and your doctor.

At this stage, numbness and abnormal sensation reduce significantly. After one year, your nose should feel okay.

Possible Risks After Rhinoplasty

A nose job carries the potential for risks, just like any other major surgery. You can reduce the probability of risks by choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon who is skilled in rhinoplasty. Not all plastic surgeons, not even all facial plastic surgeons perform rhinoplasty. It is considered to be the most complicated plastic surgery procedure.

Furthermore, the risk of developing complications also depends on the quality of care post-surgery.

The risks include:

  • Numbness
  • Permanent nerve damage
  • Blood vessel ruptures
  • Unhealthy scarring on the base of the nose
  • Nose bleeding
  • Need for a revision procedure

How to Enhance Healing After a Nose Surgery

Adhere to these simple instructions for smooth sailing nose surgery recovery times:

  • Follow your plastic surgeon’s instructions on nose care and medicine intake.
  • Use cold compresses to reduce swelling.
  • Avoid blowing your nose or pressurizing it. Be gentle when cleaning or handling any irritation. Try sneezing through your mouth to avoid damaging the fragile nasal passages.
  • Take plenty of rest the first three weeks post-surgery and keep activities to a minimum during the first six weeks.
  • Avoid wearing anything that adds pressure to your nose – including eyeglasses.
  • Avoid smoking. It interferes with scar formation and slows down wound healing.


How Long Should I Sleep With My Head Elevated After a Nose Job?

Continue lying on your back for the first two weeks after surgery. The biggest issue after having nose surgery is swelling. The smooth tissues of the nose hold on to swelling for a long time. It may take up to one year for swelling to go away completely. Therefore, keep your head elevated to reduce swelling. Raising your head also improves circulation in your nose tissue, quickening healing and promoting healthy scar tissue formation.

How Does Someone Sneeze After Having Nose Surgery?

Although sneezing and coughing are involuntary, you can regulate the impact on your nose. You will injure the fragile nose tissue if you sneeze through your nose. Direct the pressure through your mouth by keeping your mouth open while coughing or sneezing.

Should I Steam My Nose After a Nose Job?

Avoid hot showers and meals. Swelling does not respond well to heat. Wait for your hot meals to become at room temperature and take lukewarm showers. Avoid being out on hot days or in heated areas to keep the swelling from worsening.

What Foods Should I Eat to Help With Healing After a Nose Surgery?

A healthy, balanced diet provides body nutrients necessary for healing. Ensure you take the recommended amount of vitamin C and D. Both vitamins boost your immune system, enabling it to fight infections. Vitamin C enhances collagen production, increasing your skin’s connective tissue. It also promotes cell regeneration, improving the look of surgical scars.