Rhinoplasty is a common cosmetic procedure used to improve the nose's shape, function, and overall appearance. Whether a person chooses to undergo rhinoplasty surgery to address an injury, correct breathing issues, or improve their facial symmetry, it can significantly change how their nose looks and improve their self-esteem. However, as with any surgical procedure, patients should expect some downtime after getting rhinoplasty.
Luckily, the recovery process after rhinoplasty surgery is very manageable and can be virtually stress-free if you're prepared and know what to expect beforehand. At Lee Ann M. Klausner M.D., PLLC in Manhattan, we understand that you may be excited to see your new nose but unsure about what your recovery will entail.
In this blog, double board-certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Lee Ann M. Klausner explores the different phases of rhinoplasty recovery so you can feel educated, prepared for surgery, and ready to get back to your everyday life as soon as possible.
How long does rhinoplasty recovery take?
Most patients see a gradual change in their appearance during the first few weeks of recovery as swelling subsides. However, because the soft tissues of the nose tend to maintain swelling longer than other areas of the body, the final outcome of your rhinoplasty surgery may take several months or even up to a year to appear.
That said, every patient's nose is unique, and so is their rhinoplasty recovery. So, the amount of time you'll need to heal completely and see your final results may vary. Rhinoplasty recovery time may depend on several factors, including:
Your overall health
The thickness of your skin
The type of surgical technique used
Your body's natural tendency toward bruising or swelling
If this is your first rhinoplasty or a revision rhinoplasty
How closely you follow your surgeon's post-op instructions
If you had additional procedures at the same time as your rhinoplasty
Most importantly, it's best to be patient during your recovery and wait to see what your enhanced nose will look like. Dr. Klausner will meet with you for regular post-op appointments to monitor your healing process. These meetings are essential to ensure you're making good progress and taking all the appropriate steps toward a safe recovery and a beautiful outcome from surgery.
What to expect in the first week
The first few days after rhinoplasty surgery are usually the most difficult as far as pain, swelling, and bruising are concerned. Almost immediately after surgery, you won't be able to breathe through your nose. This is because it will be packed or splinted on the inside and covered with bandages on the outside to provide protection and support the new shape. Typically, this dressing and any stitches are removed after about one week.
During this stage of recovery, it's essential to rest and relax as much as possible. Keep your head elevated and sleep on your back to minimize swelling. It's also crucial to avoid bending over, blowing your nose, or engaging in any activity that could damage your nose.
What to expect during the next few weeks
You will likely still experience some mild swelling, bruising, and discomfort during weeks two and three of your rhinoplasty recovery. However, by the second week, the most obvious signs of surgery will begin to fade, and your nose will look more "normal" to the casual observer. You can also return to work at this point, but all strenuous activities, such as heavy lifting or moderate exercise, should still be avoided. Our Manhattan patients typically resume all activities around the 4 – 6 week point, depending on Dr. Klausner's instructions.
During this recovery phase, it's also vital to continue sleeping on your back, avoid wearing anything that could touch your nose (like sunglasses), and protect your new nose from prolonged sun exposure. We recommend wearing a sunhat and sunscreen whenever you plan to be outdoors.
Schedule your rhinoplasty surgery consultation today
Lee Ann M. Klausner MD, FACS has experience performing rhinoplasty surgery and helping patients achieve the nose they've always dreamed of. If you're interested in having a rhinoplasty, our team at Lee Ann M. Klasner, M.D., PLLC is here to help.
Conveniently located in Manhattan on the eastern side of Central Park, our office is open and currently accepting new patients. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about rhinoplasty recovery.