Rhinoplasty Recovery FAQs

By dsherris on August 05, 2021


woman recovering from rhinoplastyRhinoplasty alters the size and/or shape of the nose to address imperfections and balance out facial features. Rhinoplasty can drastically enhance a person’s appearance with only minimal alterations. Rhinoplasty is a popular plastic surgery procedure, due in large part to its record of patient satisfaction.

Rhinoplasty effectively helps people achieve their aesthetic goals, but it is important to have a thorough understanding of the surgical procedure and its recovery process before committing to treatment. Here, facial plastic surgeon David A. Sherris answers the most frequently asked questions about rhinoplasty recovery, so that his Buffalo, NY, patients know what to expect in the days and weeks following treatment.

What Can I Expect Immediately after My Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is an outpatient procedure, so patients will return home the day of treatment. The nose will be bandaged after surgery, so patients should expect to go home with external bandages, and possibly internal packing as well. These bandages usually stay in place for one week, at which point Dr. Sherris will remove them, along with any remaining stitches.

When patients return home they may feel groggy or fatigued, as the effects of anesthesia continue to wear off. It is important that patients rest as much as possible in the first few days following surgery. However, when resting, patients should keep their head slightly elevated, since this will encourage blood flow to and from the surgical site.

Are There Any Side Effects I Can Expect after Rhinoplasty?

During the first week or two of rhinoplasty recovery our Buffalo patients are likely to experience some side effects of treatment. The most common rhinoplasty side effects include:

  • Swelling around the nose and cheeks
  • Bruising or tenderness along the cheeks and beneath the eyes
  • General discomfort
  • The feeling of being stuffed up
  • Pressure in the nose and/or ears
  • Difficulty breathing through the nose

Rhinoplasty side effects tend to be minor, and most resolve within about one week. Swelling can persist for much longer, but the majority of inflammation resolves in a week or two. We recommend that patients apply cold compresses, as needed, to minimize bruising and swelling and assist with any discomfort during the first week of recovery. 

How Soon Can I Return to Work and Other Activities?

Each patient recovers at their own speed, so no two situations are exactly the same. We suggest that our Buffalo patients plan to take at least one week off from work for rhinoplasty recovery. Many individuals choose to avoid work and other routine activities even longer, to allow time for side effects to resolve and for a large degree of swelling to go down. While two weeks should be plenty of time to recover before returning to work, strenuous activities like exercise or contact sports should be avoided for at least four to six weeks.

When Will I See the Results of My Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty bandages should be removed about one week after treatment. At this point, swelling should be improved to the point that patients can begin to see the new shape/outline of their nose. However, since swelling will persist, it can be several weeks before the initial results of surgery are apparent. And it can take nearly a year for inflammation to completely resolve and for the tissues to settle into place so that patients see the final results of their procedure.

Do You Still Have Questions about Your Recovery? Contact Us!

Rhinoplasty can improve the size or shape of your nose, while bringing symmetry to facial features. If you would like to learn more about this plastic surgery procedure, or the recovery process, Dr. David A. Sherris would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Send us a message online at your earliest convenience, or call (716) 884-5102 to schedule a consultation.

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