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Rhinoplasty is a procedure that changes the shape of the nose, for either medical or aesthetic reasons (or occasionally both). Commonly referred to as a “nose job”, a rhinoplasty is often a surgical procedure, but can be done non-surgically as well. The recovery process after nose surgery is often a big concern for people…will it hurt? When will you get to see your new nose? And what can you do to speed up recovery? These are all common questions people considering a nose job ask, and ones we will answer for you in this blog post.

Rhinoplasty recovery process

Rhinoplasty surgery is an outpatient procedure, meaning you can go right home afterwards with no hospital stay. You will be in a nasal splint for about a week. This is a bandage of sorts to give your nose time to heal. 

Many people are concerned about pain after a rhinoplasty. You will be under anesthesia for the procedure itself, but afterwards, may experience some pain, discomfort, or soreness. This usually can be remedied with over-the-counter pain relief medicine such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. What you may feel more than pain, though, is congestion and a feeling of being stuffed up like you have a bad cold. This is because of the internal packing used inside your nostrils to aid in the healing process. 

You will have some swelling in your nose which will go away about a week or two after the procedure, as well as some bruising around the eyes. Also, because your nose is out of commission for some time, you’ll naturally have to breathe through your mouth. That results in a dry mouth and throat. Be sure to hydrate often, and we advise a humidifier throughout the recovery process to help alleviate some of the dryness you’ll experience. 

When can I see my nose?

Recovery from rhinoplasty surgery is actually a lot quicker than most people would expect, and your beautiful new nose will be ready for its reveal about a week after surgery. However, it may be another week or two before you get to see it in its full glory due to any residual swelling or bruising. 

Tips to make recovery easier

Elevate your head at night by stacking a few pillows or using a wedge pillow in order to direct blood flow away from the nose; this reduces swelling. Avoid exercise or other strenuous activity for 3 to 6 weeks following surgery. Don’t use sunglasses or prescription glasses during the recovery period, and avoid having your nose bumped into during the recovery process as well.

Above all, follow the advice of your surgeon and health care team for optimal recovery. With a good support team at your plastic surgery center and at home, you will find the recovery process to be much smoother and easier. 

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