Rhinoplasty Swelling and Healing Stages Timeline

If you’re unhappy with the shape or size of your nose, a nose job (rhinoplasty) can help you to achieve more attractive proportions and improved facial harmony. Rhinoplasty is major surgery, however, and it does require a lengthy recovery period. Although the majority of the healing takes place within the first three months, it can take a year or more for the swelling to subside completely. Before you commit to nose job surgery, take a look below at the rhinoplasty swelling and healing stages timeline so you have some idea of what to expect—and when you can see your final results. 


Rhinoplasty recovery timeline

Every nose job is different, and every person heals in their own way and at their own pace.  Nose job recovery time depends on several factors, including the surgical techniques used, the patient’s skin texture and other biological particularities, as well as whether or not the nose job is a revision. But in general, the rhinoplasty surgery recovery process is typically as follows:


Week 1: During the first week after rhinoplasty surgery, be sure to give yourself ample time for rest and recovery.  For the first few days, there is significant swelling, you’ll feel tender, and you’ll be unable to breathe through the nose. The nasal dressings, splint, and sutures are typically removed after 7 days.  You may experience some bruising as well as puffiness in the tip of the nose, and around the eyes, cheeks, and lips. Uneven swelling is common, so you may also notice some asymmetry. It’s important to remember that the final results are still months away.  


Week 2: By the end of the second week, most patients can return to work as long as their job is not too strenuous. Any remaining bruising can be easily covered with makeup. For more physically demanding jobs, you may want to remain on light duty for a couple more weeks. Strenuous activities should be avoided for up to 6 weeks.  Be sure to talk with Dr. Laverson about your job duties prior to your surgery so he can advise you on a more personalized timeline for your return to work. 


Weeks 4-6: By this time, there should be a significant decrease in swelling, and the new nose shape should become more defined. If you had a revision rhinoplasty, if you have particularly thick skin texture, or if your rhinoplasty procedure involved external and internal reshaping, you may still have quite a bit of swelling. This is to be expected. At this point, Dr. Laverson may clear you for moderate exercise, but you’ll want to be vigilant about using sun protection if you exercise outside, as the skin of your nose will be more sensitive to the effects of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. 


Months 2-3: As the swelling continues to decrease, your nose job results will continue to improve. Around the three month mark, you may even feel ready to show it off in family photos or on your social media feed. But, again, depending on the extent of your rhinoplasty and your body’s healing process, your nose may not yet look exactly as you’re hoping. In many cases, it can take more than a year for the swelling to subside.   


Months 6-12: Within a year, most people can see the final results of their rhinoplasty procedure. Any changes that take place during this time are usually quite subtle. Typically, the swelling has gone down, any repositioned cartilage has settled, and the reshaped skin has conformed to the new structure. Full breathing function is restored, and facial harmony is achieved. 

As mentioned above, there are some factors that may change the timeline or extend the recovery time.  These include: thicker skin texture, oily skin, bruise-prone skin, revision surgery, or extensive reconstruction. During your consultation with Dr. Laverson, he’ll be able to give you an idea of what to expect for your particular rhinoplasty recovery timeline. He’ll also provide you with a set of instructions for post-operative care as well as recommendations for reducing swelling so you can see the results of your nose job as soon as possible. 


New nose. New you. 

At Feel Beautiful in San Diego, we understand the magnificent power in feeling great about the way you look. If you’re unhappy with your nose, chances are it’s affecting your self-esteem and the way you carry yourself in the world. A nose job may be just what you need to achieve facial harmony and boost your confidence. 


When you come to Feel Beautiful for a rhinoplasty consultation with Dr. Laverson, he will examine your features, listen to your concerns, and explain the technique to accomplish your desired changes. He may also suggest additional or alternative changes to maintain proportion with other features of your nose and face. Dr. Laverson is a Double Board Certified plastic surgeon known for his skill, precision, and passion for helping patients look and feel beautiful. Give us a call at (858) 295-4001 to schedule your consultation today. 


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