A nose job (technically referred to as a rhinoplasty) is typically performed either to change the shape or improve the function of the nose. People who choose to undergo this surgery are frequently most concerned about what to expect post-surgery. Everyone’s experience with rhinoplasty varies based on their unique needs and health condition. However, there is a standard rhinoplasty recovery timeline that you can follow to set your expectations for recovery.
What happens during rhinoplasty surgery?
During a rhinoplasty procedure, your surgeon will choose from two different types of rhinoplasty procedures. Your surgeon will perform either an open or closed rhinoplasty.
In a closed rhinoplasty, the surgery is performed through incisions in the nostrils. As a result, there are no external scars. In an open rhinoplasty, the surgeon makes a single incision at the base of the columella, the tissue in between the nostrils. He or she then lifts the skin off of the cartilage and proceeds to alter the shape of the cartilage.
The decision to perform open vs. closed rhinoplasty depends on the surgeon’s training and preference. Open vs. closed rhinoplasty does not typically alter the expected rhinoplasty recovery timeline.
What is a revision rhinoplasty?
A revision rhinoplasty (also known as a secondary rhinoplasty) is performed the same way as primary rhinoplasty. However, this surgery is usually performed to correct any issues from previous surgery and usually requires cartilage grafting.
Rhinoplasty recovery timeline overview
Below is a detailed breakdown of the entire rhinoplasty recovery timeline. Check for the following milestones as you go through your journey of a healthy recovery.
1-2 weeks after surgery
One week after surgery, the splint in your nose can be removed. You will also be able to go out without noticeable signs of surgery. If there is any bruising around the eyes, which is common, this may take two weeks to resolve, however, is it frequently not noticeable. At this point, you can also resume activities of daily living.
After two weeks, most of the facial swelling subsides and the bruising should dissipate.
One month after surgery
About one-month post-surgery, you will be able to safely return to your normal exercise routine. This may include cardiovascular activities like cycling, swimming or running. At this point, the bones healed into their new position, and you can also resume resistance workouts, like weight lifting. This is when you may also safely wear glasses and blow your nose.
Three to six months after surgery
About six months after your rhinoplasty, any numbness or unusual sensations you experience will subside.
One year after surgery
Your nose will be fully recovered about one year after your surgery. The healing process will be complete. The swelling will completely subside and the shape of your nose will be refined.
Rhinoplasty recovery tips from an experienced surgeon
1. Listen to Your Doctor
It is most important to follow your doctor’s instructions. He or she will give you specific instructions on necessary medications, how to care for the surgical site, and when to come back in for a follow-up exam.
2. Listen to Your Body
After surgery, only you will know how you’re feeling. If something doesn’t feel right after surgery, discuss it with your doctor right away.
3. Keep Your Head Elevated
Do not sleep on your side post-surgery. This can be painful and displace the work that was done. Instead, prop your head up to sleep, which will ensure a healthy recovery.
4. Use Cold Compresses & Get Plenty of Rest
In the first week after surgery, use a cold compress to reduce swelling. Do not apply the compress directly to your nose, but apply it to your cheeks so that you don’t accidentally shift any bones or cartilage. Getting rest is the most important during the first week after surgery. Do not overexert yourself.
5. Stay Cool
Any heat can cause the tissues in your nose to swell even more. As a result, eat room-temperature foods, take lukewarm showers, and stay out of the sun after your rhinoplasty.
6. Don’t Blow Your Nose
After surgery, you will likely be congested. This feeling is caused by swollen nasal tissues. Resist the urge to blow your nose. Use a saline nasal spray to moisturize your nasal passages until the swelling subsides.
7. Avoid Vigorous Exercise
You should avoid strenuous exercise until one month after surgery. Even movements that seem harmless like stretching, lifting, or bending over can increase nasal swelling.
8. Don’t Wear Glasses
Sunglasses, reading glasses and prescription glasses put pressure on your nose. As your nose is healing, they can cause additional bruising or swelling.
9. Don’t Smoke
Both before and after surgery, don’t smoke and avoid secondhand smoke if possible. The nicotine in tobacco limits blood flow. This makes it more difficult for your body to heal itself.
10. Be Patient!
This is the toughest part of the surgery for most patients. Healing takes time. It’s important to be patient and trust the healing process. You will have the rhinoplasty results you want.
Find the right rhinoplasty surgeon in New Jersey
Remember that the rhinoplasty recovery timeline is different for everybody. There is an expected standard rhinoplasty recovery time, however, it may vary based on unique needs and the patient’s health condition.
To find the right rhinoplasty surgeon for you, consider his or her credentials, certifications, past experience, and bedside manner. You want your surgeon to make you feel as comfortable as possible, answering any lingering questions and quelling any concerns you may have.
Dr. Berlet has been in practice for over 20 years, serving clients in the northern NJ and NYC area. His clients in Bergen and Essex county, as well as New York City, have left glowing testimonials and can attest to his high level of expertise and genuine care for his patients. He has performed rhinoplasty surgery for hundreds of patients who have achieved their desired results. To learn more about how Dr. Berlet can help you, contact us and schedule an appointment!