Rhinoplasty Recovery Guide

“What is the recovery like after rhinoplasty?” is one of the first questions many patients ask rhinoplasty expert, Dr. Babak Azizzadeh, in Beverly Hills.

To many patients’ delight, rhinoplasty recovery is often much easier than they ever imagined!

First, Dr. Azizzadeh explains that every patient heals differently and the healing process can vary based on the extent of surgery needed. Before you even undergo surgery, there are a few things you can do to prepare your body to heal at its optimal level including avoiding seafood and discontinuing the use of vitamins or supplements 2 weeks prior to surgery.

On average, the initial recovery for rhinoplasty takes about 7 to 10 days. At this point most patients are able to return to work or school and resume their normal social life.

At around 3 to 4 weeks, the patient will be ready to show off their new nose at a big event (such as a wedding, red carpet event, high school reunion, etc.).

Rhinoplasty Recovery Day by Day

The first day of recovery is the most uncomfortable – medication will be prescribed to help manage the pain.  You should apply a cold compress to your nose on an hourly basis when awake for the first 72 hours following surgery.

After 3 days, most of the pain will be gone and your comfort level will improve dramatically. Many patients say that the first few days of recovery are not as much painful as they are uncomfortable. The most common types of discomfort felt include dull aching, headaches, and congestion.

Your bandages or nose cast will be removed 7 days after rhinoplasty surgery. Once the bandages/cast are removed, most patients feel comfortable and confident enough to go back to work or school and resume their daily routine. However, many patients are feeling great before the cast is removed and go back to their regular daily activities then.

Although you can resume daily activities 1 week following surgery, you need to continue to limit your physical activity for up to 4 weeks. We recommend getting clearance from Dr. Azizzadeh to resume your regular workout routine, but some general guidelines include:

  • Do not bend down with your head forward for 2 weeks following surgery.
  • No heavy exercise or yoga for 3 weeks following surgery.
  • No heavy lifting of 10 pounds for 4 weeks following surgery.

Bruising and Swelling After Rhinoplasty

The extent of swelling and bruising depends on your body and what was done to the nose. For most patients, the bruising dissipates around the 7-day mark. We advise most of our patients to take Arnica Forte supplements to help speed up the recovery process so that your bruising and swelling go away quicker. This is our preferred treatment for swelling and bruising because it is the only product that combines Arnica Montana and Bromelain. You should start taking the pills the morning of surgery and continue for 6 days after surgery.  Arnica Forte can ber purchased out our office during your pre-op appointment.

The longest component of rhinoplasty recovery is the swelling. At about 3 to 4 weeks, approximately 70% of the swelling is gone and you can begin to appreciate your new nose more and more.

At 6 weeks, about 80% to 85% of the swelling has gone down.

Typically, at 2 years post surgery you will see the final results of your rhinoplasty, although the nose will finish its primary healing in the first few months. Dr. Azizzadeh tells his patients from the beginning that they must be very patient during the rhinoplasty recovery process.

As mentioned before, the extent of recovery varies based on the type of rhinoplasty performed. Every patient’s needs are unique; therefore the amount of bone manipulation as well as the amount of work done on the internal structures is different for each patient. During your consultation with Dr. Azizzadeh, after he examines your nose and determines the best surgical plan, he will be able to give you a better idea of exactly what to expect during your recovery.

Dr. Azizzadeh is a Harvard trained facial plastic surgeon and is recognized internationally for his expertise rhinoplasty. As such, he always uses the most advanced and minimally invasive surgical techniques. His cutting approach to rhinoplasty provides not only beautiful and natural looking results, but also yields a quicker and easier recovery process.

Tips To Improve Your Rhinoplasty Recovery

Below are some recommendations to help improve your rhinoplasty recovery experience.

  1. Follow all of Dr. Azizzadeh’s pre-rhinoplasty instructions very carefully. We will provide you with Rhinoplasty Guidelines at your pre-op appointment. 
  2. Fill any prescriptions and buy any recovery supplies you need prior to your surgery. We will give you your prescriptions and recommend other recovery supplies at your pre-op appointment.
  3. Follow all of Dr. Azizzadeh’s post-rhinoplasty instructions completely and carefully. We will provide you with Rhinoplasty Guidelines at your pre-op appointment. 
  4. Have a friend or family member stay with you for the first 24 hours following surgery. Some patients opt to stay at an after care facility.
  5. Make it to all follow-up appointments with Dr. Azizzadeh. Even if you think you feel fine, it is still very important to see Dr. Azizzadeh for all follow-up appointments so he can examine you and make sure everything is healing properly.
  6. Be very open and honest with Dr. Azizzadeh about how you are feeling. If something does not feel right, do not hesitate to contact our office.
  7. Be patient during the recovery process. We know it can be frustrating while you are waiting for the bruising and swelling to go down, but it will! And once it does, you will know it was worth the wait. 

Rhinoplasty Recovery FAQ

How long does it take to recover from a nose job?

Initially, a rhinoplasty patient will experience swelling and bruising around the eyes after surgery; these issues typically start to improve about three days following treatment and may persist for up to two weeks. A rhinoplasty patient may also experience minimal swelling for up to six months after a nose job. Once post-surgery swelling stops, a rhinoplasty patient can enjoy the full results of his or her nose job procedure.

Is rhinoplasty recovery painful?

A rhinoplasty patient may experience some pain during the nose job recovery process. However, post-rhinoplasty surgery pain is temporary.

In the first few days after surgery, a rhinoplasty patient’s nose will be swollen and bruised. A nose job patient may also experience pain in the nose, as well as a headache.

Sometimes, rhinoplasty patients experience a stuffy nose and have trouble breathing following a nose surgery. And if bones were broken during a nose job procedure, a patient may need to take extra precautions to avoid a nose injury for up to three months after treatment. That way, a patient can ensure that his or her nose heals properly after surgery.

What is the fastest way to recover from a nose job?

The fastest way to recover from a nose job is to follow Dr. Azizzadeh’s post-surgery instructions. Generally, Dr. Azizzadeh recommends a nose surgery patient get plenty of rest during the recovery period. He also recommends a rhinoplasty patient keep his or her head raised for the first few days following treatment and avoid strenuous activities for roughly two to three weeks after surgery.

Dr. Azizzadeh provides a rhinoplasty patient with a comprehensive list of post-treatment instructions to ensure that this individual can recover from surgery as quickly as possible. Furthermore, if a nose job patient has concerns or questions during the recovery period, Dr. Azizzadeh is available to respond to them.

Many of Dr. Azizzadeh’s rhinoplasty patients choose to recover at Pearl Recovery Retreat, an luxurious surgical aftercare center that provides around the clock nursing care. When a patient stays at Pearl, they can rest assured they are in the care of nurses who will make the recovery process as relaxing and expedient as possible.

How long do you have to sleep upright after a rhinoplasty?

A rhinoplasty patient should try to sleep with his or her head elevated on two or more pillows for up to one week after surgery. By doing so, a rhinoplasty patient can limit post-surgery swelling. In some instances, a rhinoplasty patient may need to continue to sleep with his or her head elevated for more than one week to prevent damage to the nasal tissues.

Dr. Azizzadeh offers a personalized post-surgery plan for each rhinoplasty patient. This plan outlines all aspects of the recovery process, including how long a patient will need to sleep upright following a nose job procedure.

Can you sneeze after a rhinoplasty?

Sneezing and blowing the nose are common concerns for rhinoplasty patients following surgery, and they sometimes contribute to post-rhinoplasty bruising, swelling and bleeding. If a rhinoplasty patient needs to sneeze after surgery, he or she should try to do so with the mouth open. Meanwhile, a rhinoplasty should try to avoid blowing the nose whenever possible post-surgery.

What are the side effects of a rhinoplasty?

Common side effects associated with a rhinoplasty procedure include:

  • Nosebleeds
  • Infection
  • Poor wound healing
  • Trouble breathing through the nose
  • Scarring
  • Numbness in and around the nose
  • Septal perforation (hole in the septum)
  • Pain
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Nose discoloration

Dr. Azizzadeh discusses the side effects of rhinoplasty surgery with a patient prior to treatment. He also takes a holistic approach to patient care to minimize the risk of rhinoplasty surgery complications.

How long does it take for a rhinoplasty to fully heal?

Post-rhinoplasty swelling usually disappears within about four to six weeks after surgery. For rhinoplasty patients with thick skin on the nose, post-surgery swelling may last up to eight weeks.

Ultimately, the full results of a rhinoplasty procedure may start to become visible within about three months of treatment. But it also is important to note that each rhinoplasty patient is different, and the time it takes to heal from a nose surgery sometimes varies.

Dr. Azizzadeh requests follow-up appointments with a rhinoplasty patient in the weeks and months after surgery. These appointments enable Dr. Azizzadeh to track a patient’s post-rhinoplasty progress. Plus, Dr. Azizzadeh uses follow-up appointments to ensure that a rhinoplasty patient can achieve the optimal treatment results.

Is a nose job safe?

A rhinoplasty is a complex surgical procedure. Like any surgery, there are risks associated with a nose job. If the risks of a nose surgery outweigh the procedure’s benefits, an individual should explore alternative treatment options to achieve his or her desired facial rejuvenation treatment results.

Dr. Azizzadeh is a globally recognized facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon who prioritizes patient safety. He understands the complexities associated with rhinoplasty surgery and performs an in-depth patient analysis before treatment. If Dr. Azizzadeh believes a nose job is safe for a patient, he offers a custom treatment plan designed to limit risk. Or, if Dr. Azizzadeh believes a nose job could compromise a patient’s safety, he will try to offer safe, effective rhinoplasty surgery alternatives.

Learn More About Rhinoplasty with Dr. Azizzadeh

If you have been considering a rhinoplasty, contact the CENTER for Advanced Facial Plastic Surgery in Beverly Hills to schedule a consultation with Dr. Azizzadeh. We offer phone and Video (Zoom) consultations for out-of-town patients.


Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Azizzadeh Today

Dr. Azizzadeh offers in-person and virtual consultations to people who are considering a cosmetic procedure. To find out more, please contact us today at 310-657-2203 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Azizzadeh.

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