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Are You Curious About Rhinoplasty Recovery? These Tips Can Help It Go Smoothly

Understanding rhinoplasty recovery time can ensure that you have a smooth, stress-free experience. Nose surgery ranks among the top 5 most requested plastic surgery procedures and is popular with men and women of all ages. Because even the most subtle enhancements to a nose can dramatically improve a person’s appearance, the required downtime and restrictions are considered worth it.

Dr. Cory Torgerson’s rhinoplasty patients are given detailed information and help with planning so that they’re comfortable, relaxed, and worry-free while they recover at home. Your best advice will come from your own facial plastic surgeon, but the following gives general guidelines for an excellent rhinoplasty.

By definition, rhinoplasty describes a cosmetic surgical correction of the nose, but septoplasty for septum repair and other techniques can be done in conjunction to address deformities or breathing issues. Because of the many variations possible for these operations, recovery experiences and expectations will vary as well.


How long is recovery from rhinoplasty?

So, you’ve seen the rhinoplasty before and after photos and you’re hoping to get your new nose, then return to your usual routine looking fab right away? Unfortunately, the natural inflammatory process in your body will ensure that some substantial facial swelling and bruising lasts between 2 and 4 weeks in most cases. Patients can return to non-strenuous physical activity, school, and jobs within 2 weeks of facial surgery. However, depending on the techniques used and your body, it may take 4 to 6 weeks for most swelling to subside.

After your Rhinoplasty

Timeline for recovery

When your procedure is complete and you feel up to heading home, you’ll leave our clinic with a friend or family member who can help you out. You won’t be able to drive due to general anaesthetic, and you may feel a little nauseous. We’ll provide medication to help with that, and we recommend that you keep light snacks and water handy.

Patients report only mild or moderate discomfort, and in fact, they don’t usually describe the healing phase as painful. That’s the good news, but they do experience pressure in the nose and facial tissue along with congestion from blocked nasal passages. That can be annoying, but rest assured it’s temporary. If you have any packing in your nose, we’ll remove it shortly after surgery, and the inflammation will peak around day 3 to 5, then decrease. Most facial plastic surgeons in Toronto will schedule regular follow-up appointments for you after your procedure, starting with a next-day visit, then weekly, then monthly, until you have completely healed.

For the first 2 weeks, we advise patients to sleep with their head and shoulders elevated to limit swelling. You’ll also be encouraged to keep activity to a minimum and not bend over or lift anything substantial. Straining, picking up heavy objects, or keeping your head below the level of your heart could all increase swelling or discomfort. You might even cause unwanted bleeding, so it’s essential to follow instructions and plan to take it easy. This is an excellent time to catch up on your favourite movies, read, and relax.

1 Week
Any splint or bandage on your nose will likely be removed by the end of the week, and sutures will come out if they need to. You’ll begin to see swelling decreasing somewhat, but bruises are still surfacing and darkening at this point. Most patients no longer need their pain medication after 1 week.
2 Weeks
Bruising and swelling will be improved to the point that most people can’t see obvious signs of surgery. You’ll feel comfortable venturing out without being self-conscious. Some bruises may remain but will be nearly faded. You’ll have a way to go for additional refinement and inflammation to leave nasal tissues, but incisions should be closed. You can see your new nose taking shape, and it’s exciting to catch a glimpse of the final results. Most people return to work or school after 14 days.
3 Weeks
A few weeks after your nose job, you may still sense a little congestion in the nasal passages due to the subtle inflammation of the mucous membranes, and the tip region could be slightly swollen. However, for the most part, you’ll appear normal and healed, ready to get back to life without much restriction. Most patients can resume light workouts at that point, including cardio and other activities. You’ll need to continue to avoid placing anything hard on the face and nose such as masks, helmets, and glasses. Your rhinoplasty surgeon will advise you to stay away from contact sports for several months because they put your nose at risk. Only low-risk exercise can be resumed.
1 Month
At one month, some people become frustrated because the lingering swelling in their nose tip means they still can’t see the defined details they’re expecting. 75% to 80% of the swelling will be gone after 1 to 2 months, but the residual inflammation can linger for several months.

In fact, it’s possible, depending on your skin and tissue characteristics, that you’ll wait up to 1 year to see the final refinement. This is particularly true for revision rhinoplasty cases. Take heart that you’re going to look fantastic within just a few short weeks of your procedure. But those long-term results? They take a while, and your surgeon will celebrate with you at the one-year mark when you’re finally ready for after photos.

Dr. Cory Torgerson

Rhinoplasty Recovery Tips

  • Follow all the instructions your surgeon provides.
  • Don’t skip any post-op appointments.
  • Contact your surgeon if you have concerns.
  • Ask someone to help take care of you for a few days.
  • Ask someone to take care of children and pets — you’re going to need the relief.
  • Take more than enough time off of work.
  • Don’t hesitate to take your prescribed medication, which reduces discomfort and swelling.
  • Don’t take any pills, including supplements, without asking.
  • Don’t blow your nose, bend over, or wear glasses until you get the all-clear.
  • Walk around regularly — you’ll feel better.
  • Drink lots of water and take medications with food as directed.
  • Don’t drink alcohol until you are cleared to do so.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Get lots of sleep.
  • Remember to be patient.


The Clinic at Yorkville

Dr. Torgerson will be happy to meet with you and discuss your facial surgery procedure. He offers consultations with no obligation, giving you the opportunity you need to gather information and personalized feedback from a top rhinoplasty expert. We look forward to hearing from you.

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