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Post-Rhinoplasty Healing Timeline

Rhinoplasty procedure is a slower-healing surgery that requires a lot of time and patience for the recovery

Rhinoplasty procedure is a slower-healing surgery that requires a lot of time and patience for the recovery. One of the most common complaints that people have after rhinoplasty is the slow progression of healing after their surgery. Everyone heals at their own pace, and the body needs ample time to recover from the effects of surgery.

Post-surgery symptoms are significant at first, but they slowly begin to dissipate over the next month

Immediately After Surgery

The rate of improvement in the results varies for each person. That is why we have compiled a list of suggested expectations during the healing phase after nose surgery.

Please note that this is not by any means conclusive or indicated as a replacement of your surgeon’s specific post-rhinoplasty recovery instructions. It represents a general guideline to help Dr. Torgerson’s patients and their families understand what to expect in the days after surgery. The information provided is for reference use only. All post-procedure instructions are specific to your surgeon based on the procedure that you received.

Bruising and Swelling

Swelling and bruising is most commonly experienced immediately after surgery. The maximum swelling and bruising is during the first morning after your surgery. Then it will slowly begin to dissipate over the first 2 weeks. Patients can begin takin oral Arnica pills to help reduce swelling in the first few weeks after surgery. It can also be helpful to eat kiwis and pineapples that contain bromelain, an enzyme that reduces swelling. Other supplements that can help include vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps manufacture the critical components to the skin recovery phases, and vitamin K, which helps thin the blood to prevent blood clotting.

Post-surgery symptoms


Patient should expect discomfort immediately after surgery and for the next few weeks. Some of the expected levels of discomfort include:

– Difficulty breathing
– Dry mouth
– Nose bleeds
– Congestion
– Pressure in the sinus region
– Tenderness in the nose and surrounding areas
– Swelling in nostrils, causing mouth breathing
– Complete obstruction of nasal pathways in some cases
– Post nasal drip
– Numbness that can persist for 3 months


– Avoid bending over and looking down in the first 2 weeks after surgery
– Avoid physical exercise that elevates the heart rate for at least 6 weeks
– Avoid direct sun contact for at least 4 weeks
– Swelling and numbness in the nose increases the risk of sunburns, even when it does not look sunny outside
– Nasal sprays must be avoided after the prescribed usage instructions to prevent dependency

Changes in Appearance

Patients must be aware of the stages of the healing to mentally prepare themselves after rhinoplasty

One of the common concerns people face immediately after surgery is the shape and size of their newly augmented nose. Below are suggested timelines for the major changes that will occur in the nose after nose surgery

Immediately After Surgery

– The nose looks swollen and wide
– The space between the tip of the nose to the mouth looks longer than the pre-op position
– The nose looks lifted and high
– The nose looks wider and bigger

1 Month After Rhinoplasty

– The majority of the swelling and bruising has subsided
– The nose seems to be shrinking in size
– Bumps and hardened areas may surface. This is normal and should not be alarming. It is tissue and cartilage taking their course to heal in the areas that were operated on
– The tip of the nose has slowly positioned to a lower angle – and will continue to decrease in size
– The nose still feels numb
– Breathing function has significantly improved
– The nose still feels numb

3 Months After Rhinoplasty

– Most of the swelling has resolved
– The tip of the nose is the last area of the nose to decrease in swelling
– The tip of the nose has dropped, and the new shape and size of the nose is visible
– Patients can resume their normal activities, including exercise
– To prevent trauma to the nose, no high-impact, high-risk activities for at least 6 to 12 months after surgery

Rhinoplasty results also take time to resolve before you can see the outcome. Informing yourself and having realistic expectations of what to expect during the healing phase is an ideal way to prepare for any delayed healing that you may experience.

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