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Rhinoplasty Recovery Timeline

Patients who have undergone a rhinoplasty (nose job) will be eager to enjoy their new look and show it off to friends and family. However, they should be fully prepared for the healing process following surgery. Patients must be willing to follow their surgeon’s post-surgical instructions and understand that it may take from six months to a year before the nose is finally settled into its new shape. In this blog post, the surgeons of Jefferson Plastic Surgery in Philadelphia describe the rhinoplasty recovery period so patients know what to expect during each stage of the healing process.

Immediately after Surgery

The nose will be bruised and swollen right after surgery. It will likely be taped at the bridge and tip. The tape should be left in place because it will help reduce swelling and reduce the chance of scar tissue formation. Ice packs applied to the cheeks will also help reduce swelling and bruising. Cold compresses can be applied as well. The head should be kept elevated (higher than the heart) to reduce swelling. Herbal supplements such as Arnica montana taken prior to and after surgery will help reduce bruising.

Two Weeks after Surgery

Any internal or external splints, as well as any internal or external sutures, will be removed somewhere between seven to 10 days after the surgery. Any packing that has not dissolved on its own will also be removed at this time. By two weeks after surgery, most of the bruising and swelling will have disappeared, at least to a point that it will not be obvious to the casual observer. However, the nose is still healing, so the final appearance may not yet be visible.

Strenuous activity such as exercise should be avoided for the first four to six weeks following surgery. However, regular activities, such as work, can be resumed anywhere from one to two weeks following surgery. About 75 percent of the final results will become apparent within three to four weeks following surgery.

Four Months after Surgery

By this point, all of the bruising should be gone. The patient should be comfortable engaging in all regular activities, including exercise. Although the nose is not yet done reshaping itself at this point, the patient will have a better idea of what the final appearance will look like. However, the nose may still feel somewhat stiff or numb to the touch. It is extremely important to avoid sun exposure to the nose until full healing is complete.

Nine Months to a Year after Surgery

At this point, the nose has pretty much settled into its final shape. Any residual numbness will have mostly subsided. However, it is still recommended to be careful about sun exposure and injury to the nose.

The cosmetic surgeons at the Jefferson Plastic Surgery in Philadelphia have many years of experience performing rhinoplasty. They are more than happy to help guide patients through the healing process. Contact Jefferson Plastic Surgery today to schedule a rhinoplasty consultation with a skilled plastic surgeon.

Questions? Email us today.

To make or reschedule an appointment please complete the form below or call:  (215) 625-6630.

New Patient Appointments Now Available on Saturdays!

CALL US TODAY: 215.625.6630


Jefferson Plastic Surgery is located on the corner of 9th and Walnut streets in Center City, Philadelphia on the 15th floor of the Wills Eye Hospital Building.

Jefferson Plastic Surgery
840 Walnut Street - 15th Floor
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107
Phone: (215) 625-6630
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