What to Expect During Your Rhinoplasty Recovery [Everything You Need To Know]

Rhinoplasty is a popular surgery in the United States, accounting for well over 200,000 of the millions of cosmetic procedures every year. Many consider undergoing nose-reshaping surgery to achieve a particular aesthetic, help with breathing issues, or repair damage.

The benefits of rhinoplasty are well-documented, leading plenty of clients to do the procedure. But if you’re considering the surgery, you may have questions about what happens afterward.

Rhinoplasty surgery does not deliver immediate results as commonly thought. It can take up to a year for the final desired shape of the nose to come to fruition, leaving an extended recovery time.

This article outlines everything you need to know about rhinoplasty recovery. Read below the answers to the most common questions, or you can consult in detail with a rhinoplasty specialist.

What Happens After Rhinoplasty Surgery?

Rhinoplasty surgery will need an extended recovery period, as outpatients experience pain, swelling, and breathing conditions after the procedure. So what happens immediately after the surgery?

Patients will have a nose dressing applied, staying on for the first 12 hours after the operation. You will likely need to stay in the clinic for a couple of nights to observe and ensure an excellent start to your recovery.

After discharge, you’ll wear a splint held over your nose with tape for around seven days, where you may experience breathing discomfort. Painkillers will get prescribed to manage the pain and swelling.

It’s expected that you’ll need to avoid regular activities such as work for around two weeks post-surgery. So what do you need to do during that time?

What Do I Need to Do During Rhinoplasty Recovery?

The general outlined time for recovery is around six weeks. Still, swelling may not completely disappear for up to six months. There are some recommended courses of action to ensure your results go to plan and minimise any side effects and complications in the process.

Core advice in rhinoplasty recovery includes:

  • Avoid strenuous activity for up to six weeks
  • Sneeze through your mouth to minimise pressure on the nose
  • Don’t blow your nose or remove any crusts
  • Prop your head up when resting to reduce swelling
  • Don’t take hot baths or get the splint wet

So what should you expect during the recovery period outside of the instructions?

What Should I Expect During Rhinoplasty Recovery?

Here are some of the most common effects associated with rhinoplasty recovery.

Pain and Swelling

Pain and swelling are inevitable with a cosmetic procedure, with nothing changing post-rhinoplasty. The swelling peak will come around the third day after the operation when patients should try to stay as elevated as possible.

It’s a frequent occurrence for swelling not to wholly disappear for six months, so don’t be too concerned if it doesn’t subside.


Skin discolorations will be associated with bruising and swelling after the surgery. During the first week of recovery, you’ll have some prominent discoloration around your eyes and face, but it shouldn’t last long.

Gradual Changes

Rhinoplasty recovery is a gradual process, and it’s essential to understand that you may not see the desired results until a few months after the operation.

So are there any potential side effects of the recovery period?

Possible Rhinoplasty Recovery Side Effects

The following conditions have been documented during rhinoplasty recovery and aren’t uncommon.


The pain and discomfort after surgery may make it difficult to sleep. If insomnia continues, consult your rhinoplasty surgeon about options to help with sleeping.


Sometimes the radical changes to your face colour and non-instant results can cause bouts of depression. Understand that your current appearance is temporary, and the best procedures will get the result you seek over recovery time.


The effects of the anaesthetic during surgery and the following painkillers may cause you to feel weak for a little while. Even without medication, this weakness should clear up in a few days.

So finally, let’s move on to answer the more central questions about rhinoplasty recovery.

When Will I See the Results of My Rhinoplasty Surgery?

Everybody has different recovery times, but it’s generally expected that you’ll start to see the first results after a month. Again, the entire process of nose shaping can take up to a year.

When Can I Return to My Normal Routine?

Most will be able to enjoy their regular lives about six weeks post-recovery. However, this can vary from person to person.

Can I Speak to Someone About Rhinoplasty Procedures?

Suppose you’re in the San Antonio, TX, region. In that case, Baumholtz Plastic Surgery is a premier option to discuss and receive a Rhinoplasty in San Antonio. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Baumholz to discover your options, understand the procedure, and fully comprehend the recovery process.

Back to Blog
Contact us media
Accessibility: If you are vision-impaired or have some other impairment covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to using this website, please contact our Accessibility Manager at 210-660-5579.
Contact Us