The recovery time after rhinoplasty surgery varies from person to person. Generally, the more extensive the procedure, the longer it will take for you to recover. Typically, the downtime is around 1 week although most patients are up and about after a couple of days and resume work after 1 week. The recovery times depends on various factors such as approach used (open vs closed), skin thickness, primary vs revision surgery, amongst other factors. Some people simply heal faster than others.
The cast and sutured are removed after 5-7 days. Noticeable swelling lasts on average 2-3 weeks but takes a full 4-6 weeks to resolve followed by secondary healing, which takes months.
The First Few Days After a Nose Job
Typically, you will be discharged from the surgical center within a couple of hours after surgery including in cases of revision surgery that may include ear or rib cartilage grafting. You’ll need someone you know to drive you home due to the general anesthesia. Your nose will have an external splint for 5-7 days and rarely, if ever, any internal packing. Dr. Walker will remove the cast and sutures after 1 week. As far as discomfort, pressure is normal and discomfort will be manageable with OTC Tylenol after 3 days, possibly earlier. Most patients take some prescription pain medications for the first night only. After the first week, all pain should have subsided with minimal tenderness to touch only after that. Bruising, if present, will competely subside after 1-2 weeks.
A Few Weeks After Surgery
Generally, it is recommended to refrain from strenuous activities for the first month but light daily activities such as walking, grocery shopping, and other day-to-day activities may be resumed after 2-3 days already. As a rule of thumb: downtime from work 1 week, social downtime due to swelling 2-3 weeks, strenuous activity downtime 4-6 weeks, photo studio shoot downtime 1-3 months, contact sports 3 months.
About A Month After Surgery
You will begin to notice the results at around one-month post-surgery, when most of the initial swelling has subsided. Your nose should look more defined and you get a better sense what shape the nose will take although secondary healing is a slow process especially in patients with thick skin. You can also expect that the bruising has disappeared by this time as well.
Two Months After Rhinoplasty
In general, some discomfort and swelling may remain until about two months following surgery, although some people recognize at this point that their results are fully present. You are allowed to resume strenuous activity at this point, even as your nose skin contracts further and becomes more refined to take on the shape of the underlying framework. You should be ready or nearly ready for your next photo studio shoot or wedding photos.
Three Months Post-Surgery
By the time you reach three months, all tenderness to touch and minimal residual dicomfort should have subsided, as should have the temporary skin numbness you may have experienced until this point. Your external incision, if present between the nostrils, should be essentially inconspicuous at this point. Your final results of the nose take 1-2 years, though, oftentimes even longer with the vast majority of healing, though, occurring during the first 3 months.
Rhinoplasty in Atlanta, GA
To learn more about what you can expect at each stage of your rhinoplasty recovery, or how a rhinoplasty can help harmonize your facial features for a refreshed and confidence-inspiring appearance, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Walker by phone or online today.