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24th May 2021

Rhinoplasty Recovery: 15 Tips for Healing and Timeline

Dr. Devan Patel, PharmD
Rhinoplasty Recovery: 15 Tips for Healing and Timeline

While many are eager to rip off the bandages and walk the world with a new look, the rhinoplasty recovery period must not be overlooked. The entire year following your rhinoplasty requires caution and care on your part. 

The one-year recovery period seems long, but when you follow the tips below, you'll have a smooth and on-time rhinoplasty recovery.

Below, we will cover the expected timeline for rhinoplasty (nose job) recovery as well as 15 helpful tips to aid in a speedy recovery.


Rhinoplasty Recovery Timeline:

1-2 Weeks

Splint will be removed, however, you will have excessive swelling and bruising around the nasal area and eyes. 


1 Month

Bruising should have healed, and swelling should be much less than before. 


2 Months

You can return to weight training and heavy lifting as the bone should be stable. 


3-6 Months

Your nose will still have slight swelling.


1 Year

At this point, your nose should have healed completely, and it should be at its final shape. 


15 Tips for rhinoplasty recovery:

1. Follow a healthy diet

Eating a healthy and balanced diet ensures that your body has all the good nutrients and vitamins to rebuild and repair itself after nose surgery. Dark greens, clean protein, whole grains - it all helps your body during the recovery process. Here is a great article on which foods speed up recovery after surgery. 

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate with 8 ounces of water daily. And definitely avoid alcohol; it can cause dehydration and make the recovery process much worse.


2.  Maximize your recovery with vitamins

There are several key minerals, herbs and supplements that can accelerate healing that are highly recommended by surgeons such as bromelain, turmeric and calendula.* For an added bonus arnica helps with reducing inflammation and bruising as well.  

Consider WoundVite the most comprehensive post surgical healing supplement that was specifically curated to assist with the body’s natural wound healing response.* The body needs to produce collagen, boost skin production, fight off infections, and increase blood supply when a wound is present.

In every step of wound healing, vitamins such as vitamin C and A, iron, zinc and L-glutamine must be present for these processes to carry out.* And that's why WoundVite was created. It's packed with vitamins mentioned and probiotics to aid in a speedy recovery.*


3. Avoid the sun

While a daily dose of vitamin D from natural sunlight is great, try to avoid the sun right after surgery. This is because the skin around the nose is healing, meaning it's more sensitive. Too much direct sunlight can result in sunburns and increased swelling. 


4. Don’t wear anything that rests on the nose

This includes glasses, goggles, and any form of eyewear. These items place pressure on your nose which can further the bruising and pain around the nose area post-surgery. 


5. Avoid spicy foods

Spicy foods tend to irritate the sinuses which causes excessive mucus flow and the opening of nasal passages. This is something you want to prevent in the early stages of rhinoplasty recovery. The irritation can lead to more discomfort and swelling as well.


6. Take time off

It’s best to take a few days off from work right after surgery. Since you'll most likely have a splint and many bandages around the nose, it's best to take some time off to rest and heal. The extreme swelling may make it difficult to concentrate for long periods as well. 

Also avoid stretching and bending over to grab anything that can strain your face. We recommend getting a reacher-grabber tool to help around the house. 


7. Attend all post-op appointments

Surgeons will always schedule follow-up appointments to ensure your recovery is going as planned. They’ll use these appointments to do any final touches like removing the stitching or bandages. Additionally, they'll provide any follow-up information and instructions for your recovery. 


8. Keep your head elevated when sleeping

Surgeons often recommend patients elevate their heads when sleeping during rhinoplasty recovery. This prevents fluid from building up in the nasal passageways. Get a wedge pillow, here is a quick review of the best ones on the market. 


9. Follow your doctor's instructions diligently

Depending on the nose surgery you received and your specific case, surgeons will make particular recommendations based on your situation. Make sure to follow them and always check in when you're unsure of something.  Here are a few common tips:

  • Avoid taking any oral anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen, Advil (ibuprofen),  for pain or to reduce swelling. These over the counter medications can actually increase bleeding and lead to more inflammation.

  • If you're taking аnу раin mеdiсаtiоnѕ, if уоu mау experience рrоblеmѕ with соnѕtiраtiоn so stay head by being proactive. Eat high fiber foods and make ѕurе уоu hаvе ѕоmе lаxаtivеѕ on hand. Ask your surgeon what they recommend, but usually a stool softener like colace or laxative such as Miralax are used quite often. 

  • Don’t take any anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen for pain or to reduce swelling. These medications can actually increase bleeding and lead to more inflammation.

10. Be aware of unusual side effects 

While infections are rare after rhinoplasty, it’s not impossible. If you feel excruciating discomfort, unusual side effects or your swelling has not decreased after months, you should speak to your doctor. 


11. Avoid hardcore workouts

Right after surgery, you should completely avoid intense workouts. Generally around 6 weeks, that's when surgeons give the green light to get back to weighted exercises and workouts. 


12. Avoid smoking

The body needs ample blood flow to the nose for recovery purposes. Since nicotine decreases blood flow, you should avoid it right after surgery. 


13. Don’t blow your nose

While it may be tempting due to congestion, blowing your nose will further nose swelling and bruising. Alternatively, ask your doctor for a nasal spray. 

humidifier is also a good idea to keep the air in your room moist to avoid sneezing and coughing. Here are the best rated ones in 2021


14. Use cold compress

At times when swelling becomes unbearable, you can use a cold compress. Just make sure to avoid direct application to the nose to prevent damage to the cast.  Place the compress on your skin for 15- 20 minutes. Cold compresses are most effective in the first 48 hours following surgery and you should alternate between 20 minutes on and off.


15. Don’t touch your nose

It may feel tempting but avoid touching or rubbing your nose at all costs because it leads to further damage and swelling. Also, your hands could have bacteria and viruses present so don't do it even though it's tempting. 


Rhinoplasty recovery: Bottom Line

The recovery period post-surgery is crucial to avoid complications and prolonging the recovery time. Initial swelling can last up to 10 days, but fluid retain and light swelling can last several months. With plenty of patience and by following the tips above, you'll be ecstatic over the final results. 



* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.