Rhinoplasty Recovery: What to Expect After Your "Nose Job"

Rhinoplasty Recovery: What to Expect After Your "Nose Job"

 Often when people hear the term plastic surgery, visions of face lifts, breast augmentations and other popular cosmetic treatments are the things that come to mind. However, many of the procedures are used as much for reconstructive surgery from accidents or correcting structural defects as they are for aesthetic changes. One example of this is rhinoplasty, commonly known as a nose job, which can serve both purposes.

This is the third most performed plastic surgery nationwide, and if you’re one of the people getting ready to undergo the procedure, you should know what to expect. Let’s examine what this surgery is, the procedure itself and what to expect once it is finished. If you live in the Kissimmee or Orlando, Florida area and you want a rhinoplasty or some other plastic surgery procedure, Drs. Wade Han, Elvira Livigni De Armas, and the experienced team at Florida Ear, Nose, Throat, & Facial Plastic Surgery Center can help.

Understanding rhinoplasty

Your nose is composed of bone and cartilage, and is both an important part of how you breathe and how your face is viewed aesthetically. This is a surgery that modifies the bone and cartilage in your nose to change the size, proportions, or shape of your nose, either to make aesthetic alterations or to correct breathing problems, broken noses, or birth defects. 

The two main types of rhinoplasty include open and closed surgery. Open surgery is for major reshaping, where incisions will separate the skin from your cartilage and bone completely to see the underlying anatomy, and closed surgery is for minor reshaping where smaller incisions are made inside to perform the tasks needed. There are other nose job procedures, such as cosmetic, filler, functional, and secondary rhinoplasties to achieve a variety of results.

The rhinoplasty procedure

Prior to starting the procedure, we will need to gather your medical history, do a physical examination, take photos and make sure you have the proper expectations of what to expect from the process. Once that’s done, the procedure starts with the application of anesthetic suited to the type of surgery you’re getting. 

Once you’re comfortable and resting we proceed to make the incisions necessary and reshape the tissue needed to make the medical or cosmetic changes. A splint may be placed on your nose to keep its shape while it heals. Once finished the incisions are sewn together and you’re moved to the recovery room, while you wake up from the anesthetic.

What happens after the surgery

Once you’re awake, and everything is confirmed to have gone well, you’ll either be hospitalized for a day or two for more complicated surgeries or be free to go with simpler ones, likely with someone driving you home. 

Once home, you’ll want to rest with your head elevated above your chest to reduce swelling and bleeding. You can expect to feel a bit congested if your nose is packed with cotton after the surgery, and the splint may need to stay in place for about a week or so after the work is done.

For the first night, you may want to have someone stay with you at home, as side effects of the anesthetic like impaired judgment, memory lapses, and slow reaction are common. Drainage and bleeding are common in the days after the procedure, and you’ll need to maintain a drip pad (piece of gauze taped under your nose) to absorb the blood and mucus that comes through. 

You'll need to be careful about excess sun exposure which could discolor your nose during recovery, and avoid activities like running, swimming, nose blowing, excessive chewing, too much facial movement, and resting eyeglasses on your nose for the first few weeks.


Full recovery may take several weeks, but numbness and swelling can last for months. Make sure to attend all follow up appointments and follow instructions carefully for a smooth recovery. 

Whatever the reason for your rhinoplasty, when you’re ready to get started, make an appointment with Drs. Han, Livigni De Armas, and Florida Ear, Nose, Throat, & Facial Plastic Surgery Center to get the work done to suit your needs. 

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