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How long does it take to recover from nose surgery?

The normal rhinoplasty recovery time is somewhere between six and eight weeks. There are a number of activities which should be avoided for all or some of this recovery period, including driving, sex and going to the gym or other vigorous exercise.

Tagged: Facial Treatments

How long does it take to recover from rhinoplasty?

A rhinoplasty procedure reshapes, corrects or reconstructs the nose to make it more aesthetically pleasing. It is one of the five most common cosmetic surgery procedures carried out here in the UK and one of the most popular surgeries that we offer here at the Cadogan Clinic.

When it comes to rhinoplasty recovery, patients often have a lot of questions to ask. Here we will answer some of the most common queries about nose job recovery.

How long is nose job recovery time? 

Rhinoplasty is a straightforward surgery and takes place under general anaesthetic over the course of between one and three hours. Patients then spend around two or three hours recovering in our ambulatory recovery rooms. Once our specialist nursing team is happy that the patient’s initial recovery is complete, they are allowed to leave with a friend or family member to recover in the comfort of their own home.

  • The normal rhinoplasty recovery time is somewhere between six and eight weeks. There are a number of activities which should be avoided for all or some of this recovery period, including driving, sex and going to the gym or other vigorous exercise.
  • A nose job often leaves bruising around the eyes. Please be assured this is not painful and quickly subsides. The last of the bruising under the eyes has disappeared by 10 days post-surgery.
  • Patients are asked to come in and see our nursing team 1 week after surgery to ensure the incision sites have been properly reviewed. At this juncture, we also recommend patients meet with one of our on site aestheticians to discuss ongoing treatment to support the healing and scarring process.
  • There are a number of things a patient can do to help potentially speed up their nose job recovery time. Propping the head up with pillows for a couple of days when resting helps to reduce the swelling in the nose area. Sleeping on the back is recommended for four weeks following rhinoplasty.
  • A patient should avoid blowing their nose and try to sneeze through their mouth to avoid pressure on the nose. Dusty or smoky places should be avoided.
  • It is important that a patient adheres to all aftercare instructions issued by their surgeon. A failure to do so may cause a delay in the recovery process.

It should be noted that the nose can take up to 12 months to settle into its final shape. So patience is required.

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When can I take my nose splint off?

Most rhinoplasty patients will have a plastic or plaster of Paris splint over the nose where the bones have fractured. This will be removed between 7 and 10 days after surgery.

Once the splint has been removed, the nose will appear swollen and lack definition, with the tip looking unchanged at this stage of recovery. Rest assured, when the splint comes off, this is not how the nose will finally look. The actual final shape will take 6 to 12 months to settle and this will be confirmed by the absence of stiffness and the skin returning to its normal feeling.

The same type of splint is used when a person suffers from a broken nose. If you are concerned about how your nose appears and people’s reactions, this little while lie would explain away the presence of the splint.

Which activities should I restrict during my nose job recovery?

In order to ensure a swift nose job recovery time, there are certain activities that patients should avoid.

Patients are reasonably mobile within 48 hours of the surgery, but we would advise total rest for the first few days of rhinoplasty recovery. Driving should be avoided until two weeks post-surgery. We recommend avoiding UV light, for example using sunbeds, for two to four weeks following rhinoplasty as this can impact upon scarring.

Restricted sexual activity can be resumed after four weeks but vigorous exercise, including going to the gym, should be completely avoided until six weeks.

If a patient follows these instructions, we would anticipate a full recovery between six and eight weeks.

Does rhinoplasty hurt?

Rhinoplasty does not hurt. There may be some level of discomfort immediately following the procedure but pain levels will be modest and will be easily treated with painkillers.

A patient is more likely to experience side effects during their rhinoplasty recovery, rather than pain. Common side effects include a blocked nose, as they will need to breathe through their mouth for a week or so. Other side effects include a stiff and numb nose and soreness, swelling and bruising below the eyes, if the nasal bones have been fractured.

Some patients may experience some bleeding from the nostrils overnight, or for a longer period if the septum or turbinates have required treatment.

Nose reshaping surgery can sometimes result in permanent breathing difficulty, damage to the cartilage wall between the nostrils, an altered sense of smell or heavy nosebleeds. However these side effects are not common. The surgeon will explain how likely these risks and complications are, and how they would be treated if they occur.

Rhinoplasty does not hurt. There may be some level of discomfort immediately following the procedure but pain levels will be modest and will be easily treated with painkillers.

A patient is more likely to experience side effects during their rhinoplasty recovery, rather than pain. Common side effects include a blocked nose, as they will need to breathe through their mouth for a week or so. Other side effects include a stiff and numb nose and soreness, swelling and bruising below the eyes, if the nasal bones have been fractured.

Some patients may experience some bleeding from the nostrils overnight, or for a longer period if the septum or turbinates have required treatment.

Nose reshaping surgery can sometimes result in permanent breathing difficulty, damage to the cartilage wall between the nostrils, an altered sense of smell or heavy nosebleeds. However these side effects are not common. The surgeon will explain how likely these risks and complications are, and how they would be treated if they occur.

Words from our clients:


What rhinoplasty recovery support is offered by the Cadogan Clinic?

We have invited a selection of the country's very best rhinoplasty surgeons to practice with us at the Cadogan Clinic so that you can be sure that whatever your nose concern you will be seeing one of the top surgeons in the UK.

As we are London’s leading specialist cosmetic surgery centre of excellence, the Cadogan Clinic also offers superior, comprehensive aftercare to help aid your rhinoplasty recovery time.

Our nursing team provide a dedicated 24/7 oncall service during recovery – whatever your question, we can provide the answer

We also offer a complimentary consultation and treatment with our onsite team of aestheticians to ensure you heal and scar quickly and efficiently.

To find out more about rhinoplasty at the Cadogan Clinic, please get in touch to make an appointment with one of our specialists.


Treatments mentioned in this article

The nose is the central feature of the face and how it looks can determine how we feel about our overall appearance. Rhinoplasty refers to a group of surgical procedures that change the size, shape and position of the nose to provide an effective solution for the many people who are unhappy with the aesthetic appearance of their nose. It is also commonly performed as a medical procedure to correct breathing issues and to help alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnoea, and is consequently one of the most common cosmetic surgery procedures performed across the world.

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