What can you expect after rhinoplasty?

Once you’ve done your research, attended your consultation and made the decision to have rhinoplasty at our London clinic, you’re sure to want to see the results of your surgery as quickly as possible.

The side effects and symptoms following a rhinoplasty procedure vary from person to person, but as a rule, a week after your surgery you can expect:

  1. Pain – postoperative pain should only last around 48 hours and can be managed with pain medication which will be prescribed to you in the clinic
  2. Swelling – around 80% of the postoperative swelling should have healed within a week.  Once your cast is removed, you will see a definite change in the appearance of your nose, but this will not be the final look. It can take several months – and sometimes up to a year – for the swelling to completely subside so try to be patient!
  3. Bruising – some bruising is to be expected after rhinoplasty, particularly around the eyes as the skin is thinnest in this area. It can take up to 6 weeks for this bruising to fully heal, although you can use make up to hide it after a week
  4. Congestion – it is perfectly normal for your nose to feel blocked after rhinoplasty. You may struggle to breathe through your nose. This will reduce as the swelling goes down
  5. Numbness – your nose may feel numb, especially around the tip. You may also feel numbness around your tip lip, which may make it difficult  to smile. This will disappear as the swelling subsides
  6. Reduced sense of smell – post-operative swelling can cause your sense of smell to reduce, but this will go back to normal within 4 – 6 weeks
  7. Scarring – any visible scars will heal over time, but they can be covered with make up once a week has passed
  8. Dryness – this is normal after a rhinoplasty. A saline spray or ointment used several times per day will help to reduce any discomfort

Can I speed up my recovery after a rhinoplasty?

It’s important to follow your surgeon’s advice after your surgery. Any medical conditions or medication which may impact on your healing should be monitored before and after surgery and if you smoke you should stop before your surgery as this can significantly slow the rhinoplasty healing process.

You should make sure you get plenty of rest. Ice can also help to reduce swelling and may help to minimise post-operative discomfort.

Alternative remedies such as arnica are often used to speed up healing, as they can reduce swelling and bruising.

You should avoid blowing your nose for at least 3 weeks after your surgery as this can cause bleeding.

Try to sleep with your head elevated on your pillows, as this can also reduce swelling and may also make it easier to breathe through your nose.

Keep out of the sun for the first few months after your rhinoplasty and wear a high factor sunscreen as the sun’s UV rays can irritate your scars.

Find out more about the rhinoplasty recovery timeline.

If you are concerned about any side effects or symptoms after rhinoplasty, please just get in touch and we will be happy to advise you.