As of 2019, one of the five most popular plastic surgery procedures is nose reshaping. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reports that nearly 215,000 such procedures were performed over the last year alone.
However, before each and every surgery, there was a patient who was wondering what the recovery process would be like. It is very normal to worry about the potential for discomfort and to have questions about what the post-procedure recovery process entails.
So how much bleeding and pain can you expect from a nose job? Let’s ask the experts and find out!
Every Rhinoplasty Patient Is Different
According to Marcelo Ghersi, a nose job expert from Miami, just as no two rhinoplasty patients are ever exactly alike, so too no rhinoplasty recovery process is every precisely alike. The best rhinoplasty surgeons personally design each and every procedure to meet the needs of each patient.
The reason for this is simple: every patient comes in with a slightly different nasal anatomy, different appearance or functional health goals for their rhinoplasty, different challenges to address (such as revising a poorly done earlier rhinoplasty) and different personal health history.
As WebMD points out, patients seek out rhinoplasty for all kinds of reasons, including cosmetics and health.
For example, one patient may undergo a less invasive closed rhinoplasty procedure to correct a minor cosmetic issue while the next patient may need a more extensive open rhinoplasty procedure to widen obstructed nasal passages. These two patients will have different recovery experiences.
Age, previous health and surgical history, personal and lifestyle habits, the presence of dermatological issues and willingness to fully adhere to all post-procedure recovery guidelines each play a part in what a patient’s recovery process is like.
It is so important to remember this as you talk with your surgeon about estimated recovery times and overall outcomes.
For Best Rhinoplasty Results, Do Not Use Nicotine
It is equally important to remember that you can influence your own recovery process, including how much pain or bleeding may be involved after your procedure.
One of the most important steps you can take is to stop smoking at least three to six weeks before your rhinoplasty procedure.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) states that the use of nicotine actively sabotages the success of your plastic surgery procedure. Smoking, vaping, use of nicotine in any form has the same effect – it reduces your body’s natural ability to heal.
For this reason, you should refrain from smoking for at least three weeks (preferably longer or forever) after your rhinoplasty procedure to avoid delayed healing and possible complications such as infection.
An Overview of a “Typical” Nose Job Patient Recovery
According to Healthline, this is a general overview of what you can expect in the first few days and weeks after your rhinoplasty procedure.
Day of the procedure.
You may spend a couple of hours in the recovery room, depending on the type of anesthesia required for your procedure (general, twilight, IV sedation, et al). You will need someone to drive you home and stay with you overnight.
Your nose will have an external splint for protection. You may also have some temporary nasal packs.
Next few days.
The first few days after your rhinoplasty will be when you will experience the most symptoms. If your nasal bones have been reshaped, you may have “black eyes” that will subside over one to two weeks.
Some swelling, bruising, bleeding, drainage (mucus), headaches and fatigue from the anesthesia medications are all normal and temporary side effects after a rhinoplasty procedure. You will likely feel swollen and congested in your face and nose, but it is important not to blow your nose.
One week out.
Most rhinoplasty patients can remove their external nose splint and return to work within one week following their procedure. Some modifications will be required for your safety, including a restriction on heavy lifting or any strenuous physical activity.
Sage Journal highlights the effectiveness of pain management incorporating nasal corticosteroids, antibiotics, local anesthetic ointment or cream, ice packs, saline-soaked pads, and nasal irrigation.
After one week from your procedure date, chances are good some visible signs of your rhinoplasty procedure will remain, and for this reason, some patients prefer to take two weeks off before returning to work.
Three weeks out.
After three weeks, most of the visible swelling, bruising and redness will have receded. However, you will likely still feel some sensation of swelling, numbness or tenderness at or near the surgical site. This is normal and can last for up to six months after your procedure.
You will be able to see preliminary results from your rhinoplasty procedure. You can talk with your surgeon about the right time to return to your regular daily activities, including exercise or sports.
Six months out.
Once six months have passed, nearly all of the side effects of your rhinoplasty procedure will likely have faded.
The entire nasal area will be healing internally as subtle swelling continues to recede and the full results of your rhinoplasty procedure will become more and more apparent.
Throughout your recovery, it will be important to touch your nose as little as possible to allow it to rest and fully heal.
About the Plastic Surgery Institute of Miami
Dr. Marcelo Ghersi and Dr. Jason Altman are the co-founders and co-medical directors of the Plastic Surgery Institute of Miami. Both surgeons are board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
The practice is located in beautiful Coral Gables, FL, right on Miracle Mile. The state-of-the-art surgical center is ASF-certified and accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgical Facilities, Inc. (AAAASF). The center is located just 10 minutes from Miami International Airport and the staff is trained to assist out-of-town patients with making local reservations during their stay.