Cosmetic Surgery Rhinoplasty Nose Procedure Recovery

Rhinoplasty, also known as nose surgery or as a nose job, is one of the five most popular plastic surgery procedures in the United States. Those planning on having a rhinoplasty procedure should research the recovery period for the surgery in depth before undergoing the procedure.

What to Expect After Rhinoplasty

The first 24 hours after nose surgery are generally the toughest for patients. A lot of bruising, swelling and tenderness is to be expected. Patients must also rest and should leave their bed or couch only to use the restroom. The head must remain elevated, even during sleep.

Pain medication will most often be prescribed to help with pain and swelling. Patients should pick up pain medication before surgery, as they will not be able to run out to the pharmacy during their recovery period.

Some patients also experience these symptoms during the first few days:

  • bleeding
  • headache
  • numbness
  • stuffiness.

Swelling and bruising of the surgery site and around the eyes may increase over the first few days after surgery. Most swelling and bruising should disappear after about two weeks, though slight swelling may persist for much longer.

Some of the symptoms experienced during the early recovery period can be alleviated by the frequent use of cold compresses.

When to Return to School or Work

Most nose surgery patients can return to normal activities after about one week, though nothing strenuous should be attempted for several weeks. Some other activities should also be limited, including:

  • any activity that raises the blood pressure
  • blowing of the nose
  • sexual relations
  • sun exposure (If you must be in the sun, make sure to use sunscreen with a high SPF.)
  • use of nasal sprays
  • wearing glasses.

Special care must also be taken when patients are bathing or using make-up.

Depression After Nose Surgery

Many people go through a period of depression following a rhinoplasty procedure. This can be due to a number of factors, including:

  • after-effects of anesthesia
  • head position after surgery (head must be kept upright)
  • lack of sleep after surgery, generally due to the fact that the patient can’t breathe correctly through the nose
  • not being able to immediately observe the final result of surgery
  • stress
  • temporary partial loss of smell and/or taste.

Because depression can occur for so many reasons, it’s important that people going through nose surgery have good mental health and mental stability. Any pre-existing mental conditions may be worsened by depression caused by plastic surgery.

Nose Job Final Results

The final results of a nose surgery procedure can take up to one year to be observed. Those who undergo nose surgery must be aware that patience is necessary.

Despite the recovery period and the pain that goes along with it, many people benefit from rhinoplasty procedures and feel that the recovery period is justified in the end. In many people, self-confidence and self-esteem can be significantly improved through the alteration of the nose’s appearance.


American Society of Plastic Surgeons (2007). Nose Surgery (Rhinoplasty). Retrieved November 5, 2007, from the ASPS Web site:

Rhinoplasty4U (2007). Depression After Surgery. Retrieved November 5, 2007, from the Rhinoplasty4U Web site: ttp://