Rhinoplasty, or nose reshaping surgery, is the second most popular plastic surgery according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Whether the goal is to balance facial features or improve breathing through the nasal passages, successful nose reshaping involves a delicate balance of technique and artistry. It’s also important for patients to understand the gradual recovery period associated with rhinoplasty, because it helps them develop more realistic expectations about the final results.
Patients often ask me about the time involved with recovery from rhinoplasty. Think of your healing process in two stages—initial recuperation, followed by long-term healing:
- Stage 1: Visible swelling and bruising immediately after the operation. You should expect to see the initial, obvious post-surgical effects generally subside somewhere between two to four weeks after surgery. Most patients are ready to return to work within two weeks; any residual bruising can be covered with concealer or bronzer.
- Stage 2: Development of final results over time. The final stage involves watching your rhinoplasty results come to fruition as you complete the healing process. At about three months, most people see what could be called a “semifinal” result, and the vast majority of swelling will have disappeared. It isn’t until a full year after surgery, around 12-14 months, that nose reshaping results are truly definitive; most casual observers will not notice much change during the final few months.
It’s important to treat your body right for optimal healing, so here are a few special tips for rhinoplasty patients. During the first few months after surgery, you must protect your nose from the sun, so that the healing skin isn’t sunburned. It’s also important to exercise caution in situations where the nose might receive inadvertent contact, such as a crowded sporting event. We’ll provide full recovery period instructions at your pre-op appointment.
It does indeed take time to see the final results of nose surgery. I recommend that patients take this into consideration when scheduling their procedures. Do you have any big life changes coming up? Any important social events? Let us know and we can help you plan accordingly. Scheduling surgery around your existing schedule is important to make sure you feel fully confident in a special social situation.
I am happy to discuss nose reshaping surgery with you. Contact my office today to schedule a consultation so we can go over all your questions about rhinoplasty and its recovery.