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How Long Does It Take to Recover from a Rhinoplasty or Nose Job?

The time it takes to recover from rhinoplasty surgery depends on the individual patient. I can give you some parameters that will help you determine where you fall in the range of recovery times.

How painful is this rhinoplasty recovery?

Rhinoplasty is not one of the more painful surgeries. Most of my patients stop taking pain pills as soon as 48 hours after surgery.

Do I need pain relievers after a rhinoplasty?

Pain relievers are provided to last up to five days, but most patients only take them for one to two days before they realize that they don’t really need them anymore. Typically, by the third day post-surgery, patients are only taking Tylenol as needed.

Rhinoplasty tends to be more uncomfortable than painful for the first two days after surgery. To help my patients avoid pain and swelling I recommend avoiding strenuous exercise for the first three weeks as well as avoiding crowds for about a month, where the nose can be bumped, such as sports arenas, concerts, nightclubs, etc.

External and internal splints and sutures are removed after about a week. At that point, basic recovery is completed, but the longer recovery period can linger for 15 to 18 months. This includes minor and unnoticeable swelling with some numbness at the tip.

Most of my patients feel 85 or 90 percent recovered in about a week to 10 days with the remainder reporting about a month to feel recovered. Part of these percentages are skewed based on a patient’s expectations and whether they followed pre and post surgery protocol. I try to have an open communication with my patients at their preoperative consultation and preoperative physical, so that I can set expectations, provide a list of dos and don’ts, and to answer all of their questions. 

If you have questions about rhinoplasty or anything else relating to your face, call me directly, email me, or make an appointment to come into my office for a consultation.

Have questions?
EMAIL DR. SYKES AT [email protected]

About Dr. Jonathan Sykes

Dr. Jonathan Sykes is a world-famous expert plastic surgeon who performs all cosmetic and functional plastic surgery procedures on the face and neck. He is a past president of The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and served on their Board of Directors for over 10 years. He is also a Professor Emeritus in Facial Plastic Surgery from UC Davis Medical Center, and the former Director of Facial Plastic Surgery at that institution.

He is known as the expert’s expert, and is often called to consult and advise other plastic surgeons in both Northern California and Beverly Hills. He has a special interest in eyelid and browlift surgery, facial rejuvenation surgery including facelifts, and rhinoplasty. He also has a particular interest in facial feminization surgery. Have questions? Email Dr.Sykes at: [email protected]