Rhinoplasty Recovery Day by Day | Nose Job Recovery Stages

Day 1-3 | The Uncomfortable Phase

The first day after your rhinoplasty recovery will most likely be the most painful but the pain will subside after about 72 hours. Most patients describe the pain to be at about 3-4 out of 10. In other words, it is uncomfortable, but nothing close to unbearable. Especially considering the positive life changing results you can enjoy when you work with a rhinoplasty surgeon like Dr. Sam Rizk.

Symptoms you might experience are nausea, headaches, congestion, a dull ache as well as tenderness, swelling, and bruising. Your sense of smell will also be temporarily affected and sleep might be disturbed because of breathing through the mouth, and not the nose.


Here are some of the practical things you can do to alleviate the pain and support yourself during those first 72 hours.

  • Apply a cold compress every waking hour
  • Get some extra pillows out to help you sit propped up for at least the first night to help minimize and limit the bleeding, swelling, and bruising that will likely occur
  • Ask your doctor about ointment you can apply to your inner nostrils during the healing process
  • Because you will be breathing through your mouth, it might get a little bit dry. A dry mouth solution may keep you more comfortable
  • Use nasal irrigation as per your surgeon’s post-surgery instructions
  • Have some extra pillows in bed so you can prop yourself upright. This is to minimize swelling
  • Remember to keep your phone next to you should you need to call your surgeon about anything

Day 4-7

Within these days or shortly after, your surgeon will remove your bandages, nasal splint, stitches, and packing – if you had any inserted. You can return to work and slowly start getting back into your regular day-to-day routine. However, having said that, it is strongly advised that you limit your physical activity and take everything extra slow. And, when you venture outdoors, remember to take out your sun hat because you’ll need to stay out of the sun for at least 2 months. The skin on your nose may have been stretched.

Weeks 2-4

As the stints and bandages have been removed and the bruising has started to go down, you can finally start to appreciate your new look. You still need to limit physical activity but the suture marks will no longer be as visible and you can confidently return to your social activities. As some people heal faster than others, it is recommended that you discuss returning to the gym with your doctor before doing so.

Week 8

Your breathing should be back to normal by Week 8 and most of the swelling would have gone down. You can also return to your regular exercise routine if you feel comfortable.

Month 1-3 | Intermediate Recovery Phase

You’ll notice that your nose will start to look better every day. You’ll need to be patient and expect that the swelling might persist for a while. You will see full results soon enough.

1 year

Your nose will generally be completely healed and looking its best after 1 year.


How Long Is Nose Job Recovery?

It usually takes less than 10 days to initially recover from rhinoplasty surgery. However, it is important to have realistic expectations as the healing process is only fully complete after a year.

How Bad Is Bruising After Rhinoplasty?

You will most likely experience some light bruising on the first day after your rhinoplasty surgery. This could become much darker by the 3rd day but should totally resolve within 2 weeks.

How to Speed up Rhinoplasty Recovery

There are a couple of things you can do to speed up your rhinoplasty recovery. Firstly, apply ice immediately after your operation for the first 48 hours to help reduce the swelling as much as possible. Sleep upright for the first night so that the blood in the tissue can leak out through the nostrils. From a nutritional viewpoint, eat foods that speed up healing such as fresh papaya and pineapple. Avoid alcohol, sugar, and salt as these all cause swelling.