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Hundreds of thousands of Americans opt for rhinoplasty annually to enjoy a more attractive nose, easier breathing, and improved sleep.

A rhinoplasty, or nose job, is significant surgery, and you will need several weeks to recover. However, you can make this process go faster if you keep the following rhinoplasty recovery tips in mind.

Listen To Your Surgeon

This sounds obvious, but you should listen to your surgeon’s advice after surgery. They are the most familiar with your nose and procedure and will offer the best advice to speed up your recovery.

If you aren’t sure about anything, call the surgeon’s office and get it addressed right away. After all, your nose is your face’s central feature, so you want everything to go smoothly.

Also, go to all of your follow–up appointments so your surgeon can keep track of your recovery process.

Patience Is Key

Your nose will be swollen and bruised after rhinoplasty. You may want it to be perfect after a day, but it’s essential to be patient.

It’s normal for the nose to be more swollen and broader than usual immediately after surgery. After the splint comes off, don’t view how it looks negatively. It will take several weeks for the bruising and swelling to recede.

Further, don’t get stressed and anxious about how your nose looks at this time because this can hinder your recovery. Everything will heal and look terrific, it just takes time.

Have A Recovery Space

You can’t take part in your daily activities for a few days. So it’s wise to have a recovery area ready at home before surgery.

You will need to lie down and sleep with your head raised to reduce swelling or shifting. Most patients prefer to have a recliner ready with lots of blankets and pillows. If you don’t have a recliner, the bed is fine if you have extra pillows handy.

Next, have ice packs ready and plenty of books and magazines.

Don’t Touch Your Nose

After surgery, your nose will be in a splint for at least five to seven days. You probably will have some drainage and scabs that will be noticeable when the splint is removed. Remember that you shouldn’t touch your nose during this critical early recovery period.

Also, don’t use your fingers or cotton swabs to clean out the nostrils, and don’t blow your nose, either. If you need to sneeze, open your mouth to reduce pressure on your nose.

The more you touch your nose during recovery, the more likely it will affect the shape and appearance.

Have Meals Prepared

Some people just get takeout after surgery. But make sure you are eating a healthy diet rich in protein, fruits, and vegetables after surgery. The healthier you eat, the faster your recovery.

It also helps to make meals ahead of time to freeze or refrigerate. Then, when it’s time to eat, you just need to heat it in the oven or microwave.

You also can put frozen meals in the slow cooker for the day, and they’ll be ready at dinner time.

Get Plenty Of Rest

After rhinoplasty, try to get as much rest as you can; your body heals fastest when it’s resting or sleeping.

When you lie down, do your best with pillows to keep your head elevated to reduce swelling. Also, bend over as little as possible for the first two weeks, and don’t lift heavy objects, including small children.

You also should not engage in strenuous exercise until your surgeon gives the okay. But it’s good to go for a short daily walk to increase blood circulation.

Have Pain Medications Ready

Your surgeon will likely give you prescription pain medication for the first week. Make sure you fill the prescription before you have surgery, so it’s ready when you need it.

Some surgeons also may give you a prescription steroid to reduce swelling, so talk to your surgeon about it if you see a lot of swelling.

After the first week, most rhinoplasty patients do well with over-the-counter painkillers, such as Tylenol.

Use A Dorsal Splint

Talk to your surgeon if they recommend using a dorsal splint during your recovery. A splint can help the healing process because it puts gentle pressure on the nose and can reduce swelling.

Use Ice

Using ice on the surgical area is recommended for the first 72 hours. After that, warm compresses will reduce swelling and eliminate bruising.

You also can use a frozen bag of peas instead of ice to reduce swelling during your early recovery.

Go For Walks

Strenuous activity is out for several weeks, but going for walks is important. This gets your blood moving and improves the healing process. But don’t walk so much that you sweat; take it slow and easy for the best recovery.

Remember that you just had surgery on your nose, so you want to treat it as well as you can. Avoid strenuous activities, drinking, smoking, and processed food. Also, don’t sleep on your face or otherwise jostle the nose for best results.

Rhinoplasty is serious plastic surgery and requires plenty of recovery time. The good news is your rhinoplasty recovery will go faster if you follow the tips highlighted here.

Request A Rhinoplasty Consultation

Thinking about rhinoplasty in Chicago? Dr. Otto Placik is proud to serve Chicago area patients at his practice. He’ll go over your options and needs to determine if you’re an ideal candidate for rhinoplasty.


Rhinoplasty Overview. (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/rhinoplasty/about/pac-20384532

What To Expect During Your Rhinoplasty Recovery. (2020). Accessed at https://www.plasticsurgery.org/news/blog/what-to-expect-during-your-rhinoplasty-recovery

Rhinoplasty Surgery Overview. (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.webmd.com/beauty/cosmetic-procedures-nose-job-rhinoplasty#1

Author: Dr. Otto Placik

Dr. Otto Placik is a Double-Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in Chicago, a leader in the field of body sculpting, and is recognized for his artistry in a wide range of modern cosmetic enhancements.


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