Rhinoplasty Recovery: All Aftercare Tips You Need to Know


A nose job is one of the most favourable plastic surgeries in the world, through which the shape of the nose is changed in a better way. During nose surgery, the plastic surgeon corrects the structure of the nose to eliminate its deficiencies. The surgeon's skills and the type of nose (bony or fleshy) greatly impact the result of the nose job.

In addition, how you take care of your nose after nose surgery and in rhinoplasty recovery can highly affect the result of this operation. This article mentions rhinoplasty post-op instructions one by one and provides you with general tips on nose surgery. 

Rhinoplasty in Iran
Read more: Rhinoplasty Surgery Procedure: Step by Step


Rhinoplasty Aftercare

What to Expect During Rhinoplasty Recovery?

One of the essential points about rhinoplasty recovery is that you should wait at least a year to see the final results of your surgery because the swelling and bruising subside gradually, not a night.

After rhinoplasty, you must expect temporary complications such as tenderness on chicks, numb nose and areas around it, facial swelling, and bruising under the eyes. If you follow your surgeon’s postoperative instructions, you will not face any serious complications, and the outcome of your surgery will be marvellous. 

There are also some rare complications, such as infection after rhinoplasty, frequent bleeding, difficulty breathing, and an adverse reaction to anesthesia which are life-threatening and should be treated as quickly as possible. So, you must be cautious and patient in caring for your nose during the rhinoplasty recovery.

Stages to Expect after Rhinoplasty

  • Stage 1

Stage 1 is the most challenging stage after the nose job that lasts about a week. This stage is associated with difficulty breathing due to the splints and adhesive tape on the nose. The nose will be swollen, and there may be dark bruises around the eyes.

  • Stage 2

In the second-week post-op, splints and nasal strips are removed. This will improve breathing through the nose. The swelling and bruising may also decrease by about 50%; however, the final result is not apparent. Patients should avoid heavy exercise, lifting heavy objects, and exposure to sunlight.

  • Stage 3

Stage 3 lasts between 3 weeks to 3 months. At this stage, the nose swelling gradually begins to disappear. Although a change in the nose shape is visible, it should be considered a partial result. The nostrils and the size of the nose tip need more time to be stabilized. Patients can do moderate physical activities and use sunglasses at this stage.

  • Stage 4

The last stage of Rhinoplasty takes 3 to 12 months. The healing is considered complete, and all swelling is disappeared entirely. At stage 4, patients can see the final result of the nose job.

Rhinoplasty Recovery: General Tips

Usually, the nose job recovery takes 7 to 15 days, depending on whether the nose is fleshy or bony. Usually, due to the thicker nasal skin and weaker cartilage, the recovery period for patients with fleshy noses rhinoplasty is longer. Of course, to see the final result of your nose job, you have to wait for 6 to 12 months, i.e., until the swelling of the nose surgery is completely subsided. 

What to do after Rhinoplasty?

In the following, some tips related to the rhinoplasty recovery period are mentioned:

  • Follow your doctor's instructions;
  • Use different techniques to reduce the swelling;
  • Get plenty of rest;
  • Maintain a healthy diet during the nose job recovery period;
  • Drink plenty of water;
  • If you want to sneeze, keep your mouth open;
  • If you have to wear prescription glasses, use frame-less ones for the first two weeks;
  • Clean your nose with nasal spray and saline serum.


What to do after Rhinoplasty?

What not to do after rhinoplasty?

Read on to learn what you shouldn’t do in nose job recovery:

  • Do not get your splints and tapes wet;
  • Avoid doing heavy activities such as lifting heavy objects for at least six weeks;
  • Do not wash your face for a couple of days after the surgery, and only use a wet wipe to clean your face;
  • Avoid laughing and talking a lot for the first few weeks;
  • Avoid going to crowded places where you may be hit on the nose;
  • Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol;
  • Avoid sun exposure; and
  • Do not wear heavy sunglasses for up to four months; and
  • Do not blow your nose. You can use a cotton swab to clean your nose when the swelling is subsided.


The Night after Rhinoplasty

The initial swelling from rhinoplasty makes post-surgery first hours the most challenging time for all patients. As the doctor will put splints or protective covering on the nose to support the nose shape during the first week, the results cannot immediately be seen.

Most patients do not have to stay in the hospital except for a few hours after the operation. There may also be sleeping difficulty on the first night in some cases. Sleeping upright in a chair at night after surgery is good for as long as swelling continues to ensure the head stays elevated.

after Nose Job

The First Week After Nose Job

You must take your nose to the furthest extent during the first week of rhinoplasty recovery. In the following, we mention what you should expect in the first week after rhinoplasty.

  • Changing gauze

You must tape gauze under your nose in the first two days after the nose surgery to absorb discharges and excess blood. It would help if you changed the gauze pads every six hours.

  • Removing nose splints 

Right after rhinoplasty, the surgeon will place a splint in and on your nose to keep it straight and stabilize the cartilage. The internal splint will be removed five to seven days after the nose surgery, but the external ones may remain on your nose for two weeks.

  • Using a cold compress to reduce swelling

For two or three days after the nose surgery, swelling around the nasal area will peak, especially in the morning. You can put a cold compress around your eyes and nose daily to reduce swelling and bruising.

Cleaning Nose after Rhinoplasty


  • Taking medication to reduce pain 

Although a nose job is a painless procedure, you may have mild pain in your nasal area during the first week. You can take over-the-counter painkillers such as Gelofen compound and Naproxen to reduce the pain. Remember that blood thinners such as aspirin and ibuprofen, Advil, or Nuprin should be avoided in the first week after rhinoplasty as they can cause bleeding.

  • Nasal congestion

After rhinoplasty, all the blood vessels inside your nose will swell; that's why you may feel congestion in your nose for the first week after the nose surgery. Unfortunately, there is no medication to reduce nasal stuffiness. You should wait 7 to 10 days and use a gentle saline spray to minimize the discomfort. 

  • Having soft foods

Eating soft foods in the first few days for nose job recovery is recommended, and avoiding eating raw fruits and foods that require biting and chewing, such as apples and carrots. 

  • Elevating the head to reduce swelling

In order to protect your nose and minimize its swelling, you should sleep on your back and put two pillows under your head for a week after the rhinoplasty. 

Rhinoplasty

Weeks After Nose Job 

1 Week After Rhinoplasty

Any staples, non-dissolvable sutures, and splints will be removed in the first doctor's appointment after a week. Patients should not worry about the shape and size of the nose because there will still be some swelling and bruising that make significant changes in the nose. The final results depend on the nose job's medical purpose, which may include nose size reduction, lowering of the nasal bridge, fixing the nose hump, etc.

2 Weeks After Rhinoplasty

At this point, all patients will experience a significant reduction in post-op swelling and bruising. After two weeks, most patients will not need regular doctor appointments or use medication and will probably return to their normal activities.

Some patients may notice an unexpected crooked nose after plastic surgery, especially with the gradual reduction of the swelling. This issue is probably a medical error that should be fixed.

A Month After Rhinoplasty

After a month, most nose swelling is improved, and there may only be swelling in the cheek area. The initial results of nose job surgery can be seen at this point. However, it is not the final result, and the nose will continue to heal.

3 Months After Rhinoplasty

90% of patients feel a drastic change in the shape and size of the nose at this point, and the results are the closest to the final. Since the bone structure is stabilized, patients can begin to do heavy exercises and wear glasses.

1 Year After Rhinoplasty

Now, all swelling has resolved, and the final result is apparent. The nose looks more natural and has reached the size and shape you had agreed with your doctor, which you can notice when you compare your old photos with the new ones.

Swelling after Rhinoplasty

Swelling is a normal reaction of the body to surgery. For up to a week after rhinoplasty, you will experience severe facial swelling, but it will subside gradually from the 7th day onwards. Meanwhile, you can follow these instructions to reduce the swelling more quickly:

  • Keep your head elevated while sleeping. This will help the blood and fluids go downward and not accumulate in the face;
  • Avoid bending over and lifting heavy objects. If you have a child, ask someone to be your caregiver for a week so that you don’t have to lift him/her;
  • Avoid crowded places where you might get hit on the nose. It is also recommended to sleep alone for two weeks until your swelling is reduced;
  • Put a cold compress on your eyes and forehead to reduce swelling. Be careful not to put the compress on your nose and splints;
  • Do not take a shower with hot water, and when using the towel, do not rub it on the operated area;
  • Avoid blowing and sniffing your nose just because you feel congestion in your nose;
  • Rinse your nostrils with saline solution every six hours. This will help reduce swelling, bleeding, and nasal congestion.


Bruising after Rhinoplasty surgery

Bruising after Rhinoplasty surgery

Like swelling, bruising is another complication of most surgeries, including rhinoplasty. During the rhinoplasty recovery, bruising may occur under your eyes and on your forehead. The good news is that the rhinoplasty discolouration fades away sooner than its swelling, and you can cover it with makeup from a week after the operation. Once again, you can put ice packs on the bruised parts and keep your head above while sleeping to minimize bruising. Some surgeons also prescribe topical creams that help reduce bruising faster.

Rhinoplasty Hemorrhage

Hemorrhage or severe blood loss is a rare but risky complication of rhinoplasty, which happens to almost 1% of patients. If you face a rhinoplasty hemorrhage, lie down, put two pillows under your head, and contact your doctor immediately. Also, if you have pain, you can take OTC painkillers but do not take blood thinners such as aspirin or Advil.

Scarring after Rhinoplasty

Scarring is the inevitable complication of open rhinoplasty, but it is minimal and fades away over time. If you have a noticeable scar under your nose or around the nasal fins, you can use ointments and topical creams to remove them. Also, silicone gels, creams, and sheets are efficient treatments for rhinoplasty scars. If hypertrophy scars develop around the nose, the patient may need another surgery to remove them.

How to Reduce Scar Tissue After Rhinoplasty?
Read more: Rhinoplasty Scar Healing: How to Get Rid of Nose Job Scar?

Showering After Nose job

Showering during rhinoplasty recovery may increase the risk of infection and cause the incisions to open, so:

  • Avoid showering for at least 72 hours after the nose surgery;
  • Wrap your nose with plastic in order not to get your splints and tapes wet;
  • Reduce your shower time;
  • Avoid hot water and steam as they can exceed the swelling and delay the wound healing process;
  • Use bathing sponges to clean your body during the first several days after the surgery;
  • Use an adequate amount of shampoo to wash your hair so that you can control the produced foam while rinsing the hair; 
  • Be sure to use lukewarm water when washing your body;
  • Do not pull your hair too much when washing your hair, as it can hurt the incision site;
  • Use alcohol and paraben-free soaps to wash your body and neck;
  • Dry your body and hair completely; and
  • Use hypoallergenic and fragrance-free moisturizers after showering. 


Avoid showering for at least 72 hours after the nose surgery

What to Eat During Rhinoplasty Recovery?

Adopting a healthy, balanced, and nutritious diet can affect your healing process. Usually, you are asked not to eat for two or three hours after rhinoplasty. After this period, you can have easy-to-digest dishes that do not make you nauseous, such as mashed potato or mixed soup during your rhinoplasty recovery. It is also recommended to avoid too cold or too hot foods, salty dishes, hard-to-chew foods, and spicy dishes for a couple of days after the operation.

Adding protein to your diet is suggested, which can help your body repair damaged tissue in and around the nose. Moreover, vitamins A, C, and E can boost your immune system and prevent bleeding and scarring after a nose job.

After Rhinoplasty
Read more: Best Foods After Rhinoplasty

Cleaning Nose After Rhinoplasty

On the first days after rhinoplasty, there are two tampons inside your nose and a splint on it. So you can't clean either inside or outside of it. When the splints and tampons are removed, you can gently clean your nose in this way:

  • Dip a cotton ball in a small amount of hydrogen peroxide. Then, gently insert it into the nostrils and wipe off the dried blood. It will help if you wash your nose with hydrogen peroxide twice daily when you wake up and before sleep.
  • After rinsing with hydrogen peroxide, apply an OTC antibiotic ointment inside the nose with a clean finger or cotton swab. Polysporin, Neosporin, and bacitracin are topical antibiotic creams used to remove dried blood and prevent infection.
  • If there are blood clots in your nose and you can't breathe properly seven days after the surgery, use a saline spray to remove the clots and moisturize the nasal cavities. Most rhinoplasty surgeons recommend using saline spray four times daily and two puffs in each nostril.
  • You can wash your nose with normal saline serum and a 10-cc syringe almost four weeks after the surgery. In this method, you must bend your head over, enter the saline liquid into one of your nostrils by the syringe (without its needle), and blow the other simultaneously. By doing so, the dried blood clots and remaining sutures will get out of your nose quickly. 


Cleaning Nose after Rhinoplasty
Read more: How to Properly Clean the Nose After Rhinoplasty?


Clean the Nose After Rhinoplasty

Exercising After Nose Job

Generally, you should refrain from any heavy physical activity during your nose job recovery for up to six weeks (depending on the type of surgery) after rhinoplasty. Lifting heavy weights is also not recommended during recovery as it can cause extra swelling and bruising. You can go swimming, walking, road-biking, or jogging two weeks after the nose surgery, but you should avoid ball games such as basketball, volleyball, or even martial arts for a year as you may get hit on the nose.

Wearing Glasses After Rhinoplasty

Wearing glasses (sunglasses, prescription, reading) should be avoided for four to six weeks after rhinoplasty because they can reposition the nasal cartilage or make a dent in the nose. If you must wear prescription glasses, you can ask your doctor to teach you how to suspend them with transparent tape. Of course, you can also wear contact lenses for a couple of weeks after the surgery.

First Doctor Visit After Nose job

Five to seven days after the nose job, you have to visit your doctor so that they can check the appearance and structure of your nose. In this session, the dressings, external splints, and external non-absorbent sutures are removed. Then, the nurse will wash your nostrils and teach you how to tape and clean your nose for the rest of the recovery period. You should record the instructions accurately so that you won't have trouble taking care of your nose in the subsequent weeks. 

First Doctor Visit after Nose job

Returning to Work After Rhinoplasty

Most people can return to work almost a week after rhinoplasty. i.e., when their splints are removed. However, if you have a physically demanding job or you may get hit in the face at work, you have to stay at home a bit longer. Moreover, if you have to work under the sunlight or you should bend over repeatedly throughout the day, ask your surgeon when you can return to work.

Wearing Make-up After Nose Job

The time you need to wait before wearing makeup varies according to the type of nose job. If you have undergone open rhinoplasty, you must refrain from applying makeup until your wounds are completely healed, i.e., 3 to 4 weeks. However, if you have closed rhinoplasty, you can wear makeup as soon as your tampons and splints are removed. In any case, be careful not to hit the stitches or apply pressure on your nose when wearing makeup, as it can change the results of your operation.

When Can I Start Wearing Makeup After Rhinoplasty?
Read more: When Can I Start Wearing Makeup On My Nose After Rhinoplasty?

Sleeping after Rhinoplasty

Having enough sleep after rhinoplasty can help your body save energy for healing wounds and minimizing swelling. However, keep the following notes in mind when you rest after rhinoplasty.

  • Sleep on your back for at least three weeks. Sleeping on your stomach and sides can hurt your nose;
  • Keep your head above the shoulder’s level by placing two pillows under your head;
  • Avoid taking prescription sleeping pills as long as you take medications for your nose;
  • Sleep alone in bed. If you have children or a partner, ask them not to sleep next to you as they may accidentally hurt your nose. 


Sleeping after Rhinoplasty

Taping the Nose after Rhinoplasty

Taping the nose after a nose job is one of the most critical steps of this surgery which both reduces the swelling and improves the shape of the nose. When the splints are removed from the inside and outside of your nose, you should start taping your nose. Your healthcare provider will tell you how to tape your nose correctly and how long you should do it. On average, you must constantly tape your nose for one to three months after the nose job. 

Sum Up

To summarize, rhinoplasty recovery is an important phase in nose surgery and can greatly affect the surgery's results. Following rhinoplasty post-op instructions, such as having a balanced diet, doing moderate exercises, cleaning the nose delicately, taking medications on time, etc., can speed up the healing process and reduce the complications of a nose job.

Why Is Rhinoplasty Popular in Iran?

Rhinoplasty is a cosmetic surgery that has become very popular in recent years in Iran and European countries. The reasonable price of this surgery in Iran compared to other countries has made Iran a favourable destination for those seeking to perform rhinoplasty in Iran. In addition to having a fair price, nose job in Iran is practised by skilled plastic and ENT surgeons with brilliant track records in the field of nose surgery. 

Nose job in Iran

If you want a convenient and satisfactory nose job, Iran is a desirable destination. Contact us to get more information about the cost of rhinoplasty in Iran, how to apply for a medical visa, the best rhinoplasty surgeons in Iran, etc., and benefit from our economy nose job packages.

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FAQs on Rhinoplasty Postoperative Care

1) What should I avoid after rhinoplasty?

After rhinoplasty, you should avoid strenuous activities, wearing glasses, smoking, touching or applying pressure on the nose, and blowing the nose.

2) Can I travel by plane after rhinoplasty?

According to many rhinoplasty surgeons, traveling by airplane is forbidden for at least one week after rhinoplasty because the air pressure may cause high blood pressure and nosebleed.

3) How long does bruising last after rhinoplasty?

Depending on your health condition, it takes two to six months for bruising to fade away. You can reduce the swelling and bruises by putting a cold compress on them a day after the operation.

4) Can I bend my head during rhinoplasty recovery?

You shouldn’t bend your head over for the first three weeks after nose surgery as it would stretch your facial muscles and change the outcome of your operation. 

5) How Long Does the rhinoplasty recovery take?

Although you can return to work and your daily routine from the second week after the operation, the whole rhinoplasty recovery takes six to eight weeks. 

6) What happens six weeks after rhinoplasty?

Six weeks after rhinoplasty, most swellings subsided, and you can resume your daily activities, including exercising, swimming, and biking. However, you must still avoid unprotected sun exposure, allergens, the flu, and getting hit on the nose. 

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