Convalescence After Rhinoplasty: How to Ensure a Smooth Recovery

recovery from rhinoplasty
Are you considering rhinoplasty or are currently recovering from one? You probably have many questions about recovery and how to ensure optimal recovery. In this article, we will explore in detail the key stages of recovery after rhinoplasty. We will discuss topics such as managing pain and swelling, post-operative care, and when you can expect to return to normal activities. We will also provide you with practical advice to make your recovery as comfortable as possible. By reading this article, you will be well prepared for this important healing period after your rhinoplasty.

What is Rhinoplasty?

A rhinoplasty, also known as nose surgery, is a surgical procedure to change the shape of the nose. The surgeon can reduce the size of the nose, change the shape of the tip or bridge of the nose, remove a bony bump or growth, or even correct breathing difficulties.

Forms of rhinoplasty

There are two main approaches to a rhinoplasty:
  • Open rhinoplasty: The surgeon makes incisions inside the nostrils and on the columella (the thin strip of skin between the nostrils). This approach allows direct access to the nasal structures and significant changes in the shape of the nose.
  • Closed rhinoplasty: The surgeon makes incisions inside the nostrils only. This technique is used for minor changes in the shape of the nose and leaves no visible scars.

Recovery from rhinoplasty

Recovery from rhinoplasty usually takes 7 to 10 days. During this time, keep your head elevated, and avoid strenuous physical activities. Take painkillers as prescribed.
Bruising and swelling will begin to decrease after 3 to 5 days. Most patients can return to work within a week and can resume gym activities, as long as it does not involve contact sports.
Preparing for Convalescence After Rhinoplasty
After rhinoplasty, it is essential to prepare well for convalescence in order to ensure optimal healing. Here are some tips to help you recover smoothly:
  • Rest and limit your physical activities. It is recommended to gradually increase your walking each day following surgery. Do not stay in bed the entire time.
  • Place cold compresses on your nose for 10 to 20 minutes several times a day to reduce swelling and relieve pain. It is very important to do so without wetting the splint. The splint must remain dry.
  • Take your medications as prescribed. Carefully follow the dosage of painkillers, anti-inflammatories and antibiotics prescribed by your surgeon to manage pain and prevent infections.
  • Utilisez les sprays nasaux comme prescrit.
  • Avoid lifting heavy loads. Do not carry anything heavy or do strenuous physical exertion for the first 7 to 10 days.
  • Sleep with your head elevated. Elevate your head with 2 or 3 pillows to aid lymphatic drainage and reduce swelling.
  • Do not smoke. Stopping smoking before and after the procedure is necessary to optimize healing and results.
By following these recommendations, you will promote a better recovery. Do not hesitate to contact your surgeon if you have any questions or concerns.

The First 24 Hours After the Intervention

The first 24 hours following your rhinoplasty are crucial for optimal healing. Here are some tips to ensure a smooth recovery:
  • Rest as much as possible. Rest promotes healing and reduces the risk of bleeding or swelling. Increase your walking gradually each day; avoid lying in bed for extended periods.
  • You may apply cold compresses as directed by your surgeon. Please refer to your post-operative instructions.
  • Raise the head of your bed. Sleep with your head elevated at 45 degrees for the first 3 nights.
  • Take your medications as prescribed. Your surgeon will have prescribed antibiotics and painkillers. It is important to take them as prescribed to manage pain, prevent infections, and promote optimal healing.
  • Avoid touching your nose. Do not touch the bandages or blow your nose. Leave the dressings intact until your post-operative appointment.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Do not smoke. Smoking delays healing and can increase the risk of complications.
By strictly following these recommendations for the first 24 hours, you will promote optimal, complication-free healing of your newly reshaped nose. Refer to your post-operative documents regularly or contact your surgeon's office if you have any concerns

The First Week of Recovery

The first week following your rhinoplasty is crucial for a smooth recovery. You will need to take some precautions to ensure that your nose heals properly and to avoid any complications.
During the first few days, keep your head elevated while sleeping and limit any strenuous physical activity. This will help reduce swelling and lower blood pressure in the nose area. Apply cold compresses to your nose, eyes, and cheeks, making sure not to wet the bandage - for 10 to 15 minutes at a time, several times a day. Take all medications prescribed by your surgeon to manage pain and reduce the risk of infection.


Wash your face gently with lukewarm water and mild soap. Pat dry gently with a clean towel, but only after the first week when the splint is removed. Until then, only use a damp cloth to clean the area around the splint.

Postoperative follow-up

Your surgeon will examine you in the days following your procedure. They will check your nose for bleeding, swelling, or other complications. Discuss any discomfort or concerns you may have. Carefully follow all instructions regarding postoperative care.


Rest is essential. Ensure you get enough sleep and limit household chores and work. Avoid any activity that could increase your blood pressure, including strenuous exercise. Rest is important, but avoid prolonged bed rest.
By following these tips during the first week, you will ensure the best possible start to your recovery. Generally, rhinoplasty recovery is quick and relatively painless. Your patience will be rewarded with magnificent results.

Tips for Optimal Recovery After Rhinoplasty

Although the swelling will decrease over the course of the first 2 weeks following surgery, your nose will continue to improve in appearance until the 1-year mark after your cosmetic rhinoplasty.

Rest and raising the head

After the procedure, it is recommended to rest and sleep with your head elevated using several pillows. This helps reduce swelling and bruising. You may return to the gym after 7-10 days, gradually.

Applying ice

Place cold compresses on your nose for 10 to 20 minutes several times a day to reduce swelling and relieve pain. It is very important to do so without wetting the splint. The splint must remain dry.

Cleaning and dressings

It is important to use your nasal sprays as prescribed. These treatments help prevent infections and ensure optimal healing.

Medical monitoring

Follow-up visits are necessary to ensure proper healing and the absence of complications. The surgeon will examine the nose and may remove the sutures one week after the operation. It is important to report any bleeding, severe pain or other abnormal symptoms to the surgeon.
By following these tips and your surgeon's recommendations, you will optimize your recovery and achieve the best possible result after your rhinoplasty.


In conclusion, it is crucial to prepare yourself well for the recovery period after your rhinoplasty. Get enough rest, follow post-operative care instructions carefully, and take your pain medications as prescribed. People typically resume regular day-to-day activities within 7-10 days after surgery. With the right care and patience, you will get through this delicate period and will soon be delighted with the new look of your nose.