What to expect after a rhinoplasty

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It is not the rhinoplasty that puts people off, it is more often than not, what would happen after a rhinoplasty. From results to side effects and discomfort, patients are often anxiety ridden. However, in reality the process is worth it. Sure, there will be some discomfort, but as the saying goes “no pain no gain”. In life, there will be times where we have to put our fears aside and focus on the end result. To alleviate your results, first make sure you choose a qualified surgeon. Secondly, become familiar with post surgery expectations.

What to expect after a rhinoplasty


Immediately after the surgery, patients will mostly be hazy from the anesthetic. The results of the operation will of course not be immediate. It is important to either stay in hospital during recovery or have a companion care giver to assist you during this period.

Bruising and swelling

Most patients experience pain that is either mild or moderate, your surgeon will prescribe pain killers to eliminate the discomfort of pain. Three days after surgery, the pain will decrease to be replaced with swelling.

Swelling and bruising tail any surgical procedure. As much of an inconvenience as they can get, their is no escape. As the pain goes down, the swelling and bruising goes up. There is no particular pattern of discoloration, it varies from one person to another. Most commonly, the bruising affects the under eyes and cheeks. In days, the bruising will gradually disappear. The swelling takes longer, which is why it takes a year for patients to fully see the final changes.

Bloody discharge

Patients have an absorbent dressing around their nose. In the first few days, bloody discharge will be frequent and patients will have to consistently change the absorbent dressing. This too will alleviate in a few days.

plastic nasal dressing and splints

After a rhinoplasty, patients will have nasal splints inside their nose and plastic nasal dressings on the exterior of the nose. Those will be removed 5-7 days after the surgery. Upon their removal, stuffiness and throat mucus will also disappear.


Patients are to expect the area around the nose to experience some numbness. The numbness is the result of the operation in which a slight disruption of the nerves occurs. However, this is not cause for worry as it is not permanent. Sensation in the area will return in a week or two.

In summary 

Most of the side effects of a rhinoplasty are not worry initiating. On the contrary, once past the two weeks mark all the inconvenience will alleviate. The pain comes first and decreases first. Followed by bruising and swelling which will also alleviate in a weeks time. Stuffiness and mucus in the throat will also disappear upon removing the nasal splints in a weeks time after surgery. The numbness and lack os sensation in the area is only temporary, and will return in a few days.

All in all, the side effects diminish within two weeks at maximum. The swelling might manipulate the shape of the nose, but it is important to remember this too will fade away. Contact us if you have any questions.

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