Rhinoplasty (Nose Job): Surgery, Recovery, Before & After (2024)


Rhinoplasty (Nose Job): Surgery, Recovery, Before & After (1)

What is rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is a type of plastic surgery that changes your nose’s shape and size. Some people have cosmetic rhinoplasty to improve how their nose and face look. Others undergo functional rhinoplasty, which improves breathing and nasal function. Surgeons who perform this procedure are trained in plastic surgery or facial plastic surgery. Rhinoplasty is commonly called a nose job.

Who might want to get rhinoplasty?

You might choose to have a rhinoplasty procedure to:

  • Correct a congenital abnormality (birth defect).
  • Improve your overall appearance.
  • Open blocked nasal passages (deviated septum).
  • Repair a facial fracture, like a broken nose.
  • Restore breathing function after disease, cancer treatments, traumatic injuries or burns.

Who is a candidate for rhinoplasty?

A candidate for rhinoplasty should:

  • Be finished growing and in good physical health.
  • Not smoke.
  • Understand the limitations of nose surgery and have reasonable goals for the procedure.
  • Want the procedure for their own reasons, not because someone else thinks they’d look better.

What does rhinoplasty do?

Rhinoplasty reshapes your nose. The procedure can:

  • Correct a nose that looks bulbous, upturned, hooked or droopy.
  • Correct a deviated septum.
  • Fix nostrils that are too wide, too small, too large or turn upward.
  • Get rid of noticeable dips or bumps on the bridge of your nose.
  • Make a nose smaller or bigger to create facial balance.
  • Open blocked nasal passages.

What are the different surgical approaches to rhinoplasty?

There are two main types of rhinoplasty procedures:

  • Open: Open rhinoplasty is a procedure for major nose reshaping. Your surgeon will make incisions to separate the skin of your nose from the bone and cartilage completely, which allows them to see the underlying anatomy of your nose clearly.
  • Closed: Closed rhinoplasty is a minor nose reshaping procedure. Your surgeon will make incisions within your nose to separate your skin from the bone and cartilage to reshape it.

Additional types of rhinoplasty include:

  • Cosmetic rhinoplasty: Improves the appearance of your nose and face.
  • Nonsurgical rhinoplasty (filler rhinoplasty): This is a type of cosmetic rhinoplasty that uses dermal fillers to temporarily fill dips and irregularities in your nose. It can lift a droopy nasal tip or correct a small bump.
  • Functional rhinoplasty: Restores nasal form and function after disease, cancer treatments or traumatic injuries. This type of reconstructive surgery can also be used to correct congenital defects and a deviated septum.
  • Secondary rhinoplasty: Revises or corrects any problems that occur after the first rhinoplasty surgery. These problems can be minor but are often more complex for your surgeon to repair.

What’s the difference between rhinoplasty and septoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is a procedure that improves the appearance and/or structure of your nose. Septoplasty is a procedure similar to rhinoplasty that repairs the deep, internal structural complications within your nose — the nasal septum. Complications in the nasal septum can affect how you breathe. Both procedures can be done at the same time to improve both the look and the function of your nose.

How common is rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is one of the most common cosmetic surgery procedures. There are over 350,000 rhinoplasty procedures performed each year in the United States. While women and people assigned female at birth are more likely to get the procedure, men and people assigned male at birth get nearly 20% of all rhinoplasty surgeries in the U.S. each year.

Procedure Details

What happens before a rhinoplasty procedure?

Before your rhinoplasty procedure, you’ll meet with your surgeon for an initial consultation. This meeting provides an opportunity for you to ask questions and explain the results you hope to get. Your healthcare provider will examine and measure your face and take photographs. The two of you can discuss surgery options, outcomes and risks.

You should bring:

  • A list of current medications and supplements, including dosages.
  • Photographs (if you have them) of how you’d like your nose to look after surgery.

What happens during a rhinoplasty procedure?

Rhinoplasty is typically an outpatient procedure, which means you go home the same day after your procedure. Someone needs to drive you home and stay with you overnight. You may receive general anesthesia (you’ll be asleep). Or you might have local anesthesia (your nose is numbed) and intravenous sedation (you’re relaxed, but not quite asleep). The procedure may take place at a hospital or outpatient medical facility.

During your rhinoplasty procedure, your surgeon:

  • Makes an incision on the inside of your nostrils (closed rhinoplasty). You may also have an incision across the base of your nose (open rhinoplasty).
  • Raises the skin covering your nasal bones and cartilage.
  • Reduces, adds to or rearranges the underlying bone and cartilage to create a new shape or fix a deviated septum.
  • Replaces the skin covering your nasal bones and cartilage.
  • Uses small stitches to secure your skin in place.

Your rhinoplasty surgery can take between one and three hours.

What happens after a rhinoplasty procedure?

After rhinoplasty surgery, you may have:

  • A small plastic splint to minimize swelling and maintain your nose’s new shape while it heals. You’ll wear the splint for one or two weeks.
  • Cotton gauze (packing) may be placed inside your nose. You can remove the packing according to your surgeon’s instructions, usually within 24 to 48 hours after surgery.
  • Swelling and bruising may occur around your nose and eyes, which takes several weeks to resolve. You may experience mild facial swelling, especially in the morning, for up to a year after surgery.

What are the stages of swelling after rhinoplasty?

Immediately after rhinoplasty surgery, you’ll experience swelling. Swelling occurs when your nose is bigger than it normally is because fluid accumulates within and underneath your skin. Stages of swelling after rhinoplasty surgery include:

  • Four to six weeks after surgery: Your nose will be swollen for four to six weeks after your surgery. It’ll look and feel bigger than normal. You might experience bruising or color changes to the skin around your nose while it heals.
  • Three months after surgery: The swelling will decrease slowly between one to three months. After three months, most of the swelling will go away (about 90%).
  • One year after surgery: Minimal swelling in your nose could still be present up to one year after your surgery. You won’t see the full results of the procedure until the swelling goes away completely.

Each person heals differently after rhinoplasty surgery. The amount of swelling and the timeline of when you see your results could vary. Follow your provider’s treatment plan after surgery and stay up to date on follow-up appointments to make sure your nose is healing properly.

What is asymmetrical healing after rhinoplasty?

It’s common for your body to react to the surgery in different ways, like asymmetrical healing. Asymmetrical healing is swelling that affects one side of your nose and not the other. This makes your nose look crooked and it can be alarming. This isn’t a mistake. Asymmetrical healing is a way that your body recovers after surgery. You might experience this within the first few weeks after your surgery.

Will I experience pain after rhinoplasty?

After your rhinoplasty surgery, your surgeon may administer a long-acting numbing agent at the end of the procedure. You should only have mild to moderate pain or discomfort. The pain should reduce or go away a few days to a week after surgery. During this time, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers to ease your discomfort as directed by your healthcare provider.

Care at Cleveland Clinic

  • Schedule a Rhinoplasty
  • Find a Doctor and Specialists
  • Make an Appointment

Risks / Benefits

What are the advantages of rhinoplasty?

The advantages of having a rhinoplasty procedure include:

  • Changing the shape and size of your nose.
  • Improving your facial appearance.
  • Correcting any structural abnormalities of your nose like a deviated septum.
  • Improving how you breathe out of your nose.

What are the risks of rhinoplasty?

All surgical procedures, including rhinoplasty, carry some degree of risk. Potential complications after rhinoplasty include:

  • A hole in your nasal septum (nasal septal perforation).
  • Infections.
  • Nosebleeds.
  • Poor wound healing or scarring.
  • Skin discoloration.
  • Unsatisfactory appearance.
  • Alteration of your sense of smell.
  • Pain.
  • Scarring.
  • Additional surgery.

Recovery and Outlook

What is the recovery time for rhinoplasty?

It can take up to a year after your rhinoplasty surgery to fully recover. You’ll have swelling for about four to six weeks after your surgery that slowly decreases after three months. Between three months to a year, your nose is still healing and swelling could still be present. You’ll see full results after your nose completely heals, which is usually after one year. The timeline for recovery varies for each person.

How can I speed up healing after rhinoplasty?

To help your nose heal properly in the first few weeks after rhinoplasty surgery, you should:

  • Apply cool compresses (not ice) to your cheeks or under your eyes (not directly on your nose).
  • Avoid any impact to your face.
  • Be careful not to put too much pressure on the bridge of your nose when wearing eyeglasses or sunglasses.
  • Keep your head elevated, especially when sleeping.
  • Minimize sun exposure.
  • Not blow your nose.
  • Not lift anything heavy.
  • Take over-the-counter pain medicines if you feel sore, as directed by your surgeon.

When can I go back to my regular activities after rhinoplasty surgery?

After rhinoplasty surgery, follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations about when you can go back to work or continue your regular activities. You should be able to return to work or school in one to two weeks. You can do light exercises within four to six weeks. You shouldn’t lift anything heavy for four to six weeks.

When will I see the results of rhinoplasty?

You should notice a difference in the appearance of your nose about a week after rhinoplasty surgery when your splint comes off. It can take up to a year for your nose to fully settle into its new shape. During this time, some facial swelling is normal. Most people who have functional rhinoplasty to fix a deviated septum see improvements within six weeks. About 15% of people need a follow-up (revision) surgery to make small changes after the initial surgery.

How long does rhinoplasty last?

Rhinoplasty is a permanent body modification procedure. The results will last a lifetime. You may want a second rhinoplasty surgery to adjust any cosmetic changes to meet your expectations after you heal completely.

When to Call the Doctor

When should I see my healthcare provider?

You should call your healthcare provider if you experience any of the following after a rhinoplasty surgery:

  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Signs of infection, such as fever or yellow discharge.
  • Severe pain.
  • Uncontrolled nosebleeds.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

If you’re self-conscious about the way your nose looks, you can visit a specialist to discuss whether you’re a good candidate for rhinoplasty. Nose surgery can improve your appearance, but you need to have realistic expectations about your results. It can take up to a year to see noticeable results after surgery. Getting a nose job is a big decision. Talk to your healthcare provider about your concerns, and learn more about the outcomes and risks.

Rhinoplasty (Nose Job): Surgery, Recovery, Before & After (2024)


How long does it take for nose to heal after rhinoplasty? ›

In most patients, it takes roughly 6 weeks for the bones in your nose to heal following surgery. During this time, you should avoid strenuous exercise. Even movements that seem harmless like stretching, lifting, or bending over can increase nasal swelling.

Is rhinoplasty a hard recovery? ›

The basic healing process of rhinoplasty is just like any other operation of the body. It is really a matter of 3 months, 100 days, but it is not that you do not look good at 3 weeks or 4 weeks.

Will my nose look better after rhinoplasty? ›

The nose is made almost entirely of cartilages rather than bone. As such, even though you won't notice significant changes after the rhinoplasty, you might see small and barely-perceptible changes over extended periods, like years and decades, due to cartilage changes.

What not to do after rhinoplasty? ›

Things Not to do After Rhinoplasty
  • Strenuous activities. Your surgeon will explicitly tell you to ditch the gym and avoid exercising over a few weeks after surgery. ...
  • Sexual activity. ...
  • Blowing your nose. ...
  • Taking a shower. ...
  • Wearing glasses. ...
  • Staying out in the sun. ...
  • Smoking or drinking alcohol. ...
  • Touching or bumping your nose.

When can I kiss after rhinoplasty? ›

How long should I wait after nasal surgery to kiss my partner? – I tell patients to wait 6 weeks before returning to contact sports, so if you consider kissing a contact sport, then 6 weeks. If not, then you can kiss your partner as soon as you are able to do so painlessly.

How bad is the pain after rhinoplasty? ›

Is rhinoplasty recovery painful? Most patients report discomfort rather than pain. You may feel a dull ache around the nose the first night after surgery but the discomfort will reduce significantly after that. In fact, most patients are more bothered by postoperative nasal congestion than pain.

How painful is rhinoplasty? ›

Every patient's pain threshold varies, but most patients report fairly mild discomfort after surgery. Most patients find the sensation of being 'bunged up' more disorientating. The swelling can force you to breathe through your mouth and this may last a few days, leaving you with a dry throat and lips.

Why is day 3 after surgery the worst? ›

Swelling and Bruising.

Tissue injury, whether accidental or intentional (e.g. surgery), is followed by localized swelling. After surgery, swelling increases progressively, reaching its peak by the third day. It is generally worse when you first arise in the morning and decreases throughout the day.

Will people notice my nose job? ›

There are other types of surgeries that, if done flawlessly, may or may not be visible to others. Rhinoplasty is another one of those tricky surgeries that often people don't want noticed, but it really depends on whether the change is significant or not.

How do you sleep after rhinoplasty? ›

Sleeping in an elevated position is best. This reduces swelling and cuts down on post-rhinoplasty congestion. If you sleep on your side, the lower nostril will likely become plugged while you sleep, and since you can't blow your nose, this congestion can be uncomfortable.

Will my tip get smaller after rhinoplasty? ›

Sculpt! Very thick skin in the nasal tip means you should never perform a rhinoplasty. No matter what you do to the cartilage, the tip will be bigger after surgery, not smaller!

What happens if I keep touching my nose after rhinoplasty? ›

Avoid touching until your surgeon certifies that the goal of Rhinoplasty has been achieved and that the nasal region has fully recovered. Any unwanted touch, push, or poking can misalign the cartilage or bone and even undo the positive results.

What happens if you sneeze during rhinoplasty? ›

Nose blowing or sneezing can contribute to bruising, swelling, or bleeding. Depending on the force of the sneeze, cartilage or bone might also shift and disrupt your facial plastic surgeon's work. This restriction is usually for a few weeks after surgery.

Can I brush my teeth after rhinoplasty? ›

Brush your teeth carefully. Because your upper lip is connected to your nose, you'll move your nose if you brush to aggressively. So be gentle. Don't wear clothes that you have to pull over your head.

Which day is the hardest after rhinoplasty? ›

The swelling will peak the second or third day after your surgery. Generally, it will be worse when you first arise in the morning—proof that it's better to remain elevated as much as possible.

What is the best age to get a nose job? ›

There is no set age that is the right age for rhinoplasty. However, there are some parameters that patients must fall within to be considered as treatment candidates. Most patients who schedule this procedure are range between the ages of 18 and 40.

How long should I sleep alone after rhinoplasty? ›

Sleeping alone for the first week following your rhinoplasty, to avoid your spouse or partner unintentionally coming into contact with your face or nose while sleeping.

What is the most painful part of a nose job? ›

With rhinoplasty, the most unpleasant part tends to be during the initial aftermath. Patients are bruised and swollen and their noses are packed with gauze, but it looks much worse than it feels. Once the initial post-op edema subsides (relatively quickly), some swelling may persist for many months.

How much does a nose job cost? ›

The average cost of rhinoplasty is $5,483, according to the most recent statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. This average cost is only part of the total price – it does not include anesthesia, operating room facilities or other related expenses.

How do you feel immediately after rhinoplasty? ›

You will have some pain in your nose, and you may have a headache. Your nose may be stuffy and you may have trouble breathing for a short time. The skin on the tip of your nose may be numb. You may have some itching or shooting pain as the feeling returns.

How many hours does rhinoplasty take? ›

Rhinoplasty generally takes 1.5 to 3 hours and is usually an outpatient procedure. In “closed rhinoplasty,” incisions are made within the nostrils – a technique that has a limited ability to make changes. In “open rhinoplasty,” an incision is made across the tissue between the nostrils as well as within the nostrils.

What are the most painful days after rhinoplasty? ›

Recovery typically progresses quickly. You'll feel the worst in the days right after surgery, but should improve every day. If you stay on top of your pain medication and get plenty of rest, rhinoplasty recovery doesn't have to be, and shouldn't be, a painful experience.

Is rhinoplasty a major surgery? ›

A Major Surgical Procedure

Since a nose is a small body part, many people mistakenly believe that rhinoplasty is a minor surgery. In reality, since your nose is an integral part of the respiratory system, a nose job is a major surgical procedure.

Should I sleep all day after surgery? ›

Is sleep after surgery important? The importance of rest after surgery is stressed by doctors because your body is going to do a lot of healing while sleeping. After all, your body does the majority of its healing while you're asleep. It's important that you're able to take a nap whenever you need to.

What not to eat after surgery? ›

There are some foods that can slow down your recovery or increase your risk of complications after surgery. These include alcohol, processed foods, caffeine, and foods that are high in sugar.

How do I know if my rhinoplasty is healing well? ›

Months 6-12: Within a year, most people can see the final results of their rhinoplasty procedure. Any changes that take place during this time are usually quite subtle. Typically, the swelling has gone down, any repositioned cartilage has settled, and the reshaped skin has conformed to the new structure.

How can I make my nose heal faster after rhinoplasty? ›

Rest will allow your body to heal faster and sleeping or resting with your head supported and elevated will prevent your nose and the surrounding area from swelling. Keeping your head above your body will keep fluid from building up around the surgical site and face.

What part of the nose takes longest to heal after rhinoplasty? ›

The tip takes the longest time to heal and mold to the new framework because it's the thickest skin of the nose. If the tip of your nose is still very firm, it may mean that there is still some swelling.

How long does it take for nose skin to shrink after rhinoplasty? ›

It may take a few months for your nasal skin to completely return to normal after rhinoplasty.

What are red flags after rhinoplasty? ›

Things often get worse before they get better. That being said, any severe pain, excessive bleeding, or breathing difficulties are serious red flags, if you experience any of these issues contact your plastic surgeon immediately.

What happens if I don't tape my nose after rhinoplasty? ›

If the nose taping process is not followed as directed, it could lead to: Nose deformity. Extended healing time. Additional complications.

Can I brush my teeth after a nose job? ›

Do not brush your teeth for two weeks following rhinoplasty. If your nose is running, gently dab it with a tissue. Brush your teeth carefully. Because your upper lip is connected to your nose, you'll move your nose if you brush too aggressively.

What foods should you avoid after rhinoplasty? ›

Hard Foods

Hard to chew, sticky, and crunchy foods are on top of the list of foods to avoid after Rhinoplasty. It can contribute to your swelling, cause discomfort or even pain, and add to Rhinoplasty recovery time.

Can I sleep on my side 2 weeks after rhinoplasty? ›

Sleeping on your side or stomach is not recommended for several weeks after the procedure because it places unnecessary pressure on your nose. Resting on your back in an elevated position cuts down on congestion and minimizes swelling after rhinoplasty surgery.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Carlyn Walter

Last Updated:

Views: 5285

Rating: 5 / 5 (70 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Carlyn Walter

Birthday: 1996-01-03

Address: Suite 452 40815 Denyse Extensions, Sengermouth, OR 42374

Phone: +8501809515404

Job: Manufacturing Technician

Hobby: Table tennis, Archery, Vacation, Metal detecting, Yo-yoing, Crocheting, Creative writing

Introduction: My name is Carlyn Walter, I am a lively, glamorous, healthy, clean, powerful, calm, combative person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.