Nose Job Recovery : What to Expect?

Nose job surgery, or rhinoplasty, is a very popular cosmetic procedure. And it’s no wonder why. A nose job can transform your appearance and give you the nose shape you’ve always wanted.

If you’re considering nose surgery, you may have lots of questions about the surgery itself and what the nose job recovery will be like.

In short, rhinoplasty recovery generally takes about six weeks. Yet, rhinoplasty swelling can last up to 12 months.

Rapid Recovery

What to Expect From Nose Job Surgery


Nose job surgery, performed by a specialist plastic surgeon, can reshape some or all parts of the nose. The most common reshaping request is smoothing out a dorsal hump, but it can also narrow a wide nose, lift the nasal tip and correct a deviated septum.

Rhinoplasty can:

  • Improve nose shape and appearance
  • Encourage smoother breathing

The nose is one of the most defining features of your face, so it’s no wonder that many people are unhappy with their nose shape or size. If you’re considering nose surgery, it’s important to have realistic expectations. Nose jobs can enhance certain nose shapes but cannot change them completely.

Preparing for Nose Job Surgery

Leading up to your surgery it’s important to be as informed as possible. Recovery from a nose job is a process and it requires patience and commitment.

Your nose job consultation is the perfect time to ask your surgeon any questions you may have about the surgery, recovery or results. It’s also a good idea to get a sense of what your surgeon can and cannot do during your procedure.

Be sure to tell your surgeon about:

  • Any medical conditions you have
  • Nose surgeries you’ve had in the past
  • Any medications you’re taking, including herbal supplements
  • If you’re allergic to any medications
  • If you smoke cigarettes or vape

What Happens During Nose Job Surgery?


The surgery happens under general anaesthesia, which means you’ll be asleep for it. Dr Doyle may also use local anaesthesia during the procedure so your nose is numb when you wake up.

Most nose jobs last between one and three hours. Although, more complex procedures can take longer.

During the surgery, Dr Doyle will correct and refine your nose bridge, nostrils or other parts of the nose. The specifics of the surgery are decided during your initial consultation.

When you wake up, you will have a splint on your nose. This is to support it as it heals and will be removed at your first post-surgery appointment. Small nasal packing may also be present to prevent nosebleeds.

The nurses will check you and you will be discharged at the discretion of the hospital staff. Once they feel you are fit to go, they will call your nominated person to collect you (as you will be unfit to drive).

Nose Job Recovery Time

Rhinoplasty healing is different for everyone. As a general rule, swelling is common after nose surgery and can last up to 12 months. Yet, most people report a significant reduction in swelling after the first few weeks.

Rhinoplasty Recovery – Time Off Work

Most people take one week off work to recover from nose surgery. If your job is physically demanding, you may need to take longer off work.

It’s important to follow your post-op instructions to ensure a smooth and successful recovery.

What to Expect After Nose Job Surgery

As recovery times are different for everyone, predicting an accurate rhinoplasty recovery timeline can be a challenge for even the most experienced facial plastic surgeon. For the purpose of this article, the average recovery will be outlined separately.

Rhinoplasty Recovery Timeline


Immediately After Surgery

After rhinoplasty, you’ll have a splint on your nose to stabilise it as it heals. You may also have packing in your nose to prevent nosebleeds. Dr Doyle will prescribe you pain medication to manage any discomfort.

You’ll need someone to drive you home from the hospital after your operation and stay with you for the first 24-48 hours.

Day 1

The first 24 hours after rhinoplasty are often the most uncomfortable. Most people feel congested and experience nosebleeds for the first few days. For the first few nights, sleep with your head elevated on 2 or more pillows to lessen nose and sinus congestion.

You may have bruising around your eyes, which will subside within about two weeks.

You should avoid blowing your nose, wearing glasses or sunglasses and participating in strenuous activity for at least four weeks.

Start gentle walking as soon as possible to help reduce swelling and lower the risk of blood clots.

Day 7

At your first post-operative appointment, Dr Doyle will examine your nose and remove your splint. You may still have some bruising around your eyes, but other than that, you’ll likely be able to return to work. Take care not to be in the sun too much and avoid picking up anything heavy.

Week 2

After two weeks, your bruising and swelling should have subsided. You should still avoid strenuous activity, swimming, nose blowing, nose picking and sun exposure.

Week 4

Most people report feeling back to normal by week four. But, it’s important to remember that it can take up to a year to see the final result.

You’ll be able to wear glasses and sunglasses again. And, you can start using makeup to cover any residual bruising.

By this time you should also be okay to resume light cardiovascular exercise. Please always check first with Dr Doyle before doing so.

Week 6

At 6-8 weeks after rhinoplasty, you can likely resume higher-intensity training again.

Exercising before this time may cause increased swelling and bleeding. Avoid activities such as upper body weight training, push-ups and running.

Always get permission from Dr Doyle before recommencing these activities.

3 to 6 Months

Any numbness and abnormal skin sensations around your nose should have dissipated by now.

12 Months

The healing process should be finished by this point, perhaps even a few weeks or months earlier. Now, there should be no swelling, bruising, discomfort, redness, or pain. If you notice any adverse effects after your rhinoplasty surgery, consult with Dr Doyle right away.

Rhinoplasty Recovery Tips


Always follow your surgeon’s post-op instructions closely. This information will be provided to you in the clinic after your surgery. If you are unsure, always check with Dr Doyle or his nursing team first.

These tips may encourage a quicker recovery:

  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, to stay hydrated.
  • Stick to a healthy diet to promote healing.
  • Apply ice to reduce pain and swelling
  • Don’t blow or pick your nose for at least 2 weeks after surgery.
  • Sleep with your head elevated for the first 2 weeks after surgery
  • Avoid steroid nasal sprays. Instead use nasal saline sprays.
  • Avoid using aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs due to an increased risk of bleeding.
  • Don’t wear glasses to avoid putting pressure on your nose (for at least 4 weeks). Instead, use contact lenses.
  • Avoid pulling clothes over your head for the first 4 weeks. Instead, wear clothes that fasten at the front.
  • Avoid cardiovascular exercise for at least 4 weeks
  • Do not lift heavy objects for at least 6 weeks.
  • Avoid traveling by plane until your nose is healed. The higher altitudes of flying can induce nose discomfort and bleeding.


what to expect after nose job

How long does a nose job take to heal?

Most people report feeling back to normal by week three after a nose job. However, full healing of the nasal bones and septum can take up to 12 months.

Does Rhinoplasty leave scars?

Yes, rhinoplasty can leave scars, but they are typically minimal and strategically placed to minimize visibility. During rhinoplasty surgery, incisions are made either inside the nostrils (closed rhinoplasty) or across the columella (the strip of tissue between the nostrils) and sometimes inside the nostrils (open rhinoplasty).

It’s important to note that individual healing ability, surgical technique, and post-operative care can also affect the visibility of scars. With proper wound care and adherence to post-operative instructions, rhinoplasty scars usually become less noticeable as they heal and mature.

How to reduce swelling after rhinoplasty?

Apply ice to the area for the first few days after surgery to reduce swelling. You can also sleep with your head elevated on 2 or more pillows to lessen nose and sinus congestion.

How painful is nose job recovery?

You may experience moderate discomfort for the first few days with pain and numbness as well as breathing. Swollen nasal tissue may cause the nose to seem blocked up for a couple of weeks. This is well managed with pain medication and saline nasal sprays.

Is a nose job worth it?

A nose job has a 91% Worth It Rating according to RealSelf. Most find the surgery to be worth it as it can balance out the facial features.

Next Steps

If you would like to learn more about nose job recovery or to book a consultation, contact Dr Doyle’s rooms. Dr Doyle is one of Australia’s best facial surgeons and would love to help you achieve your aesthetic goals.

About Dr Mark Doyle FRACS (Plast) – Specialist Plastic Surgeon

Dr Mark Doyle is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon with over thirty years of experience. He specialises in face lift surgery in Gold Coast and Brisbane, and also offers a range of body and breast procedures.

Dr Doyle is a fully qualified Doctor and surgeon. He has completed all required training to be a Specialist Plastic Surgeon and is driven by an committed to providing excellent standards of care.


Do Your Research

What to Bring to Your Plastic Surgeon Consultation

  • Bring a friend or relative for support and discussion regarding your choices
  • Take notes and read all provided information thoroughly
  • Read about what to expect in your Initial Surgery Consultation

Book Your Plastic Surgery Consultation

  • Get a Referral from your GP or specialist – this is required to book a consultation with Dr. Doyle.
  • Email us or call on 07 5598 0988 to arrange your consultation appointment.
  • Pay your $285 Consultation Fee in advance to secure your consultation.

Please contact us to arrange to book a consultation with our Specialist Plastic Surgeon or to speak with our Patient Care Advisor.

Send an enquiry form today or phone 07 5598 0988 during Clinic Hours.

*DISCLAIMER: All information on Dr Mark Doyle website is general and is not intended to be medical advice nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Results can vary significantly and depend on individual patient circumstances. All images on this website, unless specified as real patient images, are stock images used for illustrative purposes only. Surgery risks and complications will be covered in detail during a consultation with your surgeon. Book a consult for details regarding your cosmetic surgery procedure.

Dr. Mark Doyle AHPRA Registration: Dr Mark Doyle MED0001375519 Specialist Plastic Surgery – MBBS FRACS FRCS

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