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There is, however, a general pattern involved in rhinoplasty recovery. The most important aspect is making sure you follow all post-operative guidelines, as this is what will ensure a healthy and beautiful result.

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Your Recovery Time

While rhinoplasty can produce dramatic results for many individuals, the recovery period does demand some patience. The typical acute recovery time for rhinoplasty is about two to three weeks. Because nose reshaping surgery makes significant alterations to the bone and cartilage of the nose, it will take some time for the body to heal and adjust to these changes. It is imperative to keep in mind that recovery time will vary from patient to patient, based on a several factors, including:

  • Extent of surgical changes
  • Quality of post-operative care
  • Overall patient health prior to surgery

The First 48 Hours

For many patients, the first 48 hours following surgery are the most difficult part of the recovery and healing process. During this time, patients may still be experiencing the affects of anesthesia, and may experience some discomfort. Among some of the issues patients may experience during the rhinoplasty recovery period are:

  • Headaches
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Black eyes
  • Nosebleeds
  • Nausea

During the first 48 hours following your rhinoplasty procedure, it is best to remain in bed with your head elevated. Your face may feel puffy, your nose may ache, and a dull headache may be present.

As bleeding is also common, especially in the first 48 hours of recovery, it is important not to blow your nose, as this can adversely affect the results of the rhinoplasty surgery. Cold compresses can help minimize the swelling and reduce pain. It generally takes about 10 to 14 days before most of the swelling and bruising improves.

During rhinoplasty recovery, Dr. Marcus avoids using a splint and/or packing in a majority of his surgeries. Occassionally he will use a splint to support the new nasal structures from the inside, and protect them from potential collapse before they heal. Additionally, a cast will be placed on the outside to support and protect the new structures during initial healing. Dr. Marcus will remove the cast and any bandage approximately one week post-op. Sutures will also be removed at this time.

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Bruising and Swelling

It is completely normal to experience swelling and bruising as a result of rhinoplasty. Often there is bruising and swelling around the eyes as well as the nose. It is recommended that you keep your head elevated and relatively still for the first few days after surgery to help with the healing process. A cold compress or frozen bags of peas will be used to help reduce the swelling during the first 48-72 hours after surgery.

Pain medication can also be taken to help with any discomfort following the surgery. At your follow-up appointment about one week after surgery, Dr. Marcus will track your progress.

If nasal packing was placed, this will be removed, as well as any splint and/or stitches. By this time, you will notice the bruises subsiding, and the swelling decreasing.

While initial swelling and bruising resolves within a few weeks, it may take up to one year for your new nasal contour to fully refine. During this time you may notice gradual changes in the appearance of your nose as it settles into its final shape. The majority of swelling is gone within 3 weeks but there is a small portion of swelling that cycles over the following months and Dr. Marcus recommends being patient and waiting a full year until your final results.

Returning to Your Routine

Many patients are able to return to work and routine activities one to two weeks after rhinoplasty surgery. It is important, however, that patients are cautious and avoid strenuous activities and trauma to the nose. If there are small children or pets at home, one must be careful not to let them unintentionally hit the tip or side of one's nose.

Patients should not participate in sports or return to weight lifting for approximately 2-3 weeks after rhinoplasty, and should not take part in any activity that may result in a blow to the nose for about eight weeks. Airline travel is also not recommended immediately following surgery.

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Dr. Marcus and His Staff

Dr. Marcus and his staff take pride in the incredible care they have for their patients. This extends to the immediate aftercare and entire recovery and healing process for each and every patient. They form a support structure that lasts long after your surgery is over. In fact, Dr. Marcus and his staff are a resource for you at any time, even after you have fully recovered from rhinoplasty.

If you have any questions or concerns following your rhinoplasty surgery, Dr. Marcus and his team are here for you. Please call the office and we will be more than happy to help you with any post-surgery concerns.

It’s all about giving my patients a better quality of life.



Marcus Facial Plastic Surgery

1815 Via El Prado #102
Redondo Beach, CA 90277

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Marcus Facial Plastic Surgery

1000 N Sepulveda Blvd #220
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

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Areas We Serve

In addition to our Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach locations, we are proud to serve patients from the following locations. Click below to learn more.


Learn about facial plastic surgery in Torrance from Dr. Marcus.

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Long Beach

Learn about facial plastic surgery in Long Beach from Dr. Marcus.

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Palos Verdes

Learn about facial plastic surgery in Palos Verdes from Dr. Marcus.

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Hermosa Beach

Learn about facial plastic surgery in Hermosa Beach from Dr. Marcus.

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Los Angeles

Learn about facial plastic surgery in Los Angeles from Dr. Marcus.

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