"" ""

How Long Does a Nose Job Take to Heal?

May 7, 2021 | Rhinoplasty

How Long Does a Nose Job Take to Heal? - smiling woman

Knowing how long does a nose job take to heal allows you to manage your expectations and look forward to seeing results.

If you plan to have rhinoplasty soon, you must know how long does a nose job take to heal. It helps you determine how much time you need to take off work or school for your recovery.

Recovery time depends on various factors, such as the type of surgery (e.g. revision rhinoplasty, ethnic rhinoplasty) and the use of graft materials.

Most patients can return to work or school after one to two weeks. Some of my patients return to work a day after the surgery.

However, during this time, patients still experience common effects such as bruising and swelling.

This article will give you an idea of how long nose job recovery takes.

Woman's face, Before and After Rhinoplasty recovery, side view

Rhinoplasty recovery varies from one person to another.

How Long Does a Nose Job Take to Heal: What to Expect After A Nose Job

How Long Does a Nose Job Take to Heal: What to Expect After A Nose Job - smiling man

You will experience various effects such as bruising and swelling during rhinoplasty recovery.

Here are the most common effects of rhinoplasty, including how long each effect usually lasts. By the end of this article, you’ll know how long does a nose job take to heal.

Woman's face, Before and After nose job, front view, patient 2

You’ll experience common effects such as swelling and bruising after a nose job.

1. Swelling

You can expect swelling after a nose job. Within two weeks after the surgery, about 80% of the swelling will go away. In addition, you can immediately see your nose’s shape change once the cast is removed.

The swelling will continue to heal. However, the fine changes in your appearance will not be visible yet.

Three months after your surgery, the swelling will totally go away. However, it can take up to a year for you to see your nose’s final shape.

2. Bruising

There are two stages of bruising. The first occurs right after rhinoplasty. During this time, the bruises are at their most visible state.

The second stage occurs within one after surgery. During this time, the bruises are healing.

Thanks to my technique and use of sedation anaesthesia, my patients’ bruises are minimal and over 90% have either no bruising or they go away within one to two weeks.

Less than 20% of the time, bruising is noticeable under the eyes where the skin is extremely thin. It takes six weeks for bruising in this area to go away. It can be covered using makeup one week after surgery though.

3. Pain

Nose jobs are not usually painful. My patients experience little pain after nasal surgery. It lasts for less than 24 hours.

Most of the pain my patients feel is caused by congestion and pressure, not the surgery per se.

Oral analgesia is often enough to take the pain away, 24 hours after the surgery. Some of my patients don’t have to take oral analgesia though, because of the certain techniques I use to minimize the pain.

4. Congestion

Your nose will be congested immediately after rhinoplasty. This is because the inner lining of your nose will swell after the surgery.

Your nose will feel less congested after one week. However, it will still feel blocked for a few more weeks. You might also experience a change in your sense of smell.

Your nose will be unclogged and your sense of smell will return back to normal after four to six weeks.

5. Numbness

The tip of your nose will feel numb after the surgery. Your upper lip might be stiff as well. As a result, smiling will feel different.

These occur because a nose job temporarily disrupts some of the nerves in the area.

The numbness will continuously improve for six weeks after the operation. If your upper lip becomes stiff, it should improve after a few weeks.

6. Scars

The scars my patients have are hidden under the nose. After a few weeks, the scars will be more difficult to notice.

If you want to further hide the scars, you can use makeup one week after rhinoplasty.
Your scars will completely disappear xix to 12 months after the surgery.

7. Dryness

Your nose might become dry post-op. If this happens, I usually advise my patients to avoid dry environments and use saline spray & ointment.

Dryness often goes away one to two months after rhinoplasty.

smiling woman

The common effects of rhinoplasty eventually go away.

How Long Does a Nose Job Take to Heal: Rhinoplasty Recovery Timeline

How Long Does a Nose Job Take to Heal: Rhinoplasty Recovery Timeline - happy woman

Nose job recovery can take weeks. You’ll see the final result six months to one year after the operation.

These are the things you can expect to happen during your nose job recovery.

Week 1

  • Your cast will be removed. The cast supports your nose as it heals. It is removed by your doctor five to seven days after your nose job.
  • Most of the swelling will go away. A week after the operation, about 80% of the swelling will go away. However, swelling will continue.
  • Bruising will improve. Most of Dr De Silva’s patients have minimal bruising. Your bruises will become less noticeable a week after the surgery. Avoid exercise for three weeks as this may make your bruising worse!
  • You won’t feel pain. You won’t feel pain the day after your surgery. My patients feel minimal pain that lasts for less than 24 hours after the procedure.
  • Your nose will be less congested. Your nose will feel blocked right after the operation. It will be less congested after a week.
  • Your nose will feel numb. You won’t be able to feel the tip of your nose. Your upper lip might feel numb as well.
  • Scars will be in their most noticeable state. While your scars are under your nose, they will be most noticeable a week after the operation.
  • Your nose might be dry. If your skin is sensitive, your nose might become dry after the surgery, you can use saline spray to help with this.
  • You can use makeup. You can use a non-irritating concealer to hide your bruises and scars one week after the surgery.

Week 2

  • Swelling will continue, but less. There will be some swelling left. However, it won’t be as intense as the week before.
  • Bruising will totally go away. Bruises, except those under your eye, won’t be visible.
  • Nasal congestion will continue to improve. Your nose will feel less blocked compared to the week before.
  • Scars will be less noticeable. Your scars will still be there. However, your makeup will do a better job at hiding them.

Woman's face, Before and After scars treatment, front view, patient 3

Thanks to my special technique, your scars will be hidden.

Week 3

  • Swelling will continue to subside. Swelling won’t be easily noticeable. However, the fine changes in your nose won’t be visible yet. Dr De Silva prefers to give his patients anti-inflammatory medicine to reduce swelling, this is particularly helpful for patients with ethnic noses or thicker skin.
  • Scars won’t be visible from afar. Your scars will only be noticeable at close range. You can use some concealer at this early stage.

Week 4

  • The fine changes in your nose will be visible. Swelling won’t hide the fine changes anymore.
  • Your nose won’t be dry. Dryness might totally go away at this point. If not, it will continue for another month.
  • Your sense of smell will go back to normal. If your sense of smell changed after rhinoplasty, it should start getting back to normal a month after the procedure.

Week 6

  • Bruising under your eyes will go away. There will be no form of bruising under your eyes six weeks after your nose job.
  • Your scars might disappear. If all goes well, your scars should completely heal at this point.
  • Your sense of smell will be fully revived. You will be able to smell things the same way you did before the surgery.

Two to Three Months

  • There won’t be any form of dryness. The dryness caused by the surgery won’t be there anymore.
  • Swelling will be totally gone. Your nose will completely heal from the swelling.

Six Months to One Year

  • Your nose will be fully healed. There will be no visible signs of a nose job, except the improvement in your nose’s shape.
  • Your nose will take its final shape. Any repositioned cartilage will fully conform to your new nasal shape. Your nose will look more refined and natural.

Activities After Nose Reshaping

Male face, Before and After nose job, front view, patient 4

You can go back to doing non-strenuous activities the day after your nose job.

How long does a nose job take to heal? How soon can you go back to your day-to-day activities? This section answers the most common questions patients ask.


If your work involves non-strenuous activities like using the computer, you can go back to work the day after your surgery. If your work involves strenuous activities, you should wait for at least 3 weeks before going back to work.

University/ College

You can go back to university/ college the day after your nose reshaping procedure. If you’re an athlete, you must avoid doing sports for at least 3 weeks.


You can run, swim, or lift weights three to four weeks after your surgery. Do not exercise for at least three weeks after your nose job. It’s because exercising makes your blood pressure rise. This increases your risk for more swelling and nosebleed.

Social Activities

You can attend gatherings one to two weeks after your surgery. Makeup can help you cover your scars and bruises.

Rhinoplasty Recovery Tips

Rhinoplasty Recovery Tips - happy woman

You can speed up recovery time by following some tips.

Your recovery time can be shortened by doing certain things. Here are my tips for speeding up your nose job recovery.

1. Put ice on the affected area.

Putting ice on the affected area reduces swelling. In particular, it slightly slows down your blood flow, which reduces inflammation. It helps minimize bruising as well.

I highly suggest putting ice around your nose for 10 minutes. Do this for the first three days after the surgery. You can use ice in a zip lock bag, frozen peas, or a cold gel mask.

2. Tape your nose.

Taping your nose after the surgery helps manage swelling by preventing your soft tissues from expanding.

In addition, taping helps your nose conform to its new shape faster. I usually advise my patients to tape their noses for two weeks after the operation. I also advise using tape with anti-swelling medication.

3. Take medication.

There are prescription and herbal medications that you can take to speed up your recovery. For instance, herbs like Arnica effectively help reduce bleeding.

I provide my patients with special herbal medicine that enhances recovery. The medications I provide are FDA-approved.

On the contrary, you have to avoid certain medications with ibuprofen or aspirin for two weeks before and after your nose job. It’s because these medicines increase bleeding.

4. Avoid hot and dry environments.

Heat causes your tissue to swell more. Hence, you must not take steamy showers, go to the sauna, or do steam therapy after the surgery.

You must also not stay under the sun. Since your skin is vulnerable after the nose reshaping procedure, the sun can easily damage it.

If you expose yourself to UV rays, you will get sunburn easily. Your scars will darken. Swelling will increase, too.

5. Have plenty of rest.

Your body has to work extra hard after the procedure. It needs to heal itself. Thus, rest is crucial to your nose job recovery.

When you sleep, more blood flows to the affected muscles and tissues. This extra blood brings oxygen and nutrients that help shorten your recovery time.

Due to this, I advise patients to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night, on top of naps.

6. Sleep in an elevated position.

Speaking of rest, your sleeping position matters if you want to speed up your recovery.

During your rhinoplasty recovery, your nose becomes tender and fragile. Sleeping on your side or stomach puts pressure on your nose. This can compromise the result and cause discomfort.

Hence, you must sleep on your back and keep your head elevated. You can put two or three pillows under your head to stay in the right position.

7. Have a healthy diet.

Eating well-balanced meals after surgery provides your body with the nutrients it needs to repair itself.

In particular, protein-rich food helps rebuild the damaged tissue in and around your nose. Fruits and vegetables are important, too. They are a rich source of vitamins and minerals that help you fight infections after your nose job.

8. Do not blow your nose.

Your nose will be congested after the surgery. As much as you’d like to blow your nose, don’t.

Avoid blowing your nose at all costs. I recommend using saline spray to moisturize your nasal passages until the swelling goes down. In addition, try sneezing through your mouth instead of your nose.

By doing these, you can shorten your recovery time and avoid damageing your fragile nose.

9. Do not put pressure on your nose.

Eyeglasses put pressure on your nose. This pressure can cause your nose to bruise and swell more. Worse, glasses can leave marks that will ruin the intended results.

If you wear prescription glasses, consider switching to contact lenses until your nose recovers. If you cannot do this, wear glasses with the lightest frame possible and put your cast under them.

10. Listen to your doctor.

From medication to post-op care, your doctor knows what’s best for you. Hence, you must closely follow the instructions your surgeon gave.

You can read all the articles you want, but nothing compares to the personalized advice your doctor gives. If you don’t listen to your doctor, you won’t get the results you want.


happy family

Rhinoplasty can change your life for the better.

Rhinoplasty is a procedure that can turn your life around. It will boost your confidence and correct any medical issues involving your nose.

After the procedure, you have to give your body the time it needs to heal. Knowing how long does a nose job take to heal allows you to plan for the surgery.

You can see significant improvements after a week or two. It might take half a year for your nose to completely heal, but I assure you that it will be worth it.

Planning to get a nose job soon? Book a consultation today!

Dr Julian De Silva

About Dr Julian De Silva >>

Julian De Silva Consultation

Consultations >>

Choosing a Surgeon

Choosing a Surgeon >>


Dr. Julian De Silva is a renowned and highly skilled facial plastic surgeon based in Harley Street, London. With a reputation for excellence in aesthetic and reconstructive surgery, Dr. De Silva is the founder of the Centre for Advanced Facial Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery. Specialising in procedures such as facelifts, rhinoplasty, and eyelid surgery, he is known for his meticulous attention to detail and commitment to achieving natural-looking results. 

Dr Julian De Silva - top facelift surgeons uk

About the Author Dr Julian De Silva
Specialist Facelift & Facial Surgeon in London

Finding the most reputable facelift expert is never easy. Therefore, you should always research the best surgeons in your area and ask plenty of questions. Dr De Silva is a facial cosmetic and plastic surgeon, author, global educator, with a track record of doing procedures for top celebrities. He is based at world-renowned Harley Street in Central London and specialises in three main procedures: Facelift and Neck lifts, Blepharoplasty, and Rhinoplasty.

By specialising in only the face, you can rest assured knowing that you’re getting premier results. Dr De Silva achieves natural-looking results for his patients using the latest regenerative technology, so they can heal quickly and look their absolute best. No matter what your reason for wanting a cosmetic treatment is, Dr De Silva and his team are here to help. To find out more information about Dr Julian De Silva and his work, check out our website.

Dr Julian De Silva’s Google Scholar

Schedule a consultation today