Rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure that changes the shape and size of the nose. Results from nose surgery are typically life-changing to people who have felt self-conscious over the appearance of their natural nose shape or size for their entire lives. While rhinoplasty results dramatically impact patients’ confidence, it’s essential to be aware before going into your rhinoplasty that the road to recovery is long and requires patience.

Most patients will not see the final results from their nose job until at least 12-18 months after their surgery. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, initial swelling that’s outwardly noticeable subsides within a few weeks of surgery, while the new nasal contour can take a year to fully refine.

While this is a long waiting period, when you’re eager to see results, most patients believe the dramatic results achieved a year or so after their rhinoplasty are worth the wait. Based on the reviews of over 15,000 rhinoplasty patients on RealSelf, 89% believe the results are worth it.

Although final results may not show until a year after surgery, most patients see a noticeable difference in the appearance of their noses and get an idea of what the outcome will look like around 4-6 months after their rhinoplasty, with most of the initial swelling diminished by the four-month mark.

You should see a dramatic improvement in post-op swelling about 4-6 weeks after your rhinoplasty. While you’ll still notice swelling in your nose because you look at yourself in the mirror every day, other people won’t at this point and certainly won’t be able to tell you had a nose job.

How Can I Promote Healing After Rhinoplasty?

Being patient with your body’s natural healing process as your nose heals from rhinoplasty is extremely important. 

Take A Break From The Weights And The Treadmill

You should avoid strenuous exercise until your doctor permits it. Usually, it takes six weeks for the nose to heal enough to return to the gym. You should check in with your surgeon at this point before jumping into your usual routine because everyone heals differently and at a different pace.

If you exercise before it’s safe after rhinoplasty, you may increase your blood pressure, risking increased swelling, bleeding, and pain. In some cases, exercising too soon after a nose job can cause complications with the aesthetics and functionality of your final results.

Avoid Blowing Your Nose

We typically recommend waiting at least 4-6 weeks before blowing your nose after rhinoplasty, as this may damage your nasal tissues, move your internal splint, and cause other complications such as blood clots or bleeding.

Avoid Anti-Inflammatory Medications

Anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as aspirin or ibuprofen can cause complications with soft tissue healing, hematomas, bleeding, increased bruising, and infections. Stay away from them until your doctor confirms they are safe to take again.

Get Plenty Of Rest

This tip is difficult for people with an active lifestyle who want to keep their body moving, but after rhinoplasty, you must allow yourself to rest. Resting and taking time away from work can speed up the healing process, reduce swelling and bruising, and decrease any risks of complications such as infection.

Go For Light Walks

Although we recommend avoiding strenuous exercise after rhinoplasty, taking light walks throughout your recovery can benefit your body’s healing process. From the day after surgery, Dr. Markarian may recommend light walks to reduce the risk of blood clots forming.

Some other tips for fast healing after rhinoplasty, according to Cleveland Clinic, include:

  • Avoid impact on your face
  • Minimize sun exposure
  • Don’t put too much impact on your nose while wearing glasses
  • Keep your head elevated (especially while sleeping)

What Results Can I Expect After My Rhinoplasty?

Each nose is different, so rhinoplasty doesn’t necessarily have a “one size fits all” result. Patients have differing concerns and goals when considering a nose job, so the results you can expect depend mostly on what you want to address with your surgery. 

The most common reasons people seek rhinoplasty include:

  • More symmetric nose
  • Narrower bridge
  • Tip refinement to improve bulbous tips or abnormally shaped tips
  • Reduced dorsal hump
  • Slimmer nostrils
  • Improved hanging columella 
  • Improved breathing issues

You should expect improvements after your rhinoplasty surgery if your concerns include some of those listed above. But this will depend on whether they are realistically and safely achievable for your nose.

Whether it’s lateral crural strut grafts to reposition, reshape, and reconstruct the lateral crura to improve the appearance of the tip or soft tissue grafting to conceal abnormalities in the noses of patients with thin skin, Dr. Markarian has a wide variety of techniques at his disposal to customize each rhinoplasty to each patient and their specific nose. While many rhinoplasty surgeries involve the modification of nasal cartilage with trimming, stitching, or grafting, how to do this varies from patient to patient.

If your septum is deviated and you’re having trouble breathing, we may recommend a septoplasty to improve your breathing abilities and the asymmetric appearance. We recommend septorhinoplasty sometimes to patients who want to improve both functionality and the look of their noses. The need for septorhinoplasty will not increase your recovery time compared to having a rhinoplasty or septoplasty alone.

What If I’m Unhappy With My Rhinoplasty Results?

You can consider revision rhinoplasty to improve or refine your results if you still have concerns over the aesthetics or functionality of your nose after your initial rhinoplasty surgery. Dr. Markarian does not recommend revision rhinoplasty until 1-1 ½ years after your primary rhinoplasty surgery. Your body needs time to heal completely. The final results can take this time to show, allowing the swelling to diminish.

Some common reasons patients may seek revision surgery to improve previous rhinoplasty results include:

  • Residual dorsal humps
  • Misshapen cartilage around the tip
  • An over-rotated tip
  • Excessive alar-columellar show
  • Mid-profile collapse
  • The size of the nose 

If your initial rhinoplasty involved harvesting the cartilage in your septum, you may require MTF (cadaver) cartilage during revision rhinoplasty to address lingering concerns.

Which Recovery Is Longer: Revision Rhinoplasty vs. Primary Rhinoplasty?

Patients often visit Dr. Markarian for revision rhinoplasty after getting undesirable results from previous doctors and share concerns such as, “Will swelling last even longer than it did after my first surgery?” 

With the tissue already altered before having revision rhinoplasty, this second procedure is more complicated than the initial. A more complex surgery may lead to a lengthier recovery period for more severe corrections. It can take some patients virtually the same time to heal from revision rhinoplasty as it did after their primary rhinoplasty.

How Long Do Rhinoplasty Results Last?

Your rhinoplasty results should last a lifetime. If there is no need for a revision to refine your primary rhinoplasty results, you should not require any maintenance procedures. Aging may cause slight changes to your results, but this happens to everyone, regardless of whether they had rhinoplasty, and the overall structure of your new nose should be permanent.

Ready To Reshape Your Nose?

The results of cosmetic nasal surgery can transform lives. From allowing friends and loved ones to look at them from all angles without stressing about their “bad side” to no longer posing in ways to conceal insecurities related to their noses. Many patients of Boston plastic surgeon Dr. Mark Markarian feel their results improved their quality of life. Book a virtual rhinoplasty consultation to begin your journey toward newfound confidence.