Rhinoplasty, more commonly known as a nose job, is one of my favorite surgical procedures at Facial Plastic Surgery of Central Texas. The nose is a beautiful part of the face, and I have seen people transformed (on the inside and outside) when their vision for their nose finally come true. Many people who are unhappy with their nose – or who may not be unhappy but know they would be more confident after rhinoplasty – have concerns about downtime after surgery. The good news with rhinoplasty is the downtime is relatively minimal.

Here at Facial Plastic Surgery of Central Texas, we specialize in plastic surgery from the collarbone up, including rhinoplasty. Here, I explain the factors that affect recovery time after a nose job.

What Happens During Rhinoplasty Surgery?

Surgical rhinoplasty is done in an operating room (OR), and patients must go under general anesthesia.

To begin, the surgeon makes a small incision at the bottom of the nose between the nostrils or inside the nose. Then they will isolate the skin from the bone or cartilage to reshape it. When the surgery is complete, the surgeon will reattach the skin and tissue and place stitches over the incisions.

The entire procedure typically lasts between one and two hours but might be longer depending on the extent of the surgery and how much change is needed to get the desired results.

What Happens After Rhinoplasty Surgery?

When the procedure is finished, the members of the surgical team will watch over the patient in a recovery room until they wake. The monitoring period can last several hours. The surgeon will insert a splint on the nose to maintain its shape during the first week of healing. Splints or nasal packs may also be placed inside the nostrils to promote healing in the septum.

There usually is some bruising that lasts about two weeks. Patients will also have swelling that occurs to the nose or around the eyes and cheeks. By the two-month post-op appointment, most of that swelling is gone. Very slight changes can happen after that for up to 12 to 18 months, but those changes tend to be minor for the majority of patients.

Patients go home on the day of the surgery. Patients will need another person to drive them home and help care for them that day as the lingering effects of the anesthesia can impair driving abilities and decision making.

Risks of Rhinoplasty

All surgeries pose some risk, and the nose job is no different. Compared with other surgeries, the risks of rhinoplasty are relatively minor, and complications are uncommon. Patients will need to weigh these risks against the benefits of the procedure, such as more confidence in their appearance and potentially improved breathing, to determine if they will move forward with the surgery. Uncommon risks of nose surgery include:

  • Scarring
  • Nosebleeds
  • Permanent numbness around the nose
  • Worsening nasal obstruction
  • Infections
  • Chronic swelling or discomfort
  • Negative reaction to anesthesia
  • Septal perforation

If the outcome of rhinoplasty does not meet a person’s expectations, they may need another surgery. In this case, they will need to wait until the nose fully heals before undergoing the additional operation, which may take up to a year. However, working with a qualified and compassionate plastic surgeon that values their patients’ wishes and concerns can increase the likelihood of satisfaction with the initial procedure.

Are There Alternatives to a Rhinoplasty?

If the downtime seems like it might be too much of a commitment for you right now, but you are still interested in changing the look of your nose, I recommend looking into liquid rhinoplasty.

Liquid rhinoplasty is done with the use of fillers that can be injected in the office. Outside of some light bruising that could last a few days and minimal swelling, the downtime and drawbacks to liquid rhinoplasty are virtually non-existent. The results are temporary though – most will last nine months to a year and cannot correct all nasal deformity concerns. On the flip side, a surgical rhinoplasty will give permanent results and can correct almost all nasal concerns. Some situations in which a person may opt for liquid rhinoplasty include:

  • The patient can’t request time off from work for a more complex surgical procedure.
  • A rhinoplasty was completed, and the patient wants to fix minor issues.
  • It seems more appealing to test a nose job with a nonsurgical approach before choosing surgery.
  • The patient wants quicker results.
  • Rhinoplasty surgery is currently not in the patient’s budget.

Learn More About Rhinoplasty Surgery

It is important to weigh the pros and cons of any procedure you are considering. If you would like to speak specifically about rhinoplasty or more generally about what you want for your appearance, come in for a consultation. We can discuss how your look would be changed with surgery and we can also talk about ways to minimize or deal with downtime after rhinoplasty.

For reliable and patient-focused rhinoplasty and other plastic surgery services, trust Facial Plastic Surgery of Central Texas. I, Dr. Charles Guy, have six years of training and over 11 years performing plastic surgery on the collarbone up exclusively, gaining the expertise necessary to perform a host of procedures. At the same time, my team and I foster a down-to-earth atmosphere, educating patients on their options to ensure the results make them look and feel their best.

As the primary facial plastic surgeon in Waco, Texas, we make it possible for patients throughout the central Texas area to receive exceptional plastic surgery services without needing to travel to larger cities like Austin or Dallas. Contact us to learn more about rhinoplasty or request a consultation today.