We are often asked how long it takes to heal after a nose job. Patients are suitably concerned about when they can show up back to work, go on a date, see friends, or worse, go to a family wedding or reunion, without looking alien.
We often tell people that within two to three weeks after surgery, no one but themselves and any one else in on the truth should know that anything happened at all. Most patients are comfortable returning to work even after one week. Bruising and swelling should be minimal if present at all.
But, there is still some healing to go after the first few weeks. If you read about healing after rhinoplasty, you will see the phrase 1 year often thrown around like some magic number. It’s not that you wake up on your 365th day after surgery and your nose miraculously appears different.
But, it really does take time for the skin to shrink down and wrap around the new structure underneath. For those with thin skin, this may largely happen within a couple of months. For some with very thick skin, revision patients, or if your nose was reduced significantly in size, it can sometimes take even more than a year. So, there is some individual variation in healing based on your skin type, healing characteristics, degree of previous nasal injury, and the type and amount of work done during your procedure.
If you don’t believe us , check out the photos below to see the progress of our recovery nurse after her revision rhinoplasty.
Our recovery room nurse is shown before (left), 10 days (middle), and 4 months (right) after revision rhinoplasty to treat a scooped out, overprojected nose. Notice how even at 10 days, she can return to activities without worry. But, you can see the reduction in swelling above and below the tip that continues to happen over several months after the procedure.