I often get asked, “What is my downtime going to be following rhinoplasty?” The answer can certainly vary among different patients. However, in general, the first week you will have tape and possibly a cast on the nose. I usually remove sutures around 5-6 days out from surgery along with the tape and cast. On that day, your new nose will be ‘revealed’ but don’t expect it to look like the finished product. It will be moderately swollen and look quite large. By 10-14 days out from surgery, there will be a significant decline in swelling and bruising to the point where you will look what is termed ’supermarket presentable’ in public. Meaning, you and I will still recognize a certain degree of swelling but most people in line at the supermarket will not think twice when they see you. The swelling continues to decrease incrementally week by week and month by month. People with thin skin will typically see quicker resolution of the swelling compared to those with thick skin. Overall, expect a gradual decline with periods of time (days to weeks) where the nose may look more swollen. This can be affected by excess salt in your diet, warmer weather and even increased activity levels. Ultimately it does take a year or longer for your nose to heal completely. In the meantime, I will recommend regular follow-up visits to ensure that we maximize any opportunity to optimize your recovery.
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