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Controlling swelling is the best assurance of an early and smooth recovery after rhinoplasty surgery.

After the procedure, the taping and splinting applied are there to control the swelling and to provide a stable platform for healing as the nose is reshaped.

Post Op Day 1:

Cold compresses for the first 24 hours, keep head elevated, and avoid bending or straining.

A small amount of bleeding is common the first couple of days.

The swelling will reach a peak at 3 days and then subside over the next 3 days, at which time your splint will be removed.  The nose will be stiff, which is normal for the healing process.

After 1 week Post Op:

You may sleep flat. Use sunscreen before any sun exposure. Most swelling and bruising should resolve within 2 weeks. Avoid blowing your nose. May begin light exercise.

Massage may relieve some of the stiffness as healing progresses. Saline spray may be used to improve dryness.

Minimize excessive exertion for the first few weeks of recovery.

It does take a full year for total recovery.

When to Call

  • If you have increased swelling or bruising
  • If swelling and redness persists after a few days.
  • If you have increased redness along the incision.
  • If you have severe or increased pain not relieved by medication.
  • If you have any side effects to medications, such as, rash, nausea, headache, vomiting.
  • If you have an oral temperature over 100.4 degrees.
  • If you have any yellowish, or greenish drainage from the incisions, or notice a foul odor.
  • If you have bleeding from the incisions that is difficult to control with light pressure.
  • If you have loss of feeling, or motion.
  • If you have a nosebleed, or any unusual symptoms.

Keep the area clean. Contact your provider to discuss need for further evaluation and treatment recommendations. If there is a problem, please call our office. Most issues are easily addressed and do not require significant intervention.

If you feel the situation is urgent, call 911 and/or proceed directly to the closest emergency room. Please call us as well.


Follow-up is typically in 7-10 days and should be scheduled by calling our office if it has not already been arranged.