What to Expect Before and After Your Rhinoplasty


Are you considering a rhinoplasty procedure to reshape your nose? If so, it’s important to learn what to expect both before and after the surgery. 

In this article, we will guide you through a few key steps in preparing for your rhinoplasty and the recovery process that follows. Educating yourself about the procedure will help you make an informed decision about whether rhinoplasty is right for you and plan ahead for the journey.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us here.

5 Ways to Prepare for Your Rhinoplasty

Attend a Consultation With a Specialist Plastic Surgeon

A consultation is the critical first step of your rhinoplasty experience. In this initial appointment, your surgeon will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of your needs, expectations, anatomy and medical history. They will explain the risks and benefits involved in rhinoplasty, as well as the typical treatment process and the expected cost. 

The consultation allows the surgeon to create a personalised treatment plan, while also allowing you to decide whether they are the right surgeon for you. Be open and honest about your expectations, and don’t be afraid to raise concerns and questions.

Follow the Pre-operative Instructions Provided by Your Surgeon

Your surgeon or their team will provide you with a list of pre-operative instructions. These typically include:

  • Temporarily or permanently stopping smoking, as smoking can impede the healing process and increase the risk of complications
  • Temporarily avoiding blood-thinning medications and supplements to reduce the risk of bleeding
  • Temporarily avoiding alcohol to reduce the risk of bleeding, delayed healing, and interference with anaesthesia or medications

Adhering to these instructions ensures you are in good health for your procedure and lowers your risk of experiencing complications during or after the surgery.

Arrange for Aftercare Assistance

Having adequate support after your rhinoplasty will help make your recovery smoother and more comfortable. Because the procedure is performed using general anaesthesia, you will need to have a trusted friend or family member drive you home. 

Someone should stay with you for the first 24 to 48 hours to provide assistance as needed and ensure any issues are addressed promptly. Depending on your comfort level post-surgery and your lifestyle, you may desire help with responsibilities such as cleaning, grocery shopping, preparing meals and caring for children or pets.

Turn Your Home Into a Recovery Sanctuary

Give yourself a calm and comfortable space to recover in. Acquire all the necessary supplies and equipment, such as pain medication, wound care items and extra pillows to keep your head elevated. Ensure you have easy access to books, TV, your laptop or tablet, and any other preferred entertainment options. If possible, leave your house clean and stocked with healthy, easy-to-prepare meals.

Make Sure You Feel Confident in Your Surgical Plan

Discuss your surgical plan thoroughly with your plastic surgeon. Clarify any doubts or questions you may have about the procedure, the recovery period and the results you can expect. You should only proceed if you feel confident in your motivations for pursuing surgery and comfortable with the team caring for you.

5 Ways to Recover After Your Rhinoplasty

Manage Discomfort and Side Effects

Expect some aching, pain, pressure and swelling in and around your nose. Take prescribed pain medication as directed by your surgeon to help reduce any discomfort you may experience. Applying ice packs to your face can also help minimise swelling and relieve pain. 

Bruising around the eyes is common, but it will eventually fade. You can start covering bruising with makeup once cleared by your surgeon (typically one to four weeks post-op, depending on the type of rhinoplasty you have). Make sure you are gentle with your skin when applying and removing makeup after nose surgery.

Care For the Surgical Site

After the surgery is complete, you may wake up with a splint and/or packing in place to help your nose maintain its new shape and provide support during the initial healing process. Keep these items in place as directed by your surgeon. The splint and sutures will be removed at a follow-up appointment approximately one week after surgery.

Wound care is an important aspect of the recovery process after any cosmetic surgery. Your surgical team will give you instructions on how and how often to clean your nose and how to care for your incisions.

Abide By Activity Restrictions

Prepare to limit various activities for a certain period of time to allow for proper healing. Typical activity guidelines following rhinoplasty include:

  • Keep your head elevated, including while sleeping, to minimise discomfort and swelling
  • Avoid strenuous exercise to reduce the risk of complications and protect your nose from injury
  • Avoid blowing your nose to reduce the risk of dislodging the clots and causing bleeding
  • Avoid touching or picking your nose to reduce the risk of infection
  • Avoid bending over, as this can increase pressure inside your nose and cause bleeding

Light activities can usually be resumed one week after rhinoplasty. Moderate activities can typically be resumed within two to four weeks post-op. For most patients, it takes six weeks to return to high-intensity exercise.

Attend All Follow-up Appointments

Your surgeon will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your healing progress and address any concerns or complications that may arise. It is essential to attend all of these appointments to promote a smooth and healthy recovery. Follow-up appointments are also an opportunity to evaluate the results of the surgery together with your surgeon.

Be Patient With Your Results

The final result of your rhinoplasty may not be visible until months after the operation. Swelling can be substantial after nose surgery, and the full effects of the procedure will not become apparent until the swelling subsides. 

In addition, cartilage heals slowly, which means the shape of your nose can fluctuate subtly for months. It can take up to a year or more for your nose to settle fully into its new shape. You may be anxious to see your final results, but do your best to be patient with your body while it heals.

Request Your Sydney Rhinoplasty Consultation With Dr Ellis Choy

A consultation is the next step in the process of bringing your rhinoplasty goals to life. During your consultation, Dr Choy will go over this information in more detail, discuss your treatment options and answer all your questions. Call us on 02 8962 9388 or enquire here to get started.