Nose Job Swelling – What to Expect After Rhinoplasty

Mirror 3D Imaging
Pleasant female patient reshaping the form of her nose

Like any surgery, recovery from rhinoplasty will involve a normal amount of swelling as the bones, cartilage, and tissue in your nose take time to heal. While it may be daunting at first, it’s important that you trust the healing process and give your body time to repair.

Why does swelling occur after nose surgery?

Once the surgery is complete, your body will send thousands of cells to your nose and surrounding facial tissue to assist with the healing process. The influx of cells and fluid is what causes the swelling.

The degree of post-nose job swelling will vary from person to person and is dependent on a range of factors, including:

  • Extent of surgery
  • Skin thickness (thicker skin leads to more swelling)
  • Nose areas treated
  • Level of skin elasticity
  • Immune response
  • Surgical skills
  • Choice of open vs. closed rhinoplasty

It’s important to note that the general looseness of the facial tissue compared to the rest of the body can make the swelling more pronounced and may even distort other facial features in the initial stages of healing. Post rhinoplasty swelling will generally be more evident in the tip of the nose, and you can expect to see it start to reduce after only two or three days

Nose Job Recovery Week by Week

During your initial consultations, your surgeon will walk you through an expected recovery timeline. Our team has also written a post-op recovery guide that can help keep you informed.

With this in mind, you can expect the following milestones as you heal.

Week 1: You will be wearing a splint immediately after surgery to help control the swelling, which will generally peak on days two and three. At your follow-up appointment, your surgeon will remove the splint and check to ensure your nose is healing correctly.

Week 2: The worst of the swelling should be gone, and most patients feel comfortable returning to work and light daily activities.

Weeks 3 and 4: The swelling in and around your nose will continue to go down as you start returning to more normal activities. By now, you will have a good idea of the shape of your new nose. It’s important not to become complacent, though, as your body is working hard in the background to heal your nose.

Month 2 onwards: Many patients experience subtle residual swelling around the tip and bridge of the nose for up to 12 months; however, it is generally not noticeable to others. It’s crucial to remain gentle with your nose and let your surgeon know if anything seems amiss.

Nose Job Swelling FAQS

What is the average nose job swelling timeline?

You will notice the most significant swelling and bruising in the initial few days after surgery, and there will be some residual puffiness for up to 12 months. However, after about 10 – 14 days, the majority of the swelling should be gone, and you will get a fantastic insight into the shape of your new nose.

What level of swelling is normal after rhinoplasty?

If your swelling seems to worsen after the first ten days post-surgery, becomes overly painful or inflamed, you have trouble breathing, or you notice any unexpected bleeding, it is worth visiting your doctor to make sure everything is okay.

How can I reduce nose swelling after rhinoplasty?

There are several things you can do post-surgery to help decrease swelling. These include:

  • Gentle cold compress. Avoid hard ice blocks and instead opt for an ice pack or frozen bag of peas wrapped in a cold cloth or towel. Apply to the areas around the nose, avoiding any incisions, for 10-15 minutes at a time.
  • Keep your head elevated. Consider sleeping in a recliner chair or with your head propped up on pillows so that gravity is working in your favor to prevent the build-up of fluid.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water to help flush out toxins, keep fluid moving, and reduce swelling.
  • Rest as much as possible. In the first few days after surgery it’s important to give your body time and space to heal.
  • Avoid strenuous activities that will put pressure on your nose and increase your blood pressure.
  • Watch your sodium intake, as excess salt can lead to fluid retention.
  • Avoid alcohol, drugs, and smoking, as they can impact your blood pressure and slow down the healing process.

Discuss Rhinoplasty with an Expert Today

Perhaps one of the best things you can do to reduce post-rhinoplasty swelling is to choose a highly skilled surgeon who understands the complexities of nose surgery.

Dr. Sedgh is a double-board certified facial surgeon with over 20 years of experience. He has performed countless surgeries and is the best choice for anyone seeking rhinoplasty to address cosmetic and functional goals.

Ready to learn more? Book a consultation with Dr. Sedgh today.

Posted on behalf of Sedgh Plastic Surgery


When under our care, Dr. Sedgh always ensures you feel comfortable, cared for, well-informed about every aspect of your upcoming treatment, whether surgical or non-surgical. With an approach which focuses on achieving refreshed, natural-looking results, Dr. Sedgh prides himself on always acting with transparency, honesty, and the highest level of ethical treatment, from start to finish.