What To Expect After Rhinoplasty: Sensations After Surgery

by Dr. Ramtin Kassir, M.D., F.A.C.S. | Sept. 12, 2017, 8:31 a.m.

Though the idea of having any facial surgery sounds terrifying, and many of us envision a world of pain afterward, surprisingly, pain is one of the most minimal aspects of this procedure. In fact, initial aesthetics (aka bruising, bandaging and stitches) tend to be more of an issue than anything else.


First day: One may experience a certain degree of pain, which mainly comes in the form of a dull, extended headache, rather than a sharp, intense pain. One will also experience concentrated pressure in the nasal/forehead region.


The first day, you’ll tend to experience significant nasal bleeding and drippage. This may result in multiple bandage changes, though by that evening or the following morning, most of that should have ceased.


I prescribe between 5-10 vicodin or percocet; However, most patients have reported only needing one, at most, for the first day. After that, pain tends to subside extensively.


Second Day: Your packing is removed, which alleviates a significant amount of pressure. The splint is slowly lifted off and the packing carefully removed with tongs.


You may experience bruising, but most find that they notice little-to-none. If you have had prior rhinoplasty procedures, you may experience a bit more bruising under the eyes.


You may also experience miniscule drippage periodically, though most likely you will no longer need the gauze placed underneath.


A Week Later: If bruising occurred, one should expect it to nearly have vanished by this point.


External stitches are then removed, leaving a faint pink scar that will quickly disappear within months.


You’ll notice numbness and tenderness in the tip of your nose. This may last for a few months, but will return back to its normal state gradually.  


How To Guarantee Best Results: Research! The key to achieving the best result is finding an experienced surgeon.


I recommend finding someone who specializes in rhinoplasty, as opposed to one who occasionally does them.  


Because it is a complex surgery, you want to find one who has been practicing for a significant time period and is established in the field.

One question to ask while evaluating surgeons is how many rhinoplasty surgeries they conduct monthly or annually. Asking about their philosophy on the procedure is another way to gain insight on both the surgeon and surgery.