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Rhinoplasty is surgery to reshape your nose. It can be done to improve your appearance, fix a birth defect, or help you breathe better.
You may have stitches or staples in your cuts (incisions). Stitches inside your nose and mouth will usually dissolve on their own. If you have staples, your doctor will take these out in the first week. A bandage will cover your nose. You may have a plastic or plaster splint to protect and help keep the new shape of your nose. You may have a "nasal drip pad" under your nostrils to collect any blood that may drip from your nose. Your doctor will show you how to change the pad as needed. You may have packing material inside your nose to reduce bleeding and swelling. Packing and the nasal drip pad will be removed within 2 days after surgery. The splint will be removed in about a week.
Your nose will be bruised and swollen, and you may get dark bruises around your eyes. The swelling may get worse before it gets better. Most of the swelling should go away in 3 to 4 weeks. You will have some pain in your nose, and you may have a headache.
Your nose may be stuffy and you may have trouble breathing for a short time. The skin on the tip of your nose may be numb. You may have some itching or shooting pain as the feeling returns.
If bones were broken during your surgery, you will need to avoid injury to your nose for about 3 months. In 3 to 4 weeks, you should have a good idea as to what your nose will look like. It can take up to a year to see the final result.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to feel better as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for any changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: March 3, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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