What To Expect During Rhinoplasty Surgery

Everyone’s reasons for opting for surgery are personal and undergoing surgery can sometimes be daunting. That’s why we’ve put together some useful information to know before going ahead with your rhinoplasty.


Before surgery

If you are thinking about getting a rhinoplasty, it is important that you research your surgeon and attend as many consultations as necessary. During consultation, talk about your goals and tell the surgeon what bothers you about your nose and how you would like to change it.

The surgeon will evaluate the structures of your nose and other facial features. After this evaluation, they can tell you if your expectations are realistic. The surgeon will also consider your overall health and should discuss with you the risks, recovery time, and costs involved.

There are various techniques for reshaping the nose. Once you decide to go ahead, your surgeon should describe exactly what they propose to do.


During surgery

Rhinoplasty is usually a day-case procedure, meaning there is no overnight stay. You will be under general anaesthesia. With general anaesthesia, you’ll sleep through the operation.

During an operation, your surgeon will use the technique required in order to achieve your desired appearance. The operation involves either making a cut across the skin between the nostrils (open rhinoplasty), or tiny cuts inside the nostrils (closed rhinoplasty).

The procedure can take 1.5 to 3 hours.

You’ll have a dressing on your nose for the first 12 hours after the operation, and a splint held over your nose with tape for the first seven days. You may not be able to breathe through your nose for about a week, but you’ll be given painkillers to help control any pain or discomfort.


After surgery

It is important to note that everybody heals and reacts differently when it comes to surgery. After surgery, you will probably feel weak. You will be required to wear a nasal splint for the first week. You can expect swelling and some bruising around the eyes after surgery that will begin to improve day by day.

Expect your nose to have a little swelling, which probably only you and your surgeon will notice. This will go away over the next six months. The final shape of your nose will be apparent after it has completely healed.



For the best and safest results, it is important to rest when you feel tired, getting enough sleep is vital in order to let your body recover from surgery.

For about two weeks after surgery, avoid lifting anything that would make you strain. Your surgeon will advise you when you can resume activities such as exercising and driving.

You should avoid washing your face until your surgeon advises you that it is ok to do so. This will depend on how your wounds are recovering. If you are given the go ahead to wash your face, you should let the water run over your wounds rather than submerging them.

Depending on your occupation, you will probably be able to go back to work or your normal routine in 2 to 3 weeks. This depends on your recovery and the advice given to you.



After surgery, you can eat your normal diet. If your stomach is upset, try bland, low-fat foods like plain rice, broiled chicken, toast, and yogurt. Drink plenty of fluids (unless your surgeon tells you not to).

You may notice that your bowel movements are not regular right after your surgery. This is common. Try to avoid constipation and straining with bowel movements. Take a fibre supplement. If you have not had a bowel movement after a couple of days, take a mild laxative.


Incision care

Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to care for your incision, it is important to follow the instructions, so you do not compromise your results.



Try to walk each day. Start by walking a little more than you did the day before. Bit by bit, increase the amount you walk. Walking boosts blood flow which can speed up the healing process and helps prevent a number of complications.

Avoid strenuous activities, such as bicycle riding, jogging, weight-lifting, or aerobic exercise, until your surgeon says it is okay to do so.


If you’d like to find out more about a rhinoplasty first-hand from a patient, our patient Chantelle has answered some of the most frequently asked questions on our Instagram highlights here: https://www.instagram.com/stories/highlights/17856317678226383/


Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and attend all appointments and call your nurse if you are having any concerns. At Pall Mall, we have an out of hours nurse contact number that you can call 24 hours a day if you have any concerns or complications following your surgery. We’re here for you every step of the way.

If you’re thinking about rhinoplasty, we offer free consultations with all of our surgeons. Find out more here or call us on 03300 58 44 55.



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