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After Nose Surgery

Nose surgery is often referred to as rhinoplasty (its medical term) or a nose job.  It is one of the most common forms of plastic surgery.  It is thought that this is because the first thing that stands out on a person’s face is the nose, and people are hence inclined to try and make this particular part of their body “perfect”.  Although a nose job is straight forward and common, there are still many effects to be felt after nose surgery.  In general, there are five main conditions that can take place after nose surgery, which are:
  • Bruising
  • Congestion of the nose
  • Swelling
  • Scarring
  • Breathing difficulties


It is very likely that you will notice bruising following rhinoplasty.  Bruising usually extends below the eyes, giving the appearance of two black eyes.  Luckily, in healthy individuals, bruising tends to last no longer than three weeks and it is possible to use concealer to hide some of the effects.  However, this should only be done once the surgical wounds have healed to reduce the risks of infection.  Medication is sometimes prescribed to reduce the appearance of bruising and assist in the healing process.

Congestion of the Nose

The lining of the nasal passages is very fragile and susceptible to any changes.  After nose surgery, excessive mucus may be produced in the nose, causing congestion, irritation and excessive production of phlegm.  If the nose is exposed to very strong odours, pollens or other allergens after nose surgery, congestion is also likely to take place.


Swelling is generally the most common side effect of a nose job.  Swelling is a natural response of a fit and healthy body and allows healing.  Generally, swelling will be in place for around a week after nose surgery and most patients are prescribed anti inflammatory drugs following surgery, albeit in low dosages, to help with this.


Following rhinoplasty, there should be no permanent scarring, although there are always exceptions.  Of course, shortly after nose surgery, some scarring will be present, but this should fade reasonably quickly.  It is possible to use creams that aid in the recovery of scarring, but these should only be used if your surgeon agrees and if all the wounds have fully healed up. 

Breathing Difficulties

If a nose has been significantly reshaped by rhinoplasty, the patient may find it difficult to breathe as they adjust to their new nasal canals.  Breathing difficulties can also occur after nose surgery due to congestion as described above.  Patients are advised to sleep with an elevated head to assist in having an improved breathing pattern as well as giving greater lung expansion.  Those who struggle with adjusting to their new noses often find great benefit in practicing deep breathing exercises.

Most of the conditions seen after nose surgery should clear up within no more than four to six weeks, during which time a patient should also still regularly be seen by the surgeon, to ensure healing is taking place properly.  If you do notice any other side effects you are advised to seek medical advice.

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After Nose Surgery

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