Rhinoplasty, also known as the nose job, is the most popular form of cosmetic plastic surgery in the world. So desired is it, that it surpasses other popular procedures such as liposuction and breast augmentation.

“Rhinoplasty can provide overwhelmingly satisfying results to our patients who desire a natural-looking and beautiful nose; however, the procedure itself is only half the battle. Taking the proper post-op steps in the days following recovery is almost as vital as the surgical procedure itself.” writes Dr. Mulholland, a renowned Toronto rhinoplasty surgeon in his clinic’s blog post.

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With post-op care being so important, you may be wondering so what the road to recovery looks like. Here is your timeline guide to undergoing rhinoplasty start to finish.

Before the Surgery Comes the Consultation
During a rhinoplasty consultation, you will meet your surgeon to discuss everything related to your surgery, including your goals both cosmetically speaking as well as related to nose breathing problems, risks, costs, and more. After a patient is comfortable, informed, and confident in their decision to undergo the procedure, the appointment can be booked.

The Day Of the Rhinoplasty procedure
When a patient is undergoing rhinoplasty for breathing, general anesthesia is first applied to make sure the procedure goes by as smooth and painlessly as possible. This anesthesia is constantly monitored by either a trained nurse or a dedicated anesthesiologist.

When properly put under, small incisions are then made to the nose, both internally and externally, where needed, and any and all alterations are made, whether they be visible changes or not.

In general, the entire rhinoplasty procedure takes anywhere between 90 minutes to upwards of two hours.

After the Procedure
Once your rhinoplasty procedure has been completed, you will likely rest in your clinic’s recovery rooms for several hours while the anesthesia wears off. You will have regular assessments and check-ins from clinic staff to ensure your comfort and safety.

When it is time for you to leave, a patient must have a designated driver to take them home safely. This does not include calling a taxi or public transit. Failure to have a designated driver can result in the cancellation of your surgery, so be sure to make the appropriate preparations ahead of time.

It should be noted that your nostrils will be packed to reduce any swelling and bleeding. Having your nose packed can be fairly uncomfortable at first, but it is very important not to remove it, as it is important to your recovery. Rest assured that within a few days, the packing will be removed by your clinic, as will any casting or switches at a later date.

Usually, after a good week of recovery, scarring from nose surgery is typically minimal, and patients are able to return to light activity such as work shortly after this when feeling up to it. 

After roughly a month to a month and a half, most of the visible bruising should be diminished from the face, and more intense physical activities like working out can once again resume. The nose should appear almost completely natural as well, though it can take one to two years before the nose settles to its final appearance.