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What to Expect After Rhinoplasty

Written by Dr. Sean Maguire on October 1, 2020

Rhinoplasty in Louisville

Rhinoplasty can be a life-changing procedure for some people, especially those who have been dissatisfied with the appearance of their nose for many years. Although it is an outpatient procedure, results are not seen instantaneously. It is actually a process, in which the final result is progressively revealed over a period of months.

Just as your rhinoplasty procedure will bring a dramatic change in your facial appearance, it is also a major event for the nose itself, requiring time for the soft tissues, cartilage and bone to heal. Below, trusted Louisville plastic surgeon Dr. Sean Maguire discusses the timeline for recovery from rhinoplasty.

After Surgery

The key to a successful recovery is to protect the nose, giving it time and space to heal. For the first week, you will wear a nasal splint. During this period you may feel you have a sinus headache or stuffy nose, and will likely have bruising near the eyes.

For the first week you will want to sleep on your back with your head elevated. Take care when washing your face and avoid extended exposure to sunlight. Apply soft ice packs around the eye area for bruising and use saline nasal spray frequently to keep the nose clean and moisturized.


Depending on the complexity of your procedure, swelling can persist up to a year. This is especially true of the tip of the nose. Fortunately, most swelling will subside within two months, and you should be ready to present your new facial profile to the world in about two weeks.

Dr. Maguire uses a procedure known as the “closed technique” with all incisions inside the nose, so that ultimately there is no visible scar.

During rhinoplasty, cartilage is removed, reshaped and repositioned, and the nasal bones are often fractured and reshaped. Rhinoplasty that involves breaking nasal bones will tend to have more bruising and swelling.

Your New Look

The persistence of swelling means that waiting for the ultimate result takes time and requires patience. If your nose appears slightly asymmetrical during the first few weeks of healing, it is most likely due to swelling, and this should improve with time. With time and plenty of patience, the results of your rhinoplasty can optimize your facial proportions and improve your appearance.

To learn more about rhinoplasty or other procedures offered by Dr. Maguire, we invite you to call (502) 897-7546 or email the Physician’s Center for Beauty, at your convenience.

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