Is it Painful to Have Rhinoplasty? Here’s what you can expect during and after Treatment


Rhinoplasty is a surgery of the nose. It is also widely known as the surgical nose job and designed to change the shape of the nose.

A plastic surgeon may recommend rhinoplasty surgery if the shape of your nose impacts your self-esteem. Your primary doctor may also recommend an appointment with a plastic and reconstructive surgeon for rhinoplasty if they believe that you have nasal deviation issues that could be impacting your breathing.

Depending on your treatment needs, rhinoplasty may be administered to change your nasal skin, bone, cartilage, or even all. Like any other reconstructive procedure, rhinoplasty is not ideal for every person.

Therefore you will need a consultation with an expert rhinoplasty surgeon to firstly assess your risks before giving you the green light to proceed with treatment. If you’re the right candidate for rhinoplasty, the plastic and reconstructive surgeon will customize a treatment plan depending on your needs.

Is Rhinoplasty Painful?

Now, your rhinoplasty surgeon may perform rhinoplasty inside or outside your nose via an incision made at the lower end of your nose. After this, they will proceed to readjust the bone and cartilage beneath your nasal skin.

Depending on how much you want your nose shape to be adjusted or improved, the rhinoplasty surgeon may remove or add some of your nasal cartilage or bone. If you need major changes on your nose, for example, the rhinoplasty surgeon may need to use implant cartilages or bones or use cartilages from different parts of your body, like the ribs.

If you want just small changes on your nose, the rhinoplasty surgeon may only need to use cartilage from your ear or deep inside your nose. After making the necessary changes depending on your treatment needs, the surgeon will place your nasal tissues and the skin back in place and stitch the incisions.

Since rhinoplasty involve incisions and may also need some of your nasal structure or material to be removed or adjusted, especially if you’re having deviated septum, it is a painful procedure. However, you will barely feel any pain during this procedure.

You will only experience manageable discomfort after the treatment. To manage the discomfort that comes with this treatment and make you comfortable throughout, you will be given general anesthesia or anesthesia with sedation.

Local anesthesia with sedation may be ideal if you want just small changes on your nose. It is usually administered for outpatient treatment needs and, in this case, would be done just on your nose.

If local anesthesia with sedation is ideal for your treatment, the rhinoplasty surgeon will inject a numbing medication into your nasal tissues. They will then give you an intravenous injection to sedate you. 

You will therefore feel groggy during this treatment but not necessarily fall deep asleep. If general anesthesia is required for your treatment, the rhinoplasty surgeon will administer it via a small tube (IV) line, which will be placed in one of the veins in your hand.

Alternatively, you may only need to inhale the medication. The general anesthesia used here will impact your whole body, implying that you will be unconscious throughout the procedure. You will need a breathing tube to aid with your breathing.

After your surgery, you will need to rest with your head in an elevated position to minimize swelling and bleeding. You may feel like your nose is stuffed mostly because of splints placed in your nose during the procedure or due to the swelling inside your nose.

You may experience mucous drainage and slight bleeding for some time following your rhinoplasty. The surgeon may use a ‘drip pad,’ which will be taped under your nose to help with drainage.

The drip pad here is simple gauze. You will need to change this gauze as directed by the surgeon regularly.

How long does it take for the Nose to Heal after Rhinoplasty?

Healing after rhinoplasty isn’t usually complicated. If the procedure involved corrections on your nasal bones, you might need to wait for around 6 weeks for the bones to heal. During this period, you should keep off strenuous activities or exercises.

You will also be advised to avoid extreme facial expressions like laughing or smiling for some time. You will also need to avoid clothes that would force you to pull them over your head like sweaters and only stick to those you can fasten in your front.

Finally, you will also need to avoid constipation as it would exert unnecessary pressure on your nose and impact recovery or cause unnecessary too much discomfort. You can avoid constipation by eating fiber-rich foods like vegetables and fruits. Here are a few more tips you can use to speed up your healing after rhinoplasty.

  • If you wear glasses, do not wear them. Glasses may add extra pressure on your nose and increase your risks of bruising. Usually, the surgeon will give you helpful guidelines on when you can wear your glasses again. If you can’t do without the glasses, you can use the lightest frames you can get and only wear them when necessary. Your rhinoplasty surgeon will advise you on using the frames and recommend or give you splints to place on your nose when wearing the glasses. Alternatively, you can also use contact lenses.
  • Avoid too much sun: Exposing yourself to the sun for extended times after your rhinoplasty isn’t a really good idea. Within a few weeks and months following the procedure, your nose will be more prone to sunburn. 
  • Smoking and Alcohol Consumption: To begin with, you will need to avoid alcohol for a few days when preparing for your rhinoplasty. Therefore you can expect your plastic surgeon to advise you against it during your consultation. Other than alcohol, you will also need to discontinue smoking before your rhinoplasty. You will need to continue avoiding alcohol and smoking for some time after the surgery. If you smoke, the nicotine in the tobacco will limit blood-flow in your system and impact your healing process. Alcohol may also worsen your side effects like bruising and bleeding and prolong your recovery.

Final Word

Rhinoplasty isn’t painful since you will be under anesthesia or anesthesia and sedation during your treatment. For the pain after the procedure, you will also be given helpful guidelines to follow. If you’re considering rhinoplasty in Singapore, schedule a consultation with a board certified rhinoplasty surgeon from our team now, to let you know if you’re a good candidate and address all questions and concerns you may have about the surgical nose job.