“I had a patient that came in today that asked a great question, a question that I’m frequently asked about surgeries in general but specifically today about rhinoplasty. This patient is ready for a rhinoplasty, we’ve had a previous consultation and she recently found out that she’s going to be getting married and her question was “How much time does she need to have if she’s going to have the rhinoplasty now before their wedding date? Does she need to be fully ready to have any of the effects of the rhinoplasty recovery gone and really be looking her best?” And in general I’d say the answer is twofold because there is no absolute guarantee, but in most cases I tell people that rhinoplasty is a a 3 stage process.

The first stage of recovery of rhinoplasty, the acute stage is where people have swelling around the eyes and nose, there’s typically some degree of shiner or black eye underneath and that phase, that first part of the recovery face is difficult to do anything really socially but it’s a time where you have to recover, time where you can actually do some non-stressful exercise like walking or even stationery bicycle at some cases but you’re not going to be doing a lot of social events.

The second stage is that after 2 weeks and that 2 weeks goes out to about 2 months after the surgery, 2 to 8 weeks then, and in that phase while we take the cast off and the splints and we clean the nose and for the most part people have complete resolution of swelling of the acute phase that’s noticeable and bruising, there is still a small amount of swelling and recovery that the patient, that you might notice during that period.

That diminishes rather quickly over the first couple of months so at the end of 2 months your nose actually looks and feels pretty good for most people and certainly not noticeable as having had a rhinoplasty in 99% of patients. I would never tell someone that’s getting married to plan on that so if they had enough time I would tell them in the 6-month range, 6-12 months range is where we’re certain that there’ll be comfortable happy, that the shape of the nose will be near its completed healing phase, and have the shape and form that we’re looking for after rhinoplasty.

So the basic minimum I would say in scheduling an enormous event where photographs are going to be taken that last for the rest of your life would be about a 6-month period if the time clock isn’t critical and that could go out to 12 months where you really see the final-final result with rhinoplasty, and this is particularly true with revision rhinoplasty, where half of the surgeries I do are revision rhinoplasties. There’s even a little bit more of a lag or delay time in the recovery period if there’s a previous rhinoplasty or significant nasal trauma that occurred at some point in the patients past.

So the summary is that when asking about recovery for this specific procedure, rhinoplasty, I think you’re socially acceptable within 2 weeks and certainly that 2 weeks to 2-month period is fine. I wouldn’t schedule any big events around that of the procedure and recovery.

In the area from 2 months to 6 months you’re sort of in the 50-50 land, and I would say that as you get up closer to 6 months you’re going to be pretty certain that you’re going to really look your best and be totally fine to schedule any big or small event that’s important in your life. So you could comfortably do that any time after 6 months and that’s why I really recommend big events scheduling, things where you’re going to have photographs that lasts for the rest of your life. Even with different types of photo shopping and changing pictures, you’d really like to look the very best you can in those images. The 6-month time window after rhinoplasty is a good window to pick. That’s a great question on general recovery. Three phases of acute recovery from rhinoplasty, that’s acute light and sort of chronic phases and they’re really great to plan around.

I’m happy to answer questions about rhinoplasty or any of the other facial plastic or aesthetic services we provide here at The Maas ClinicTM. If you want to visit us at DrMaas.com, you can write those questions in, send me photographs or videos. I’m happy to do video teleconferences if you call in the office at 415-567-7000 and as always I’m looking forward to hearing from you. This is Corey S. Maas MDTM on Looking Your Best.”

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