My Rhinoplasty Experience // 1 Year Post-Op, Recovery, Cost, Before & After

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to get my nose done. I did a lot of research over the years but I never felt like it was the right time. With Covid, everyone had to wear masks or another lockdown came around, so I decided that it would be the perfect time to do it. It's now been 12 months, so I decided to take you with me on my rhinoplasty journey and tell you everything you need to know including Rhinoplasty Cost, Rhinoplasty Swelling, Nose Job Recovery Tips, Wearing glasses after a nose job, Rhinoplasty Before & After and more.

Disclaimer: Some of these pictures I show you are absolutely horrifying and disgusting, they show me in a very vulnerable state and I feel quite insecure posting them but I know it could be helpful to some, as it can be quite interesting to see what the actual healing process looks like with blood, scars, bruising, etc. and as I want this post to be as informative as possible, I do want to show you as much as I can. Just be aware that if you cannot stand seeing blood, there will be pictures with dried blood.

The Costs

Let's just get the biggest and most frequent questions out of the way - How much does a rhinoplasty cost? What's the price of a rhinoplasty? Is rhinoplasty expensive? What's the cost of a nose job?

Let me tell you - it ain't cheap. I paid 6500€ for my open rhinoplasty. I did check out several different surgeons and the pricing for an open rhino was usually always around 6500€. I did also see a surgeon who does closed rhinoplasty which would have cost 4500€ which is a significant difference - but after doing more research, I decided that an open rhinoplasty would be the better choice for me and also what I was looking for as a result.

Finding A Plastic Surgeon 

I cannot stress enough how important it is to do a lot of research on the surgery itself as well as the different plastic surgeons. It is your body, you've only got one body and one life, so be sure to do the best research on surgeons that you can. Do not just blindly choose a surgeon because they're cheaper than someone else - it will cost you later, trust me. Make sure the surgeon is trustworthy, has great and also lots of reviews and before & after pictures to show you, also make sure you both understand each other so they know exactly what you want your nose to look like.

I personally started searching for plastic surgeons in my city on Google. I looked at every single website of surgeons that I could find in my area - looked at before & after pictures, read about their techniques, looked at their education and career, and also read up on people's experiences with each surgeon. Then I picked out 4 different surgeons and called for an appointment. I went to each one and just had a talk about my nose, how they'd change it, what they recommend, their techniques, everything. I think it's very important that you get good feelings around your surgeon. When I went to the second doctor, I immediately had weird feelings, I felt quite uncomfortable as someone else explained the surgery to me and the plastic surgeon himself only let me in to take a few pictures and that's it. I really felt like just another number. I knew right when I left, I wouldn't get my nose done there. The very last doctor that I saw, was the one I actually went with in the end. I got there and felt good right away, the surgeon was extremely nice and friendly, he explained everything to me, he even showed me before and after pictures of nose jobs he had previously done, he showed me a few different "options" such as a very lifted and curved nose, a more straight nose, a bit of an in-between with just a slight lift and a slight curve; he asked what I would want my nose to look like, what exactly bothers me about my nose, he took pictures, we also had a lovely chat about beauty standards. All in all, I felt very safe with him so I decided that he'd be my surgeon.

The Surgery

I am in no way educated enough to explain all the possibilities of a rhinoplasty so please don't take my word for anything medical I say - do your own research and especially talk to a surgeon. 

I did have an open rhinoplasty done which means they make a little incision between your nostrils (it will leave a little scar there) and flip the skin up so they can get down to your bones a lot easier. There is also a closed rhinoplasty where I believe they cut up inside your nostrils which will not leave a noticeable scar. If you want to know the exact differences between the two, please consult a doctor because I personally don't have the knowledge to decide which option is better for what type of problem you have.

For my open rhinoplasty, I also had them break my nose as it was slightly uneven and crooked. As far as I know, they don't always break your nose completely with an open rhinoplasty, but since my nose was crooked as well, it was the only solution to fix that.

Photo Credit: The Private Clinic of Harley Street

Anyway, I wasn't allowed to have any flu meds 2 weeks before surgery up until the day of the surgery, but you will get a little info sheet with all the details on it. I also wasn't allowed to eat the night before, only drink water. I got to the clinic about 30-45 minutes before the appointment, they showed me my bed and let me put my stuff away, I also got those weird hospital clothes to put on. Then it was time for the surgery, when I got the anesthesia I was pretty much gone within seconds but I honestly have no idea how long surgery took. When I woke up from surgery, I was done. I remember my first thought after waking up was "Oh no, what did I do?", I literally panicked. I didn't feel any pain but my eyes were completely swollen like I could barely see anything because they were just so puffy. I had this huge cast on my nose, those long tamponades inside my nostrils, a plaster all across my face and forehead, I obviously couldn't breathe through my nose which made me panic. I basically couldn't see, couldn't breathe, and had all of these things stuck on my face, it really wasn't a good feeling. The nurses kept bringing me ice for my swelling and also water with a straw because that's the only way I could even drink. Really, the nurses were lovely and so helpful. After surgery, I was there for probably 3 hours until someone could finally come and pick me up. 

I was still quite out of it when I got home, tried to take a little nap, and eat some soup (which let me tell you, eating that soup was like the hardest thing I ever had to do). In the evening, I had a panic attack because whenever I would fall asleep, I would want to breathe through my nose which obviously wasn't working so I just kept waking up and waking up until I just started crying and couldn't even breathe through my mouth anymore. We called my surgeon and he was very lovely, he tried to calm me down and told me to keep reminding myself to breathe through my mouth, he kept telling me my body will just end up breathing through my mouth anyway like I'm not going to die or anything so I focused on breathing calmly and it got better, but that's everything on the surgery itself.

Recovery, Healing Process & Tips

I do have to say, I could barely sleep the first week until the tamponades finally got removed 7 days after surgery. It was the best feeling ever to finally get a bit of air through my nose. But, my very first checkup was right the next day after surgery, I got some plasters removed from the forehead and under my nose/above my lips which does actually make you feel a lot better already. Like I said, I could only breathe through my mouth for the first 7 days as basically the cast and everything stayed on there. I also could barely sleep because your mouth gets extremely dry, which also leads to your throat getting dry and hurting, so you start coughing a lot and your lips dry out as well - it was a mess. My nose did bleed quite a bit the following days after surgery which just made me look absolutely disgusting as you cannot really remove it from the tamponades so it just gets crusty and gross on there. BUT when I finally got the tamponades removed, life immediately got better.

I did have to clean my nostrils every day with a specific spray my surgeon gave me (I think it was a saltwater spray if I remember correctly), which did make my nose bleed a bit from time to time which then lead to not being able to breathe all that good (since the blood dried inside the nostrils and you can't blow your nose) but it was still a lot better than mouth breathing AND I could also finally eat a lot better as well.

The next day after tamponade removal, I did get the old cast taken off and got a new one put back on as the swelling went down quite a lot and the cast should really mold nicely over your nose to hold everything in place. 

All I could really do as long as I had a cast on was clean my nose with the spray I got and I would also carefully take a Q-tip and try to clean my nose a bit better. 

After 3,5 weeks (24 days) I did finally get the actual cast removed completely but I did have to tape my nose with special hypoallergenic medical grade paper tape all the time, especially at night. My surgeon also gave me my cast and said I should put the cast back on at night and secure it with some tape for another 3 weeks just to make sure I don't hurt myself at night when I sleep. I do have dogs as well, they like to jump into bed when they wake up so to be on the safe side, I did put on the cast at night for 3-4 weeks after the removal.

I've seen a lot of people have a nose job and not have to tape their nose at all or only for a few weeks and basically only taped at night - BUT my surgeon did recommend doing it for 6 months to help with swelling and shape the nose to how it is supposed to look. I personally did actually do taping for the entire 6 month period, only sometimes I would skip it during the day just to take care of my skin and let it breathe for a few hours as well. 

I also had to do special nose massages whenever I'd change the tape so whenever I took the tape off, I had a few nose massage exercises I had to do, again to reduce the swelling. My surgeon did show me the techniques when I was there, but I also got Youtube links to again see how the massage is supposed to be done.

Another thing I did to help with the healing is get a scar cream. The only visible scar I have/had is right between my nostrils which you could barely see straight from the front but I did want to do my best to remove it/make it less noticeable. There are special medical scar creams that help with the redness and deepness of scars, so I used that for several months. I'm not sure how much it actually helped as I have nothing to compare it to, but the scar does look pretty good now.

People also often ask "When can I wear glasses again after rhinoplasty?" which my surgeon said was no problem. I didn't wear glasses for the first week as my face was just way too swollen anyway but after the swelling got down, my surgeon did say as long as the cast is on, I can wear glasses. When the cast got removed and I started taping my nose, he did say I can wear glasses when the tapes are on, he wouldn't recommend wearing them without the tapes for several weeks. But by the time I started taping, I actually ended up wearing my contact lenses again so that was no problem for me.

Another question that comes up from time to time is "When can I sleep on my side again after rhinoplasty?" which for me just came naturally. The first week I was completely out anyway, I could barely sleep and if I did, it was on my back. But sleeping on the side really just happened for me. As they usually break your nose if it's crooked with an open rhinoplasty, the rupture takes around 3 weeks to heal, so the bone could break again in that period if you are not careful. That's why for those 3 weeks with my cast still on, I mostly slept on my back and only sometimes turn my head to the side for a bit but I wouldn't actually sleep on my side. When I started taping after 3 weeks post OP, I also slowly started sleeping on my side again.

Was it worth it?

For me - Absolutely. BUT: At the end of the day, you have to realize that it is a big surgery, things can go wrong. I did a lot of research on nose jobs beforehand and there are indeed people that were either unhappy with their results, couldn't breathe properly after they got their nose done, things went wrong during surgery which lead to health issues, etc. so make sure you properly think about it. 

All in all, I am very happy with my new nose. There are always a few things that you think could have been done better but whenever I look in the mirror, I'm so excited about my nose. It was a huge insecurity of mine for so many years and I'm now gladly showing off my side profile to people. I could've just never dreamt of that ever happening. 

Before & After Pictures

I actually feel very insecure posting these photos of myself without makeup and with my old nose that I had been insecure about for over 10 years, but as long as I can help just one person with these, it was absolutely worth it.

These are the before pictures that I had taken for my surgeon, for him to edit and see what my nose could possibly look like after surgery.

And here are some after pictures for you as well; the first two were taken 24 days after surgery, and as you can probably see (in comparison to the other pics) there was still quite a bit of swelling. The other two pictures were taken 6 months post OP, which is pretty much how my nose looks now one year later as well.

As I said, it usually takes about a full year for the final results to show, but for me (as the skin on my nose is extremely thin compared to the rest of my face) the swelling went down a lot faster. It is also what my surgeon told me in the several appointments I had beforehand. If you have thicker skin on your nose, swelling usually takes a bit longer to go down. 

I tried to cover everything you could possibly want to know if you are thinking about getting a nose job but feel free to comment down below if you have any more questions that I didn't cover today. I will try my best to answer them for you :)


  1. Nice article, I also underwent open rhinoplasty yesterday. And after reading your article, I feel much better mentally, even though I feel terrible physically

    1. I'm really happy my post helped you feel better mentally! I'm so excited for you, I hope you love your new nose :) Also, I wish you all the best for your physical health. It can take some time, but it will get better and it will be worth it in the end <3

  2. Thanks for posting this. My husband is having to have this done for medical reasons so it's nice to know what to expect.

    1. i'm so glad i could help. i wish your husband good luck for his upcoming surgery :)

  3. Very useful article for someone who wants rhinoplasty. Finding a good surgeon was the hardest part of my journey. I opted for surgery abroad because of the cost. I first researched countries where I was willing to have the surgery and once I made my choice, I found several surgeons to consult with. It took me almost a year to find this forme clinic and a surgeon I was happy with. It was all about trust and first impressions. It was terribly difficult, but it was worth it.

    1. i completely agree with you. first impression and trust was really important for me too. for my first surgeon i consulted with, i had a weird feeling right at the beginning already and immediately wrote him off. i actually just recently found out that someone i know had eyelid surgery with that exact doctor years ago and he botched it. so my first instinct seemed to be right