Rhinoplasty Aftercare


A rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure done to correct prominent, unusual, asymmetric, or irregular nose. A rhinoplasty can also be done to improve the breathing through the nose. It is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures. The goal of rhinoplasty is a nose that looks natural and blends harmoniously with your other facial features. Since the healing process is gradual, you should expect to wait up to one year to see the final results of your rhinoplasty.

Expected symptoms after Rhinoplasty

  • PAIN, SWELLING AND BRUISING: Most patients complain more of discomfort from nasal sinus congestion than from pain. Swelling and bruising about the eyes and cheeks is variable.
  • INFECTIONS: Infection is rare after Rhinoplasty, but occasionally does occur. Fever over 100 degrees F., excessive pain, and swelling with redness may signify a developing nasal infection and should be reported.
  • BLEEDING: It is normal to have some bleeding for the first 24 hours after surgery.

Post-operative care instructions


  • Do not blow nose until instructed. Wipe or dab nose gently with tissue, if necessary.
  • Change dressing under nose (if present) as needed.
  • Do Not disturb the nasal cast. Keep it dry. It will remain in place for approximately 1 week and will be removed in the office.
  • Avoid smiling, grinning, and excess facial movements for 1 week.
  • Do not wash hair for 1 week unless you have someone to do it for you. Do not get nasal dressings wet.
  • Brush teeth gently with a soft toothbrush only. Avoid manipulation of upper lip to keep nose at rest.
  • Wash your face carefully to avoid the dressing. Take tub baths until the dressings are removed.
  • Wear clothing that fastens in front or in back for 1 week. Avoid slipover sweaters, t-shirts.
  • Keep your lips moist
  • During the day for the first 72 hours after surgery, apply crushed ice in an ice bag to minimize swelling and bruising. Do not put pressure on the nasal splint.
  • To prevent bleeding, do not sniff or blow your nose for the first 4 weeks after surgery. Try not to sneeze, but if you do, sneeze through your mouth.
  • Avoid constantly rubbing the nostrils and base of the nose with Kleenex or a handkerchief. Not only will this aggravate the swelling, but it may cause infection, bleeding, or the accumulation of scar tissue inside the nose. Use a moustache dressing instead if the discharge is excessive. Report any excessive bleeding that persists after pressure and lying down for 15 minutes.
  • Avoid hitting or bumping your new nose. It is wise not to pick up small children. It is best to sleep alone for one.


  • Sleep with your head elevated for the first week, to help reduce nasal swelling.
  • Do NOT rub your nose, or put any pressure on your nose.
  • Do NOT blow nose. You may, however, sniff into the nose.
  • Avoid sneezing. If unable to avoid sneezing, then sneeze with your mouth open.
  • Do NOT bend over or hang your head down.
  • No heavy lifting, straining, strenuous activity, or sex for at least 2 weeks.
  • Avoid eyeglasses for 2 weeks after surgery. Once permitted, wear eyeglasses as high as possible on the bridge. Eyeglasses may be taped onto forehead, to keep them off the nose.
  • No contact sports for 6 weeks.


  • Advance slowly from liquids to soft, then solid foods after anesthesia. No restrictions on specific type of food or drink. Drink plenty of fluids. Do not chew gum. You may use a straw.


  • Clean the nose with hydrogen peroxide when you get home from your cast and suture removal. This will help loosen any extra dry blood and after this discontinue cleaning with hydrogen peroxide as it can dry out the inside of the nose.
  • Continue to use the saline spray 1 time daily for the following week after stitch removal, this helps the inside to heal and keeps the nose from drying out.
  • When you get home, gently take an adhesive remover pad (we will give them to you) and wipe slowly back and forth down your nose. Do not apply pressure as this can irritate the nose. This will remove the excess glue stuck on the nose after the cast removal.
  • Apply sunscreen to your nose daily (especially the incision under the nose if you had an open rhinoplasty.

Incision care

  • You may shower 48 hours after removal of the drainage tubes.
  • Avoid exposing scars to sun for at least 12 months.
  • Always use a strong sunblock, if sun exposure is unavoidable (SPF 30 or greater).
  • Keep steri-strips on; replace if they come off.
  • Keep incisions clean and inspect daily for signs of infection.
  • Stay in bed with your head elevated (except for going to the bathroom) for the first day.
  • Cold compresses will reduce swelling.
  • Do not shampoo your hair until nose splint is removed, or ask for special instructions.
  • Avoid blowing your nose for 1 week.
  • Be gentle when washing your face and hair or using cosmetics.

After bandage removal

Remember the things you were told before your operation, namely:

  • When the bandage is first removed completely, the nose will appear fat and turned up too much; this is due to post-operative swelling over the nose and in the upper lip. This swelling will subside to a large extent within a week; however, it will take up to one year for all the swelling to disappear and for your nose to reach its final contour.
  • The discoloration will gradually disappear over a period of 7 to 10 days in most cases.
  • The thicker and oiler the skin, the longer it takes for the swelling to subside.
  • The upper lip may appear stiff for a while and you may feel that it interferes with your smile; this will disappear within a few weeks.
  • The tip of the nose sometimes feels ‘numb” after rhinoplasty, but this eventually disappears.


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