Nose Surgery (Rhinoplasty)

Rhinoplasty Recovery: Three Tips to Help


Most of our New York nose job patients report smooth sailing after surgery.  When they do describe a challenge they faced during recovery, we notice it usually falls into one of a few categories.

Here’s a look at what our patients tell us about rhinoplasty recovery and a few suggestions you can use to prepare in advance.


It is very common to experience post-op congestion, even for a few weeks.  It’s often more bothersome at night when you’re lying down and nasal passages feel more constricted.

  • What you can do.  We recommend a number of steps to take to ease the feeling of congestion.  We strongly suggest our patients use a saline spray to keep nasal passages from becoming too dry.  In addition, you can purchase a humidifier to use at night to help add moisture to the air.  You can clean your nose gently with Q-tips, and cool compresses can also help.


Since swelling is one of the body’s responses to any kind of trauma, all plastic surgery patients experience swelling.  But swelling of the nose can seem particularly uncomfortable for two reasons: it can make your nose seem enormous (when it really isn’t) and it contributes to congestion.

  • What you can do.  There are a few measures you can take to keep swelling at a minimum.  First, keep your head elevated above your heart, especially when you sleep.  Next, avoid raising your blood pressure and exerting yourself for the first few weeks.  This means bypassing exercise, bending and lifting and intimate relations.  Finally, apply cool compresses for a few days after surgery.


Few of our New York nose job patients report they experience pain after surgery.  But some do tell us they didn’t realize how often they bump their nose until they had rhinoplasty.  Small impacts you don’t notice normally—when you hug your loved ones, play with pets and so on—are much more apparent when the little jolt causes a momentary “ouch!”

  • What you can do.  If you normally roughhouse with your children or dog, you may need to take time out for a couple of weeks.  If you sleep with a partner, you can consider sleeping alone temporarily to avoid hands and elbows.  The good news is that it’s not often a blow to the nose will harm someone’s results.  Nevertheless, it pays to be cautious especially since this is such a temporary situation.

When you’re ready to plan rhinoplasty surgery, you and your plastic surgeon will have much to discuss.  Be sure to spend a little extra time preparing for a comfortable, relaxing recovery period—when you come home after your operation you will be glad you did.

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