Things to Avoid After Rhinoplasty

The care routines that should be followed after rhinoplasty and the behaviors to be avoided are of great importance both to speed up the healing process and to ensure the success of the outcome. This article will briefly and succinctly address the steps to be followed and the points to be considered in the post-rhinoplasty period.

Special Precautions

There are certain conditions to be mindful of after rhinoplasty.

For example, eyeglass frames create pressure on the bridge of the nose. There are various alternative methods, such as adjusting the glasses with pads and bandages to exert less pressure on the face. However, it is still not advised to wear it for the first 3 months after surgery.

Coughing, as it can increase pressure in the head and facial area, should be done cautiously. This can temporarily increase swelling, bruising, and pain in the surgical area. To avoid any impact on your face, it is important to steer clear of contact sports and heavy exercises, as well as running, swimming, and other intense physical exercises.

Sleep and Rest Positions

It is generally recommended to sleep with the head elevated above the body for the first few weeks after surgery, usually ranging from 1 to 2 weeks. This position helps to reduce swelling and bruising, lowers the risk of bleeding, and accelerates healing.

Sleeping on the side, especially during the initial weeks after the operation, is not advised, as it can create pressure on the nose, distort its shape, and increase swelling and bruising. A careful transition to side sleeping may be considered after 4-6 weeks post-surgery. If one inadvertently turns to the side during sleep, this pressure can increase swelling and bleeding in the area.

Additionally, normal facial movements like yawning are usually safe after the surgery. However, excessively moving the face can cause pain and discomfort.

Bathing and Skin Care

Patients can take a shower one or two days after surgery without directly exposing their heads to water and without bending too much forward. Primarily, using warm water instead of very hot water helps reduce the risk of increased swelling in the surgical area, as hot water can increase blood circulation and swelling.

It is necessary to prevent bandages and splints on the nose from getting wet without direct exposure to water. Hot steam, especially in situations like saunas or steam baths, is not recommended.

Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, teeth, especially the upper ones, can be brushed gently without applying pressure and without opening the mouth too wide. If pain and sensitivity occur, brushing should be done with even lighter movements.

During this period, it is recommended to gently clean the skin and use mild, fragrance-free moisturizers. Post-operation skin is more sensitive to sunlight and can easily be damaged. Using sunscreen and wearing protective clothing like hats help to protect against the harmful effects of the sun.


The first two days after surgery are usually the most challenging. During this period, pain, swelling, and bruising reach their peak levels. The difficulty gradually decreases with the removal of splints and bandages at the end of the first week or the beginning of the second week.

Within the first 48 hours post-surgery, regular cold compresses should be applied to the nose and surrounding area to reduce swelling and bruising. Sleeping with the head elevated above the body during the healing process helps to reduce edema. Smoking and alcohol can slow down the healing process and increase the risk of complications.

Additionally, drinking plenty of water after surgery helps in the proper healing of tissues and reduces potential edema, aiding in a quicker recovery process. Most of the healing process is completed within 1 year after rhinoplasty. The nose will have taken its final shape by this point, and all swelling will have subsided.

Post-Surgery Complications and Concerns

Physical Changes

The first few months after surgery are periods of intense swelling and edema, which can make the nose appear larger than it is. Additionally, along with swelling and edema, changes in facial nerves can temporarily alter the smile.

During rhinoplasty, when the shape and position of the nose are altered, the angle between the nose and upper lip can also change. This alteration may cause the lips to appear different. Changes in the size of the nose can affect the perceived size and shape of the lips, making them appear smaller or differently shaped.

During rhinoplasty, excessive thinning or removal of the nose’s support structures, postoperative infection, or excessive scar tissue formation, as well as impact and injury, can weaken the healing structures and lead to a condition known as nasal collapse.

Nasal Hygiene and Allergies

Keeping the operation area clean and dry, regular use of antibiotics, hand, and nasal hygiene, and avoiding frequent touching of the nose help prevent infection in the postoperative area.

Additionally, paying attention to conditions like sneezing and allergies is crucial. It is best to sneeze with the mouth open and without applying pressure to the nasal area. If you have allergies, it is important to avoid allergens that could trigger sneezing and to use allergy medications as your doctor recommends.

If there is nasal congestion, it is essential to follow the doctor’s advice. Saline sprays or prescribed medications can be used to alleviate the congestion.

Post-Rhinoplasty Nose Tape and Massage

Some surgeons use nose tape after surgery to reduce swelling and support the shape of the nose. This is commonly done, especially in the first weeks immediately following the operation. The purpose of taping is not to change the shape of the nose.

Tapes can provide psychological comfort for some patients and help them feel more secure during the healing process. Therefore, the decision to use tape or not, or whether it’s necessary to tape every night, varies depending on the type of surgery, its complexity, and the extent of the changes made.

The nose is usually sensitive in the first weeks after surgery, and massage is not recommended during this period. If advised later, it should be done without applying excessive pressure to help reduce potential edema and assist in the proper settling of tissues.

Particularly after surgery, the skin inside the nose can be dry and sensitive. Vaseline can help moisturize the skin inside the nose and reduce dryness. Therefore, Vaseline or other moisturizers can support healing and prevent discomfort due to dryness.

Dietary Guidelines

After rhinoplasty surgery, altering dietary habits and choosing specific foods and beverages is important for both increasing comfort and supporting the healing process. It’s crucial to be mindful of what to eat and drink to aid in a smoother recovery.

What foods should be avoided after nose surgery?

It is important to avoid excessively salty foods (which can increase edema), spicy, very hot, and cold foods, hard and crunchy foods, smoking, alcohol, and caffeinated drinks.

It is especially important to limit caffeine consumption during the first few days or weeks after surgery. Caffeine can increase blood pressure, trigger edema (swelling) in some people, and cause dehydration.

Which foods are good after rhinoplasty?

Consuming protein-rich foods (eggs, chicken, fish, legumes), fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats accelerates recovery. Adequate fluid intake is also very important.

Foods that Remove Edema from the Body

  • Pineapple
  • Banana
  • Pomegranate
  • Kiwi
  • Yogurt
  • Parsley
  • Green Tea
  • Cucumber

Frequently Asked Questions

When Can I Go Out in the Sun After Rhinoplasty?

It’s recommended to avoid direct exposure to sunlight for the first 2-3 weeks after surgery. In the following months, using a high-SPF sunscreen is advised to protect the sensitive post-operative skin.

Can Water Touch My Nose After Rhinoplasty?

In the initial days post-surgery, it’s crucial to be careful while washing the face and ensure that the nasal bandages do not get wet. Direct water contact with the nose can negatively affect the healing process and increase the risk of infection.

Is Drinking Water Beneficial After Rhinoplasty?

Drinking water helps to keep the body hydrated, which supports the healing process by aiding in the elimination of toxins. Adequate water intake also helps keep the skin moisturized and can assist in reducing post-surgical edema (swelling).

Dr. Görkem Atsal was born in Amasaya in 1988. He graduated from Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine in 2012. Specify graduation official (in year): 2012 Yozgat Intercession State Hospital(2012) Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine Department of Anesthesia (2013) Ege University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery (2014) Health Sciences University İzmir Bozyaka Training and Research Hospital, Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery (2015-2018) Turkish Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery Association Facial Plastic Surgery School (2020-2021)