Dos and Don’ts After Nose Surgery

Dos and Don'ts After Nose Surgery

(Excerpted from Dr. Peter Adamson’s book Fabulous Faces available on and edited for our blog.)

Every surgery comes with a list of postoperative dos and don’ts to help patients heal properly and be as comfortable as possible during recovery. Our extensive experience performing rhinoplasty (nose surgery) at Adamson MD Associates is the source for the following list of dos and don’ts after nose surgery you should know about. This list may vary depending on your individual situation, so this is not meant to substitute for your surgeon’s instructions, but this list should give those considering nose surgery a good idea of what to expect and how to prepare.

Please call our office and schedule a consultation if you have been thinking about having nose surgery. We would be honored to help you decide if rhinoplasty is right for you.


  • Keep a cold washcloth or gauze over your eyes and upper cheeks as much as possible for the first thirty-six hours after surgery.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Your throat will be dry.
  • Keep your mouth open if you have to sneeze.
  • Use a humidifier.
  • Keep a stiff upper lip— literally. Don’t move the upper lip too much in the week after surgery.
  • Be careful around rambunctious children or spouses who move around in bed a lot. Your nose isn’t in any condition to be accidentally smacked right now.
  • Use cotton swabs and hydrogen peroxide to gently clean your nostrils and visible stitches.
  • Climb the pain-medication ladder. If you need a pain reliever, try Tylenol (but no aspirin-based medications). If that doesn’t work, use your prescription pain medication (we’ll give you the prescription).

Do not…

  • Go overboard on talking, smiling, and vigorous tooth brushing. Brush gently (or with your finger).
  • Eat anything that’s hard to chew or that may upset your stomach.
  • Wear your glasses for six weeks after surgery. They could play havoc with the healing of the nasal bones. If you absolutely need your glasses, we can show you a way to support them on your face but not on your nose.
  • Do any vigorous exercise or lift anything heavier than a bag of potatoes.
  • Sniff or blow your nose for ten days after surgery. This will be bothersome.
  • Use nose drops.
  • Go anywhere near a hot tub for three weeks.
  • Drive for a week.
  • Do aerobic activities or workouts for two to three weeks.
  • Play contact sports for six weeks.

So, when can you resume your life after nose surgery? For some activities, such as shampooing, it’s just a day or two as long as the nose is kept dry. You can have a bath right away, even a shower if the water isn’t too hot. Smoking and drinking can be resumed in two weeks, though many smokers use their facial plastic surgery as an opportune time to stop smoking for good. We find that most patients may resume normal professional and social activities after two weeks.

It’ll take about six weeks until your nose feels back to normal. It will continue to refine, and there can be residual numbness in the tip for up to a year.

2 thoughts on “Dos and Don’ts After Nose Surgery

  1. kathrina

    Sun exposure, smoking and alcohol are all things to avoid for a long as possible during your healing process. Your facial skin will be highly susceptible to sunburn and pigmentation, meaning any damage or changes could be permanent.

  2. Marcus Coons

    Thanks a lot for mentioning how you need to drink plenty of fluids when undertaking nose surgery. It is important to understand that doing this can help your body recover faster and make sure you get the results you want. Personally, I would also want to take the time to understand how rhinoplasty works in order to find the best one for your needs.


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