Ask a doctor

Will Massaging the Nose After Rhinoplasty Help?

Does massaging the nose after Rhinoplasty help in eliminating scar tissue and swelling? If so, please explain how.

Doctor Answers 22


 This will not help the healing and can injure the nose if done too soon after surgery. Let nature do what it needs to do.

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Yes, gentle massage after rhinoplasty may help


The nose, especially the skin around the tip, normally swells after rhinoplasty. Most swelling resolves in a few weeks, but the last 20% of nasal swelling takes at least 1 year to resolve.

Gently pressure and massage may be appropriate after rhinoplasty. The bridge, middle, or tip of the nose may be massaged.

Scar tissue softens and swollen tissue is reduced with any massage of the skin. Pressure that is too forceful may shift and move the nasal bones and cartilage.

Steroid injection under the skin may be required to help control swelling, scar, and edema.

Speak to your facial plastic surgeon if nasal massage is appropriate for your particular case.

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Nasal exercises after Rhinoplasty to reduce swelling

After rhinoplasty certain maneuvers can aid in your healing and reduce swelling.

  • Nasal exercises: involve using the side of your finger and pressing along the side of your nose for one minute five times a day.  This helps resolve some swelling on the side of the nose particularly in open rhinoplasty.
  • Consider Steroid injections around 1 month after surgery in the tip area
  • This is out of your control but expert surgeons typically will cause less trauma and swelling to your nose during surgery so pick an experienced and meticulous surgeon.

Pramit Malhotra, MD
Ann Arbor Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Swelling after Rhinoplasty

Generally speaking, it can take 6 to 12 months to completely heal after surgery. Please keep in touch with your surgeon or his/her clinical team to discuss your ongoing concerns.

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Massage Post Rhinoplasty

Though a gentle massage can promote blood flow and can thus help minor swelling, I generally do not advise my patients to touch the area for at least two weeks after a nose job. In this way, you can be sure that you do not accidently apply too much pressure to your nose and yield results opposite of your intentions. There are other ways to reduce swelling after a nose job, including applying an ice pack to the area for intervals of 15 minutes at a time or going on low-impact, slow paced walks. 

Sam Rizk, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Avoid Nasal Massage Following Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty surgery consists of a series of delicate maneuvers designed to alter the appearance of the nose. These often consist of fine structural sutures and placement of cartilage grafts. Manipulation of the nose can result in disruption of these structures and displacement of cartilage grafts. For this reason, we generally avoid nasal massage following rhinoplasty. 

Massage After Rhinoplasty

Your plastic surgeon will instruct you on your post-procedure care.  Very gentle massaging of the nose after surgery can be an appropriate instruction to help support swelling reduction, but each patients' post-op recommendations are based on the circumstances of their individual procedure.

Jeffrey W. Hall, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Massaging your nose after rhinoplasty

In general, it is best not to massage your nose after rhinoplasty as it is possible, although unlikely, that vigorous rubbing or manipulation in the first few weeks could pop a delicate stitch or otherwise disturb the corrections made and affect the cosmetic result. Some people habitually rub the tips of their noses. Recognize that this will not likely ruin the result but may cause more irritation and swelling.

That being said, your nose is not glass after surgery. In fact, it will feel quite stiff and wooden. Rolling over onto your nose during sleep or lightly bumping your nose will not make it end up on the side of your head. So, you don't have to walk around in a bubble after surgery. 

After about a month, the skin starts to wrap around the cartilage, and the bone is almost set, so contact to your nose is less likely to cause any shift or problems with healing.

Some surgeons recommend 'nasal exercises' which essentially amount to light lymphatic drainage. These will not be harmful but may not do much either. Instead, we ask patients to tape the nose at night for the first month to help skin contract and push out swelling. 


Jason Litner, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Will Massaging the Nose After Rhinoplasty Help?

I do not recommend massaging the nose after rhinoplasty as there is usually no benefit to this maneuver. The swelling is usually handled  by a splint and steristrips.  The steristrips may be worn for a month.

Paul Vitenas, Jr., MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.