When is It Safe to Sleep Flat After Rhinoplasty?

I know you should sleep at a 30-45 degree angle immediately after surgery to reduce swelling, but sleeping that way has become painful and I always wake up after two hour intervals only to try to fall back to sleep. Is it safe to resume normal sleeping after one week post-op?

Doctor Answers 5

Head Elevation after Rhinoplasty

I recommend head elevation for one week after surgery. This has obviously caused problems. Simply using two pillows for another two weeks may be helpful. Keeping your head above your chest while sleeping will minimize facial swelling.

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Ask your surgeon when it's safe for you to sleep flat after rhinoplasty

Your sleep is important. If you have tried using pillows to elevate your head or sleeping in a recliner but still can't sleep well, you should be able to sleep in the position that is best for you now that one week has passed since your surgery. However, consult your surgeon first, as s/he knows your history.

Cory Torgerson, MD, PhD, FRCSC
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 151 reviews

Safe to sleep flat 1 week after rhinoplasty

After a week, it is important to get a good night of sleep in any position. Rolling around in different positions will not affect the shape of the nose.  

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Rhinoplasty Postop

In general I allow my rhinoplasty patients to resume the supine or flat position after 3-5 days it they are comfortable to do so.

This is something that you should ask your plastic surgeon as every plastic surgeon has a different routine for postoperative managment.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Sleeping position after rhinoplasty

I am not the surgeon who performed your surgery, thus my recommendations may not apply to you.

However, for my patients, I tell them to sleep upright for the first 2-3 days. I understand it is difficult to sleep comfortably that way. Thus, I tell my patients they can resume to sleep flat after about 3 days.

Before doing anything, you should ask your surgeon.

John Diaz, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 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.