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 28

Yes, gentle massage after rhinoplasty may help

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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.

Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Do Not Massage Healing Nose

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No, please refrain from rubbing or massaging your healing nose. It is understandable that you are anxious to speed up your recovery and start reaping the benefits of your nose job, but please try to be as patient as possible to ensure that you do not accidently compromise your results. 

Sam Rizk, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Avoid Nasal Massage Following Rhinoplasty

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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. 


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 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.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Swelling after Rhinoplasty

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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
4.7 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Rhinoplasty and massage

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I would absolutely  not massage the nose after a rhinoplasty. You may disturb some of the work performed.  The tissue swelling will take a while to go down, maybe up to a year. You have to be patient.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Nasal exercises after Rhinoplasty to reduce swelling

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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.

Massaging your nose after rhinoplasty

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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 52 reviews

Will Massaging the Nose After Rhinoplasty Help?

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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
4.8 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

Generally, no massaging after Rhinoplasty

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Thank you for your question.

The healing process can take months and even up to a year until you see the final results. You want to be careful about not injuring your nose so when it comes to massaging, I would definitely check with your doctor and see what he recommends. Generally, time is the best thing to help with the healing. Massaging is more commonly recommended with all other cosmetic procedures.

Best regards.

Sam Speron, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

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.