Cleaning Nose with Cotton Swab After Rhinoplasty

I'm 6 weeks Post-op and I've been gently swabbing the inside of my nose with a cotton swab to remove mucus. It doesn't hurt at all but I'm wondering if doing this will affect my long term results, or even cause short term swelling. Thanks!

Doctor Answers 5

Cleaning Nose after Rhinoplasty

As long as you are gentle, cleaning your nose with a q-tip 6 weeks after rhinoplasty will do no harm, but why? Although my patients do sometimes use oinment on a q-tip immediately after surgery to soften crusts that form along incision lines, this is rarely needed at 6 weeks.. It is best to to allow the nose to heal without constant manipulation, which can be counter-productive.

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Q tips after rhinoplasty

The q tip routine will not cause extra swelling, that is clear.

I often have patients use ointment in the nose for about a month post op, since even after the stitches dissolve there can be some persistent crusting.  I would stay away from other treatments, however, since products like hydrogen peroxide can break down the lining with prolonged use.  Saline or water are fine.  A dry q tip is more likely to abrade the lining, so I would suggest some ointment or cream.  Also be gentle with your q tip.  Don't vigorously plunge in and out, or aggressively scrub, or lift the nostril rim with your manipulations.

Kevin Robertson, MD
Madison Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Cleaning Nose shortly after a Nose Operation

It is ALWAYS best to allow things to heal without "help". With nose surgery, the internal incisions are closed with a few dissolving stitches to allow blood and inflammatory fluid to drip out preventing tip swelling. Although we tell out patients they can GENTLY rotate a Q-tip dipped in water and peroxide to clean the inside of the nose,some people go to great lengths to clean everything and that is where trouble can start.  I personally prefer to have them do nothing for a few days. This prevents an accidental opening of a sealed incision. The best correction of a surgical complication does not match one that never happened.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

I recommend using peroxide on a Q-tip for nasal cleansing immediately following Rhinoplasty (Nose Job) Surgery.

You can safely use peroxide on a Q-tip to cleanse mucous from your nose after nose job surgery. I ask my patients to go into the nostril to the end of the cotton tip, and twirl the Q-tip. If straight peroxide stings, dilute with equal parts of water. You won't cause any damage.

I hope this is helpful.

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 418 reviews

Molding or changing the shap of your nose

IT really depends on how forceful you are and what was done during the rhinoplasty. Some people are able to forcibly stretch and alter the shape of their nostrils with consistent pressure. However, I doubt that you could achieve this with gentle swabbing of the nose.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 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.