Did I Damage my Nose After Rhinoplasty by Lying on It?

Around five months ago I had septoplasty and rhinoplasty to reduce a hump on the bridge of my nose and redefine the tip. Last night, I fell asleep and I woke up on my stomach with the bottom part of my nose and the tip supported on my arm, and I am not sure how long I was in that position. The tip looks less defined than before and the bridge looks swollen. Do you think that this long after the surgery I could have damaged it?

Doctor Answers 8

Damage to Nose after Rhinoplasty

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It is best to avoid placing pressure on the nose early after rhinoplasty.

It is also very difficult to make a determination without seeing a picture and examining you. please consult with your rhinoplasty surgeon.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 205 reviews

Consult with your plastic surgeon.

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Immediately after a rhinoplasty, you should sleep with the head elevated to minimize swelling and reduce risk of unnecessary pressure. By five months, the risk of damaging the nose when sleeping face down is minimal to none. By that time, the nose should have healed enough that your sleeping position is not important and will not affect the final results. If you experience any persistent or unusual problems that seem to be related to how you are sleeping, you should consult with a plastic surgeon.

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

Did I Damage my Nose After Rhinoplasty by Lying on It?

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5 months after rhinoplasty, it wouul be highly unlikely that lying on your nose would damage it.  You likely have soft tissue swelling...but best to make an appt and go see your surgeon to be sure.

Amy T. Bandy, DO, FACS
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Nose swelling after rhinoplasty.

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After 5 months of healing your nose is very stable and should not be able to be moved or altered by minor pressure on it as you describe during sleeping.  There is still a significant amount of swelling in your nose and it is more susceptible to swelling because the lymphatic system is not fully healed. Do not be concerned your swelling will subside in time.

Paul Vitenas, Jr., MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Long term issues with nose

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At 5 months after a rhinoplasty, I doubt very much that by  just leaning on it,  you damaged it any way.  At 5 months, swelling is not unusual.

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

Possible early damage to rhinoplasty

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IT is difficult to assess your nose by email description alone and therefore you should discuss your problems with the surgeon. 

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

It unlikely that you damaged your nose

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Dear New York9980,

At five months after rhinoplasty, your nose should be fairly well healed. Lying on it while sleeping is unlikely to damage it.

Since you are less than one year from surgery, you will still have a greater degree of swelling whenever you lie facing down, or traumatize the nose, than someone who has not had rhinoplasty. With your incident you had both things happen; although unlikely to cause significant injury, the combination of the two was probably enough to cause the increased swelling that you observe.

Bottom line: wait a few days or even a couple of weeks; the swelling will likely subside. If you don't think it is better, contact your surgeon. Even if the nose still looks different, your surgeon will likely advise you to wait longer before making any judgments about the appearance or further surgery. Good luck.

Best regards,

Lawrence Tong MD FACS FRCSC

Lawrence Tong, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon

Falling asleep on nose after rhinoplasty

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Dear rhinoplasty patient from New York,
As I understand you had a rhinoseptoplasty about 5 months ago. Last night you fell asleep on it. You woke up this morning and found the tip and the bridge looked swollen. You’re anxious that you damaged it. The swelling you describing could happen to a non-surgical nose if it was in a similar position. Five months after rhinoplasty a nose is completely healed. The nose has to sustain a high impact injury to break. If the swelling last more than a day then call your surgeon.

Kevin Sadati, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 224 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.