I Had a One Cigarette a Week Post Op from Open Rhinoplasty, and Now my Nose is Numb?

I went out with a friend

Doctor Answers 7

Numbness after rhinoplasty

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In general, almost all noses are numb right after a rhinoplasty. In most cases its the tip that is numb, but this numbness can extend down to the upper lip, and in rare cases some of the teeth. There are nerves that are cut and stretched during a rhinoplasty, and it takes a long time for those nerves to start working again. This is true of an open as well as closed rhinoplasty, although it tends to be more extensive in open rhinoplasty. This could also be more extensive if a septoplasty is performed at the same time. This, along with the swelling, gives you a stiff, plastic type feel, and can give you an odd smile. However, the nerves will start working and again, and your nose stiffness will go away with time. As the nerves grow back, you may feel some tingling, itchiness and on occasion pain. This takes in most cases months, but can take years in rare cases. Extremely rarely, the numbness is permanent, although I have never seen such as case.
Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Numbness following rhinoplasty

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In general, you will want to avoid smoking at least 6 weeks before and 6 weeks after surgery. Nicotine itself is a vasoconstrictor. When vasoconstriction takes place, surface area inside the blood vessels decreases. This results in poor blood flow and a rise in blood pressure. In effect, healing is greatly compromised. You are going to be numb following the rhinoplasty anyway, especially at one week following your surgery. This numbness is not the result of one cigarette. I would highly recommend refraining from any additional smoking, as it can have a negative impact on your healing. I hope this helps, and I wish you the best of luck with the remainder of your recovery.

Paul S. Nassif, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Numbing after Rhinoplasty

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It is normal to have numbness in your nose and upper lip during recovery from a rhinoplasty. While this is not directly associated with having smoked one week post-op, it is a good idea to refrain from smoking a minimum of 4 weeks. Smoking reduces your body's circulation and vascularity; this results in delayed healing.


Edward E. Dickerson, IV, MD
Fayetteville Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 127 reviews

Nasal numbness after rhinoplasty

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It is common for the nose to be numb after rhinoplasty.  This will improve over time.  The smoking did not cause this;  even though you should not smoke to improve healing.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon. 

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Numbness after rhinoplasty

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You did not give a lot of information but it is quite common to have numbness after a rhinoplasty. This usually gets better with time.

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

Numbness of my nose after rhinoplasty

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It is quite normal to have numbness of you nasal tip for a while after a rhinoplasty. Much of the sensation should return over time as the tip softens and the nerves start to function. This is part of the normal and expected recovery and is especially true with an open approach.

While smoking can delay and impede your healing, it is not the cause of your numbness. It can cause problems with the skin, so it is best to avaoid it for a while.

Relax and enjoy your new look.

Jeff Rockmore 

Numbness after rhinoplasty

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Some numbness of the tip of your nose and upper lip is normal after rhinoplasty, especially open rhinoplasty.  It's unlikely the numbness relates to your smoking.  Smoking will, however, compromise the vascularity (blood supply) of the tip of your nose, so I highly recommend refraining until after you are healed.  Protect your investment.  

Donald B. Yoo, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 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.