Can sleeping on your stomach (with nose on pillow) do damage to results of Septorhinoplasty?

I am considering having a septoplasty/turbinate reduction combined with rhinoplasty. (I understand that part of the procedure will involve spreader grafts). I sleep on my stomach and my face (and nose) often get buried in the pillow. Can pressure on face/nose effect the results of the surgery? Surgeon tells me it would be too uncomfortable for me to do this after surgery anyway, but I'm wondering about longer term after healing -- i.e. damage to spreader grafts or re-deviation of septum)?

Doctor Answers 5

Sleep after rhinoplasty

Dear GR145,

 Immediately following surgery your body will essentially not let you sleep on your stomach with your nose on the pillow.  In essence it auto corrects and makes you sleep on your back.  Generally this is the case for several weeks following surgery.  I have had many patients who say they sleep on their stomach with nose to pillow who have experienced this after rhinoplasty.  Generally if you get between six to eight weeks after surgery there is very little likelihood of damage occurring if you do return to sleeping on your stomach with nose on the pillow.


Dr Nettle

Sydney Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

Sleeping on stomach

Dear gr145,

Sleeping on your stomach will most likely cause you significant discomfort after surgery. I would avoid sleeping on your face since this will put pressure on your nose.

Richard A. Bartlett, MD
Brookline Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Rhinoplasty and sleep

Initially, it would not be a good idea to sleep on your face and push on you nose.  Besides, it would probably be painful to do so.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Sleeping after rhinoplasty

At the beginning it will be uncomfortable to sleep face down so you won't do it. As it heals (2-4 weeks), it will be less tender and you can sleep however you like. Usually this is not a problem. Your nose should be strong enough to withstand sleeping. Good luck

Jeffrey Jumaily, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews


Hello and thank you for your question. I recommend not sleeping on your stomach for 4 weeks after surgery.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 124 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.