Rhinoplasty Recovery & Facial Movement

I am currently four days post-op and I'm experiencing difficulty refraining from laughter and other emotional facial tics. While I'd consider these normal responses to stimuli, I was curious if this could be detrimental to my Rhinoplasty results, or if I'm just stricken with paranoia. I attempt to stifle movement, but I can still feel my nose straining against the splint. Could moderate movement of the nose jeopardize the surgical results?

Doctor Answers 7


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i'm so glad to hear you want to smile and laugh four days post op. Go ahead, the positive energy will help your healing.  Rhinoplasty is about creating new structure and what has been created for you should be well able to stand up to smiling. If it can't then then the result will not turn out well even if you remain expressionless or neutral for months.

West Palm Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Rhinoplasty Recovery & Facial Movement

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I recommend to my patients to use their index finger and thumb gently pressing on the cheeks when they need to laugh. This will keep the nose stable during facial animation.

Mohsen Tavoussi, MD, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon

Facial movements ok after Rhinoplasty

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 I've performed Rhinoplasty for over 20 years and IMHO the issue of not smiling, laughing and moving the face in a normal manner because it will somehow damage the nose after a Rhinoplasty...is an urban myth.  The reality is normal movements will not affect the nose at all after a Rhinoplasty and I merely ask my Rhinoplasty patients to do these in normal moderation.  Strenuous activity and direct forceful contact that needs to be avoided for 1 month following a Rhinoplasty, IMHO.

Faacial Movement 1 Week after Rhinoplasty

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You ask about the effect of "moderate" facial movement 1 week after rhinoplasty; you will do fine. A good attitude with a smile on your face will always help the healing process.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Upper Lip Movement & Rhinoplasty

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It is not uncommon to have some difficulty moving the central part of your upper lip after rhinoplasty especially if you had significant caudal septal deviation correction as you often have to release the depressor septi muscles and/or reposition the caudal septal cartilage. The sensation and movement will all come back over the next 6-8 weeks.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon

Facial movement after rhinoplasty is not going to wreck your result (unless you overdo it)!

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Too much of any good thing can reach a point where it is no longer good, whether it is chocolate cake, or facial animation after rhinoplasty! Normal activity such as eating, speaking, and smiling are entirely within the limits of acceptable activity after nose surgery, but excessive chewing, laughing, or facial grimacing would be extremes to avoid.

Much more important, in my opinion, is that you should sleep with your head elevated above heart level for 2-3 weeks after this surgery to minimize swelling that can become scar tissue. The same goes for activities that might raise your blood pressure or pulse, causing an increase in swelling, bruising, and the formation of even tiny amounts of scar tissue that can affect your results adversely. So, avoid exercise, lifting, or strenuous activities for 2-3 weeks, including pole vaulting, tackle football, or trapeze sex!

Take it easy, and let things heal properly--this is the best way to get the result you and your surgeon are working towards together!

You are OK

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The splint , and the swelling, and the healing proteins inside, are your friends.  Right now they are keeping things in place.  Just use common sense and restrict your activities and excessive movement of your face and you will be fine.

It is very hard to recover from surgery.  Find a good movie and distract yourself--you will be healed soon.


Mark B. Constantian, MD, FACS
Nashua 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.