Is It Safe to Sneeze or Cough After Rhinoplasty?

I want to have a rhinoplasty, but I sneeze a lot and I have a runny nose (allergies) is it safe to sneeze/cough/blow my nose after rhinoplasty?

Doctor Answers 13

Sneezing and coughing after rhinoplasty

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It is generally recommended NOT to blow your nose while recovering from a rhinoplasty and just have it run especially during the first week.   This is to prevent any bleeding from happening while everything is healing.  While it's easy to tell people not to blow their nose, its much more difficult to tell them not to sneeze and cough.  Sneezing and coughing are involuntary reactions and the primary force of the air is through mouth without disturbing the nasal airway too much.  It is usually not a big issue.

Princeton Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Sneezing/Coughing Post Rhinoplasty

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Sneezing and coughing may be unavoidable after a rhinoplasty, but it is important to keep in mind that your nose is still sensitive if it is in recovery. If it is relatively later in your recovery period, sneezing or coughing will pose a less serious threat (especially if it has been more than 10 days since your nose job). Either way, try to minimize the pressure and intensity of your sneeze or cough. And, try to sneeze or cough primarily through the mouth instead of through the nose.  

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


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Sneeze or cough through your mouth as best as possible.  Do not put a tissue up against your nostrils that could force any back pressure.  Try to be gentile, but it is hard to self control coughs and sneezes.  I hope this info helps.

Ronald H. Stefani Jr, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Sneezing, Coughing, and Blowing Nose after Rhinoplasty

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Sneezing and coughing after your rhinoplasty should not cause any problems as long as this is minimized with appropriate medication. I usually tell my patients to not blow their noses for about 3 weeks after rhinoplasty, but will extend that restriction if for example  grafts have been used. Although not as effective, I will let patients initially blow their noses without pressure on the nostrils Like everything we do in rhinoplasty surgery, post-op instructions are individualized. 

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Sneezing aftre rhinoplasty

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How long post rhinplasty? I tell patientd to sneeze with their mouth wide open right after surgery but, after a few weeks I don't see any problems. You might want to restart you allergy regimen.

David A. Bray, Sr., MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon

Nasal Congestion after Rhinoplasty

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It’s not unusual for patients to have nasal congestion following rhinoplasty.  This is often secondary to swelling with crusting and scabbing within the nasal passages.  When this occurs, patients can have an irresistible urge to sneeze, cough or blow their nose.

            We generally recommend that patients avoid blowing their nose for at least two weeks following routine rhinoplasty and four to six weeks following septoplasty.  Unfortunately coughing and sneezing are often involuntary activities.  Under these circumstances patients should try to cough and sneeze through their mouth to avoid nasal trauma.

            When patients blow their noses, cough or sneeze in the early post-operative period, they can potentially damage the nasal mucousa and cause bleeding.  For this reason, we generally recommend nasal saline irrigations in the immediate post-operative period.  This moisturizes the internal nasal structures and minimizes the potential for bleeding in the post-operative period.   

Common Post Rhinoplasty Question

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A question we commonly hear from our Rhinoplasty patients is whether they can cough, sneeze, or blow their nose in the first few weeks post surgery. It would be near impossible to tell a patient that they cannot sneeze nor cough-most times these actions cannot be stopped. However, we recommend doing so with care. If you can anticipate the cough or sneeze, try to remember to keep the mouth open. This will eliminate too much pressure building up in the nasal passage which could potentially cause some bleeding or additional swelling following surgery. After just a few short weeks, the risk for additional swelling and bleeding starts to diminish.

Paul L. Leong, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Don't Sneeze or Blow Nose After Rhinoplasty

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Blowing your nose or sneezing during the first few weeks after rhinoplasty could cause bleeding and/or swelling. You can learn to cough and sneeze with an open mouth, which can relieve some of the pressure and minimize the risk for side effects. Talk to your allergist to see if you can find a way to better control your symptoms after your procedure so that you can avoid blowing your nose. Also do let your facial plastic surgeon know what medications you are on, as they could affect the degree of bleeding, swelling, etc. I hope this helps.

Can I sneeze or blow nose after Rhinoplasty

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I have performed Rhinoplasty for over 20 years and I ask all my Rhinoplasty patients not to blow their noses for at least 6 months.  You can't help sneezing...just be sure to lkeep your mouth open during the sneeze to limit the pressure build up inside the nose.  Blowing the nose requires you to squeeze the nasal tip that could rupture sutures and damage the nose.  Ask your Rhinoplasty surgeon about taking allergy medications to help you through this.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Sneezing after rhinoplasty

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I usually tell patients to sneeze through their mouth for the first few weeks after surgery. The force through the nose initially after surgery, may cause bleeding.

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