Will the Slightest Touch Affect my Rhinoplasty Recovery?

I recently had Rhinoplasty (7th Nov) and am very happy with the results. However early this evening, my boyfriend was messing around, and without thinking, threw a scrunched-up tea towel at me, which hit me on my nose. This hurt as it is still so tender even to the slightest touch. But more than anything, I am totally paranoid that this will affect the shape of my new nose as I know that you should avoid touching it unnecessarily within the first 2 weeks of surgery as it is still aligning etc. Am I being ridiculous? Will the slightest touch, or something like the towel hitting my nose have any effect on the results later on?

Doctor Answers 9

Minor Trauma After Rhinoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Hi Bunny,

You and your nose will probably be just fine. Your experience illustrates why we sometimes recommend using the splint on the nose while at home for the first few weeks (particularly if you are near a tea tossing dude).

Check with your surgeon as soon as possible, and think about finding a new boyfriend. Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Be More careful!

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I am not sure that the weight and force of the towel will have any effect on your nose. But, you are correct that small forces on a newly treated nose can displace the nasal bones. You should immediately return to your doctor for examination. And finally, resist the urge to fool around until the bones have set.

Good luck.

Robert M. Freund, MD, FACS

Robert M. Freund, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Minor trauma after rhinoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

While you and your nose should be fine, you will need to be careful to avoid/limit trauma to the nose. Scold your boyfriend and ask to see your surgeon so he can check the nose.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Rhinoplasty and minor trauma

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
It is important to protect your nose during the post surgical phase. However, the trauma that you discuss sounds minimal and should not have an impact on your result. I would see your surgeon as soon as possible and I am sure he/she will be able to give you some peace of mind in this matter! I hope that at least with a tea towel he was in the kitchen helping you cook if not this may be a remedy for kitchen horseplay!

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 218 reviews

Rhinoplasty and Healing

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Avoid trauma to the nose during the first few weeks after the procedure.  It is not worth the risk.  In my practice, we advise patients to wear brimmed hats (like a baseball hat) to protect their face from both outside people and the sun.  As your nose heals, it becomes more sturdy.

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 180 reviews

Rhinoplasty touching

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

If your Rhinoplasty was done in November and it is now February, I think it is safe to say your nose is well healed and you should not worry about it. I strong hit to the nose would be required to break it. Once the bones are set (softly after 2-3 weeks and firmly by about 6 weeks), it would take a good stike to break it.

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

Takes more than a slight touch to affect rhinoplasty results

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

No. Small abrasions and bumps to the nose will not hurt the end result of a rhinoplasty. It would require trauma to the nose to change or fracture it during the healing phase.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

It doesn't take much!!

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

A small tea towel hitting a fresh rhinoplasty will definitely hurt. Whether or not it has enough force to malalign your healing nose is debatable.

The beauty of being early in your healing course is that the nose is a little malleable still. I would go to your surgeon to get the nose looked at and palpated. It just might need some judicious taping to protect it and help you control its molding better.

That being said, it will take 4-6 weeks for the bones to solidify enough to tolerate a mild-moderate knock so be more mindful to avoid damaging your good results. Revision rhinoplasty is going to be a lot harder than getting it right the first time.

Good luck. Dr. Shah

Manish H. Shah, MD, FACS
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

No horseplay!

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

You should check with your plastic surgeon to find out if your bones were broken or if any fragile cartilage grafting was done.  If not, you probably have nothing to worry about.  If so, the bones take 3 weeks or so to become stable enough to withstand minor forces and not displace.  Good luck!

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.