Nasal Issues After a Nose Job

Also known as rhinoplasty, a nose job is a popular procedure that can improve the appearance of your nose. It is ideal if you are in generally good health and hope to alter the size and/or shape of your nose. A nose job may also be a good option if you would like to resolve certain birth defects or breathing challenges.

Regardless of the reason you choose to undergo a nose job, you should be aware of the nasal issues that may occur as a result of it. You may notice a temporary decrease or change in your sense of smell as a result of the way some of the nerves were affected from your surgery. Rest assured that these side effects will likely begin to improve with 1 to 2 weeks.

Also, your nose job may make it seem like you have a broader nose with a tip that's more turned up than you like. There may be a bit of swelling at the bridge of your nose as well. There's no need to be concerned as these side effects are also normal and will significantly improve in the first few weeks after the procedure. While most of your swelling should disappear within a few months, you can expect your nose to gradually improve for up to one year.

Longer term breathing issues may also occur. If your nasal airway, or internal valve, is weakened and destabilized, or your nasal bones and lateral nasal wall become too narrow, problems can arise. This is because any minor changes to the internal airway or nasal opening can have a significant impact on airflow and lead to breathing and sleeping challenges.

The nasal airway is composed of the septum, the lateral cartilage wall, and the end of your nasal turbinates, forming a triangle-shaped area where air passes through. When septal deviation and turbinate hypertrophy, or enlargement, aren't treated properly, complications can occur as well. Since deviation and turbinate hypertrophy are only apparent after the nose job has completely healed, it's important to allow enough time to ensure these issues do exist and aren't mistaken for swelling.

If you experience long-term issues with breathing or experience a stuffy nose or sleep challenges, see a rhinologist or ENT doctor right away.

How to Care for Yourself After a Nose Job

Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself after a nose job. They will likely include the following:

  • Use a nasal sprint: The nasal sprint will keep the inside of your nose clean and moisturized.
  • Drink plenty of water: By drinking plenty of water, you can allow your body to fully recover from the anesthesia and procedure.
  • Take time off of work: If possible, take at least one week off from work or your daily routine so you can rest and relax as much as possible.
  • Use a cold compress: A cold compress or ice wrapped in a cloth can help reduce swelling. You'll likely be encouraged to apply cold to your closed eyes multiple times a day for the initial 24 hours after the procedure.
  • Avoid smoking: If you smoke, refrain from smoking at least two weeks after surgery as smoking can lead to complications.
  • Refrain from strenuous physical activity: Don't engage in intense activities like jogging or swimming for two to three weeks following your job.

All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

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