How Long After Rhinoplasty Can I Sleep On My Side (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 3 – 4 Weeks

One of the most common plastic surgeries that people prefer to undergo in recent times is rhinoplasty. Popularly known as a nose job, this surgery involves changing or modifying the size, shape, structure, or proportions of the nose. It can be done to repair and rectify any deformities formed due to an injury, improve breathing, or correct any birth defect.

For a rhinoplasty, a surgeon has to consider not just the nose region but also the other facial features and the skin surrounding the nose. Thus, doctors do not recommend sleeping on the side soon after the rhinoplasty procedure.

How Long After Rhinoplasty Can I Sleep On My Side

How Long After Rhinoplasty Can I Sleep On My Side?

Complete nose recovery after rhinoplasty 6 – 12 months
Side-sleeping allowable after rhinoplasty 3 – 4 weeks

As one begins their recovery after the rhinoplasty surgery, one has to ensure to take all the necessary precautions as prescribed by one’s rhinoplasty surgeon to make sure that the surgery becomes a success and no post-surgery complications are faced. As rhinoplasty is a nose surgery, extra care should be taken around the nose region to allow one’s nose to recover completely.

In all this hustle and bustle about what precautions to take and what to avoid, a person forgets to set up a comfortable place to sleep. An appropriate and accurate sleeping posture would not only help in enhancing the rhinoplasty recovery but also help in providing the right comfort to the body and would help in yielding favorable results post-surgery.

Many doctors recommend their patients not to sleep on the side after the surgery as it puts pressure on the nose and can hamper the healing process after the procedure. Thus, it is advised to sleep on the back for at least 3 to 4 weeks to give appropriate time to one’s nose to heal sufficiently before switching back to side-sleeping.

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Sleeping on the side should be avoided as it places unnecessary tension on the delicate nose tissues which have recently undergone a surgical procedure and thus are susceptible to injury. Thus, side sleeping as well as sleeping on the stomach is not advised for at least a month after the procedure.

Why Does It Take So Long After Rhinoplasty To Sleep On Side?

Rhinoplasty can either be performed as a reconstructive surgery that restores the form and functions of the nose or as a cosmetic surgery that changes the appearance of the nose.

As this is facial surgery, it is complex and thus recovery takes time. The nose after the procedure is very delicate and also malleable. Thus, extra care should be taken in the post-surgery stage to avoid any unfavorable contingencies.

If one immediately starts sleeping on their side, this could potentially compromise one’s results after the surgery. This could not only cause discomfort but could even have negative impacts on the recovery of the nose after the procedure. Hence, doctors urge their patients to sleep on their back after rhinoplasty.

Sleeping on the back minimizes uneasiness while sleeping and aids in the recovery of the swelling after the surgery. Post-surgery, patients are required to make certain adjustments for their benefit and fast recovery. One such change is required in the sleeping posture if one is used to sleeping on one’s side.

It takes approximately 6 weeks for the nasal bones to fully heal after rhinoplasty, but after 3 – 4 weeks, the nose can be said to have sufficiently healed in the sense that the rhinoplasty fixation of the nasal bones would have been established and would not distort with slight or gentle pressure.

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Thus, it is okay if one returns to sleeping on their side after a duration of 3 to 4 weeks but not immediately. Everyone takes a different time to heal and thus not a single duration can be defined for every person for their recovery after rhinoplasty. However, as far as possible, taking precautions to minimize tension on the nose would surely yield positive results.


Rhinoplasty patients are advised to sleep in a position that does not cause any harm to their noses. Thus, doctors recommend sleeping on the back in a way that the head is elevated with 2 – 3 pillows to minimize swelling and also is easier for the patient to breathe without any difficulty.

However, as each rhinoplasty is unique, so is one’s recovery after the procedure. As sleeping on the side increases the risk of burying the nose in the pillow, side sleeping should be avoided for at least 3 – 4 weeks after the surgery.

Also, even after several weeks post-surgery, patients must take care not to roll over in sleep onto one’s face as it could put pressure on the nose and ruin one’s rhinoplasty.



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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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