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Can Sleeping On My Side Ruin My Rhinoplasty Results?

By: Dr. Christopher Khorsandi


As you begin preparing for your rhinoplasty recovery, you may be booking time off work, lining up help around the house, and stacking your Netflix queue. One thing many patients forget about, however, is setting up an appropriate place to sleep. Not only can the right sleeping position enhance your comfort during rhinoplasty, but it can also safeguard your results. Use this helpful information from renowned board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Christopher Khorsandi and the award-winning team at VIP Plastic Surgery in Las Vegas, NV to better understand what to expect after rhinoplasty, including how you may need to adjust your sleeping position for the most efficient, comfortable, and successful recovery possible.

What does rhinoplasty do?

From making subtle cosmetic enhancements to dramatically improving a patient’s ability to breathe freely, the possibilities with rhinoplasty are virtually endless. Some of the most common concerns that can be addressed or corrected with Las Vegas nose surgery include:

  • Wide nose
  • Narrow nose
  • Bump in bridge of nose
  • Crooked nose
  • Asymmetric nose
  • Hump in nose
  • Bulbous nasal tip
  • Wide nostrils
  • Small nostrils
  • Flat nose
  • Hooked nose
  • Upturned nose (“pig nose”)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Deviated septum
  • Trouble sleeping/sleep apnea
  • Snoring

Depending on the nature and severity of your concerns, Dr. Khorsandi may recommend one of the following rhinoplasty techniques:

How long is rhinoplasty recovery?

Rhinoplasty healing stages can vary from patient to patient based on the type of rhinoplasty performed, the patient’s overall health, and other factors. Generally speaking, most patients need about 5 – 7 days to recover from rhinoplasty, though the final results may take up to 6 – 12 months to develop as the residual swelling subsides and the tissues fully settle. During your consultation and preoperative appointments, Dr. Khorsandi will provide you with a comprehensive list of rhinoplasty aftercare instructions, which may include:

  • Get plenty of rest
  • Stay hydrated
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • Do not smoke
  • Avoid alcohol consumption
  • Take medications as prescribed
  • Do not wear glasses, sunglasses, or anything else on the nose
  • Do not pull clothing directly over your head/nose
  • Do not place direct pressure on your nose
  • Do not bend over or invert your head
  • Do not blow your nose
  • Sleep on your back with your head elevated

How to sleep after rhinoplasty

One essential factor in a successful, comfortable, and speedy rhinoplasty recovery is to sleep on your back with your head elevated. This helps to reduce discomfort and swelling, promote healing, and minimize the risk of complications. For patients who typically sleep on their side or stomach, this may seem challenging. However, most patients naturally feel more comfortable back-sleeping during their recovery period. If you are concerned about inadvertently rolling over during your sleep, which may damage your delicate nasal structures and compromise your results, sleeping in a recliner may be helpful. Alternatively, you may try putting extra pillows or rolled-up towels at your sides to create a nest-like effect that prevents you from shifting positions.

How long do you have to sleep on your back after rhinoplasty?

While you may be anxious to return to your preferred sleeping position, it is critical that you continue sleeping on your back with your head elevated for about 7 – 10 days after rhinoplasty, or until cleared by Dr. Khorsandi. Returning to side-sleeping or sleeping on your stomach too soon may compromise your cosmetic or functional results and lead to the need for a second or subsequent procedure.

Put your best face forward with advanced rhinoplasty in Las Vegas, NV

Whether you struggle to breathe comfortably or desire better harmony between your facial features, nose surgery can help. To learn more about advanced rhinoplasty in Las Vegas, NV, call VIP Plastic Surgery to schedule your private in-office or virtual consultation with internationally recognized board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Christopher Khorsandi today!

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.