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What Are Nasal Exercises For After Rhinoplasty?

In many rhinoplasty cases where I have performed osteotomies (breaking the bone) I may ask my patients to do what we term are nasal exercises. Basically these involve pressure strategically placed along the side of the nasal bone using the patients’ fingers. During the rhinoplasty procedure we break the bone and reshape the nose to the desired position. A cast is then placed to fixate the bones during the first week or so. Once the cast is removed, the bones typically stay in their new position until they fuse completely around 6-8 weeks out from surgery. In some cases, however, the bones may drift slightly right after the cast has been removed. Sometimes this will not be visible for 1-2 weeks more because the overlying soft tissue is swollen and conceals the displacement. If the bone is noted to have drifted once swelling has subsided (appearing asymmetric or crooked), nasal exercises are recommended to get it back into proper alignment. This is a critical window of opportunity since the bones are still mobile and malleable up to 8 weeks out from surgery. Specific instructions to begin doing exercises should be provided by your surgeon as sometimes more pressure should be applied on one side versus the other (do not initiate this process on your own!). Usually the exercises are done 15-30 times throughout the day. Patients continue doing the exercises for up to 6-8 weeks. After that time the nasal bones are no longer mobile due to fusion of the fracture line, but hopefully by then the bridge is shadowing in a more symmetric, refined fashion.

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