Rhinoplasty is a very popular surgical procedure that is often sought by people who want to refine and reshape their noses. As rhinoplasty is a facial surgical procedure, some people might assume that you could return to exercising soon after nose surgery. However, this isn’t the case. Even though the surgery is performed on your nose only, your body needs time to heal after a complex intervention. Performing any sort of intense activity too soon can negatively impact your results and slow down the healing. Prematurely injuring your nose while exercising soon after surgery can also result in post-surgical complications.
Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Jeremy Hunt has completed hundreds of nose surgeries in Australia.
Risks of Exercising Too Soon After Rhinoplasty
Any kind of physical activity will have an influence that will extend to the face. All in all, your entire body will need to heal and recover post-surgery if don’t want to impact your results. A moderate and intense workout can cause an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. As a result, you are at risk of bleeding, bruising, and other complications. You are also more prone to experience an increase in swelling which can delay the healing process.
You also have to protect your new nose from all forms of injury after the surgery. The tissues in your nose are extremely fragile at this point. Any kind of bumping or an impact could lead to long-lasting damage. You don’t want to ruin the results while you are healing. In order to protect your nose, it is best to delay working out until at least six weeks after surgery (or as advised by your surgeon).
Here are some general guidelines for exercising post rhinoplasty. You need to listen to your surgeon and your own body before doing any form of exercise workout. If you are feeling lightheaded, dealing with a throbbing pain surrounding your nose or witnessing an increase in swelling, STOP immediately.
Suggested Exercise Timeline for Nose Surgery (Rhinoplasty)
While every individual is different and will heal at a different pace, here is a general exercise timeline to follow post-surgery:
1 Week Post Cosmetic Nose Surgery (Rhinoplasty)
It is important to rest for the first seven days of the surgery. At this point, the only activity that is recommended is light walking around the house. Do not exceed 20 minutes at a time. Gentle walking will help to improve blood circulation, increase the risk of clotting and speed up the healing process.
At any point, if you feel fatigued, out of breath, have an increased heart rate, or are dizzy, it is important to stop immediately and let your body heal to prevent the risk of bleeding. Your main focus should be healing and recovery during the first week. Take all the pain medication timely to prevent the swelling and bruising to go down immediately. If you have any concerns contact your nurse or doctor.
Focus on resting and keep your body hydrated. At this point, you shouldn’t do any physically demanding activities, just gentle walking.
2-4 Weeks Post Rhinoplasty
During this period, your stitches and nasal splint will be removed if required. On the day of this appointment, you will need to take a 24-hour break from all sorts of activities. After that, you can slowly increase the strength of your walks or add low-impact workouts. You can gradually add no-contact, moderately-paced exercises to your routine. Some strength training activity is alright at this point as long as it doesn’t put a strain on your body (be sure to keep the intensity moderate). Avoid road cycling as it comes with a risk of falling down and this could be leading to a nose injury. While yoga seems like a gentle exercise, stay clear of inversions or any poses that require bowing your head forward.
You will be prone to bleeding if your heart rate gets higher when the blood flow is directed to your head. Your nose will be quite sensitive to all forms of bouncing, bumping, and touch. Running and swimming should be avoided at this point.
4-6 Weeks After Rhinoplasty
Once the first month of recovery has passed, you can slowly increase the intensity and duration of your exercise. Make sure to get a confirmation from your surgeon and keep listening to your body. Avoid doing any forms of exercise or indulging in sports that pose a risk of falling or getting bumped in the face. Most people can return to yoga inversions and start incorporating strength training workouts at this point. Always look out for overexertion and take breaks as needed. An ideal way to start getting back to your workout routine is to work with a professional trainer.
If your surgeon approves, you can also resume swimming. It all depends on whether your nose has healed fully or not.
6 Weeks Plus After Rhinoplasty
Most people will take around six weeks to recover fully in terms of healing structural tissues. This essentially means that you can return to higher-impact workouts. Even at this point, it is still a good idea to avoid contact sports.
Each patient is unique and can take several months to recover from the surgery. Your nose is still susceptible to getting injured. Hence, it is critical to get clearance from your surgeon. If you regularly play contact sports like soccer or hockey, it is important to get fitted for a protective mask and wear it for a few months.
Getting Back to Exercising
Pushing through the recovery a little too soon can alter the results of your surgery. You will never regret being kinder and more patient with your body when you needed it the most.
Even though you might not feel restricted and limited in your movements as compared to undergoing other procedures such as abdominoplasty, body lift (torsoplasty) or breast augmentation mammoplasty, it is important to realise that rhinoplasty is still a complex surgical procedure. So, be patient and take it slow.
You will be allowed to start light walking a day after the surgery. Dr Hunt encourages light walking to kick-start the healing process and prevent the formation of blood clots. Activities like running, jogging, and other aerobic exercises are to be avoided for the first week or two. You can add light aerobic exercises after two weeks if Dr Hunt has given you clearance to do so. This measure is taken to protect the stitches and allow your bones to heal properly. Your breathing will be obstructed for the first two to three weeks, making intense workouts more difficult.
Stay clear of any exercises that require you to bend over for the first week or two. It includes touching your toes, crunches, and lifting. For a week post-surgery, avoid lifting anything that is more than 2 kg. Yes, it includes your children (if you have any). The pressure caused by lifting and bending might cause the stitches to pop up and slow down the healing process. Limit your sexual activities for the first week. It is recommended to sleep alone to stay clear of any accidental bumping during the night.
Contact Sports and Heavy Lifting
If you are someone who loves to play contact sports, run hard, do heavy lifting, and other similar activities you need to know that returning to your regular exercise routine should only be considered once the initial six weeks after surgery are over. While it does sound like a very long period, it will protect you from all sorts of complications.
You can move your body freely only when your surgeon approves. Till then, stick to safer and bounce-free workouts. Opting for any kind of contact sports is not recommended for the initial six months. Refrain from spending a lot of time outdoors as it can lead to sunburn which might affect the healing process and cause swelling. Sunblock should be applied at all times while stepping out.
How Long Does Full Recovery Take After Rhinoplasty?
It can take around six weeks or more for your nose structures to reassemble and recover adequately. This is the point when you can resume your usual workout routine. As a general rule of thumb, please resume gentler, non-contact exercises at this point. You should start slow and be very careful regarding activities that require a lot of motion or bouncing. Stay clear of high-impact workouts such as aerobics, running, jogging, and jumping rope for the first six weeks.
As you will be resuming your exercise routine after a long pause, you should be very careful while easing back into your routine. It is not recommended to jump right back into a high-intensity yoga class or run the same distance as you used to. Stop exercising immediately if you are experiencing throbbing of the nose. Your body will signal you when it is time to stop. Pay attention and listen to it. If you are taking pain medication, your body signals won’t be as evident so you need to be even more careful.
When it comes to contact sports, you have to wait longer. This is due to the fact that they pose a serious threat to your nose and can result in major injuries. It is best to practice caution to prevent complications. As they say, it is better to be safe than sorry. Contact sports include basketball, football, hockey, baseball, and any other sport where there is the slightest chance of being hit by a ball or a person. That is why Dr Hunt might ask you to avoid those for three to six months. Make sure to wear proper protective gear even when you get back in the game.
Getting Back to Your Active Lifestyle & Exercising After Rhinoplasty
When you are an exercise enthusiast and have a very active lifestyle, it is very hard to take a break. However, it is essential for your recovery. This much-needed break will give your body due time to heal post surgery and protect your nose from any kind of injury. Keep in mind that there are a few things you can do to boost the recovery process.
Try to incorporate foods such as turmeric, ginger, pineapple and blueberries that have natural anti-inflammatory properties. Avoid excessively salty foods and drink enough water. Try to eat home-cooked meals instead of store-bought ones and sleep for a minimum of eight hours a night.
All these steps can help reduce your chances of complications after surgery. At any point during the recovery phase, if you notice any signs of complications, it is important to reach out to your doctor.
While a little bit of movement post-rhinoplasty is encouraged, you shouldn’t overdo it. Make sure to stick to the timeline provided and always consult your surgeon. Light to moderate activities can be resumed six weeks after the surgery. However, challenging training sessions should be postponed for a few months. The best way to go about is to hire a physical trainer who helps people who have just undergone a surgical procedure. Listening to your surgeon and your body at all times can help you prevent most surgery-related complications.
Further Reading about Rhinoplasty
- Read Dr Hunt’s Rhinoplasty page
- See Dr Hunt’s Real Patient Rhinoplasty Before and After Photos
- Blog How to find a Rhinoplasty Surgeon in Sydney
- Blog Ethnic Rhinoplasty – A Rhinoplasty for Different Ethnic Groups
Other Medical References about Exercising after Nose Surgery (Rhinoplasty)
- Getting a Rhinoplasty? What Can Be Fixed — And What Can’t – WebMD
- Rhinoplasty on Mayo Clinic site
- Key to a Successful Nose Job (Rhinoplasty) – WebMD
About Dr Jeremy Hunt – Specialist Plastic Surgeon
Careful, considerate and honest, Dr Jeremy Hunt works with you to find a solution that is suitable for your body and your lifestyle. Every patient is unique and requires a personalised approach to reach their goals.
Dr Hunt has provided his one-on-one service and attention to detail to thousands of women and men from the Sydney & Wollongong NSW area and across Australia.
Dr Hunt’s qualifications and education
Dr Jeremy A. Hunt MBBS FRACS graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine degree from Sydney University in 1990 and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and member of ASPS – the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons. He completed a Fellowship at the University of Texas in the United States, where he learnt from well-established and experienced plastic surgeons.
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Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health professional.