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Facial plastic surgeons are divided as to whether nose compression techniques, such as nasal massaging, are a good idea following rhinoplasty. The basic idea behind nasal compression techniques is to reduce swelling and/or scarring in order to encourage optimal results. If you are planning on having rhinoplasty (nose surgery), your facial plastic surgeon may or may not recommend that you use these techniques.

One compression technique that some rhinoplasty surgeons recommend is to press the nasal bones together with the fingers in order to help cartilage maintain its position and avoid becoming crooked. In this exercise, you hold the nasal bones together for one minute a few times a day.

Any cartilage that isn’t removed may return to its original position. When this occurs, some nose surgeons advise their patients to gently push the cartilage in the opposite direction from where it “wants” to go. The cartilage is held for 30 seconds to one minute, about 10 times a day, for one month.

Some surgeons also recommend that their patients squeeze the tip of the nose to reduce swelling, and press the nose during healing, as the new shape is forming.

A major reason certain surgeons recommend massage or compression exercises following rhinoplasty is that any swelling can lead to scar tissue, which in turn can change the shape of the nose. However, it should be noted that many surgeons advise against these techniques. Still others believe it is a good idea in some situations, such as when scar tissue is forming, but that it is inadvisable on the whole. Many of those who come down on the side of not recommending compression techniques after nose surgery believe that the cons outweigh the pros. Specifically, they believe the risk of shifting the healing nasal structures outweighs any benefits.

To learn more about nasal compression techniques and find out if they are right for you, speak with your facial plastic surgeon.