Rhinoplasty cast removal: What to expect & when to remove explained

Rhinoplasty makes your nose become vulnerable for weeks after surgery so it is almost inevitable to support it with extra protection like nasal tape and cast. That is why rhinoplasty cast removal time, indicates the sensitivity timeline of your nose as well, and people wonder when they will be able to get rid of this unfashionable protection.

Here we covered everything you need to know about cast removal after rhinoplasty, its benefits, and what could go wrong while the cast is attached to your nose. First, as you might be curious, let’s talk about what is a nose cast for after a rhinoplasty operation.

What is a nose cast for after rhinoplasty?

A nasal cast after rhinoplasty surgery is basic coverage for the nose attached after a rhinoplasty operation to sustain its shape. The benefits of the cast are well documented and it certainly does help in the healing process. It comes in variations and is often accompanied by additional holders like nasal splints.

How does it work for your nose?

Rhinoplasty nose cast will gently squeeze your nose in the correct form and will help your nasal bones, cartilage, and soft tissues to be in the right position (1). Thanks to this gentle grip it is also helpful in reducing swelling, which is one of the most common side effects of rhinoplasty.

Now that you have a base knowledge about nose casts, let’s see what to expect during a rhinoplasty cast removal and what awaits you while the cast is on.

Here’s rhinoplasty cast removal and what to expect

The cast is removed when your nose no longer needs it. When the day comes to remove your cast, you should not expect anything that will make you feel uncomfortable. The process is quick and easy. Besides when your nose is revealed that will definitely make your day.

Upon the rhinoplasty cast removal time, you might be a little bit impatient and might have had some accidents. That is why it is good to know when will your cast be removed, what could go wrong while your cast is on, or what you can do in these certain conditions.

When to remove the cast?

The cast needs to be removed after a while and it should be done by your surgeon only. The removal time differs for every individual and your surgeon’s preferences but, you should never try to remove your cast on your own. Or else, you might ruin the surgery results. How long does the cast stay on after rhinoplasty, then?

The cast stays on your nose for about 7 days after surgery (2). For some others, this might be longer depending on the surgery type and individual differences.

What happens if you get your cast removed early rhinoplasty?

From the moment you wake up, till the removal process after surgery, you should not manipulate your cast and protect it from getting wet until the removal day come. However if somehow it got folded up, loosened, and displaced the first thing you need to do is to contact your surgeon.

Your surgeon either arranges another early appointment or gives you directions on how you can put it back. Only if you had contact with your surgeon, and they allowed you to do it, follow their instructions, and remove your cast if necessary.

How to prepare for cast removal?

First of all, there is nothing to be scared of, just relax. You do not need to worry about pain management during cast removal of rhinoplasty, because it is not painful. So, how to prepare for the removal process?  She/he may advise you to take a shower on the day of the cast removal appointment. It will soften the cast and make it easier to take off.

You need to make sure that the cast is wet enough. This way, you will help the removal process go smoothly. Your surgeon may instruct you to wet the cast by gently splashing water on it. Just follow your doctor’s instructions, they will guide you through the whole process and when the day comes, enjoy the new view of your nose for the rest of your life.

How is the cast removal process?

It is a delicate process for sure, but not as hard as your surgery. Here, we listed the possible things rhinoplasty patients will experience. What to expect during your cast removal? Here is a step-by-step guide to cast removal. Your surgeon will:

  1. Loosen each side of your cast, sometimes with a lubricant or alcohol
  2. Gently curve it out of your skin with a metal or plastic stick
  3. Get under your cast and displace it from your skin
  4. Then finally wrap up the whole cast off

Surgeons generally use dissolvable stitches, but if there are, they also remove the non-dissolvable stitches during your cast removal process.

What to do if there is resistance during cast removal

No need to worry, surgeons use lubricants and dissolving liquids before removing your cast off. This means there cannot be any resistance during cast removal. Your nasal cast can easily be removed from where it is attached.

What to expect after the rhinoplasty cast removal

The moment after your cast is removed, you will have a freshened feeling over your nose and it will be your first chance to see your rhinoplasty results. Although a minor amount of swelling may persist and even a slight increase can be seen, it won’t hinder you from taking selfies.

In addition to persistent swelling, bruising might not have fully subsided yet. Through the end of your second week, you will get rid of it too. To cover the bruising a quick makeup is all you need, then enjoy attending your meetings or have fun with your friends at this time with your newly shaped nose.

In some cases, surgeons recommend and apply additional nose tapings for another week after your cast is removed. Especially if you have taken a revision rhinoplasty, since your nose will be more fragile, tapings might be repeated and kept for longer recovery periods.

Are there any additional instructions?

To have better results and keep the nose shape intact, you should be following your surgeon’s recommendations even after the cast and tapings are removed. Though there are many in the recovery process here are some care instructions for the nose after cast removal:

  • Continue not blowing your nose for a week
  • Take a shower but make sure it is not deadly hot water
  • Avoid strenuous exercises
  • Keep your head elevated while sleeping
  • Wait for another week to wear your glasses
  • You might continue using saline solutions

Around 5-6 days later on your cast removal, you might slowly turn back to your daily life activities. Your nose bleeds less or does not bleed at all at this point. Most of the swelling starts to subside 2 weeks post-op, and 80% of it will be gone after a month.

Curious minds want to know: get the facts about cast removal

One might have lots of queries at the appointments and not all of them come up to your mind. Here, we answered some of them to set your mind at ease and if possible to help you. Let’s see what are the common questions that patients ask about cast removal after rhinoplasty.

How often should I clean my nose after cast removal?

One might have lots of queries at the appointments and not all of them come up to your mind. Here, we answered some of them to set your mind at ease and if possible to help you. Let’s see what are the common questions that patients ask about cast removal after rhinoplasty.

How often should I clean my nose after cast removal?

You can just clean your nose as you do at regular times at this point. If you were using the saline solution you may continue using that for a while. Make sure to go easy on your nose with gentle pressure since there will be healing tissues. Make sure to keep your nose moist.

When can I wear glasses after cast removal?

Wearing glasses after rhinoplasty surgery might disrupt and jeopardize the healing process. While wearing light glasses over the cast is okay, when the cast is off, you should not wear glasses for two weeks. Within the first month your nose will be fragile, so protect it against any external forces. Contact lenses might be your solution here.

Is it normal to have pain after cast removal?

Our answer is no, pain is generally not expected after cast removal or splint removal. If you think you have constant pain after your cast is removed, contact your surgeon and inform them about this situation. It might be due to any injury, damage, or infection.

Showering after rhinoplasty cast removal

As long as you keep the cast dry until the removal day, you can take a shower after a rhinoplasty operation. Your nose will still be delicate at this point so do not squirt water directly on your nose.

What happens when your cast falls off after rhinoplasty

No need to worry, the chances are really low for your cast to be displaced or fall off. If it does, first let your doctor know about this. You might need to visit your doctor to place it back or they might tell you to leave it off and only to be careful until the next appointment.

Why do they leave the cast two weeks after rhinoplasty?

Your surgeon may keep the cast on for two weeks or more to ensure the success of your surgery. This is particularly true for revision surgery, which is more difficult than the initial surgical procedure. The cast may even be needed for an additional week after surgery. Some surgeons use internal splints for added protection.

Why did my surgeon remove the cast earlier?

The surgeon may remove the cast earlier depending on the severity of the surgery. Of course, you can ask your surgeon if rhinoplasty cast removal after 3 days is dangerous or not, and they should come up with a proper explanation. However, you should never assume you can remove your cast whenever you want, as you may increase the risk of complications.


(1): Mahler D. Securing of the nasal skin under the cast in rhinoplasty. Aesthetic Plast Surg. 1986;10(4):235-236. doi:10.1007/BF01575295 Link

(2): Fichman M, Piedra Buena IT. Rhinoplasty. In: StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; March 6, 2023. Link

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