Rhinoplasty Recovery: Focus on Post-operative Swelling & Bruising:
Whether undergoing “closed rhinoplasty” or “open rhinoplasty”, swelling after rhinoplasty is normal. The reason that the nose swells after rhinoplasty has everything to do with the surgical dissection that occurs, resulting in local inflammation. If the nasal bones need to be surgically fractured during the surgery, you may expect slightly more swelling particularly on the cheeks and around the eyes. This is normal. Here are the steps that we take to help minimize post-operative swelling:
1) Dorsal Splint: At the conclusion of the rhinoplasty, a surgical splint will be placed across the nasal bridge. This typically stays on for one week and will help to minimize swelling.
2) Intranasal Splints: Swelling after rhinoplasty not only occurs under the skin, but also occurs inside the nasal airway. Dr. Brenner will place Doyle Intranasal Splints into the nasal airway at the completion of your rhinoplasty. This will serve to both stent open the airway, and also reduce intranasal swelling.
3) Nasal Taping: At the conclusion of the rhinoplasty, just prior to application of the the dorsal splint, Dr. Brenner will place surgical tapes across the nasal bridge and nasal tip. This tape will be taken off and replaced one week after your operation when your sutures are removed. After about two weeks of continuous nasal taping, you will be given instructions about how to “self-tape” and started on a regimen of nighttime taping.
4) Cold Compresses: Cold compresses do help reduce swelling during the initial 24 hours after your operation. However, cold compresses should only be placed on the cheeks and NEVER be applied directly onto your nose. If you place a compress onto your nose, you could potentially move the small cartilage grafts or bone segments.
5) Bromelain: Bromelain is an over the counter medication that is a derivative of a pineapple fruit extract. Bromelain has been shown to reduce surgical swelling and should be started the day prior to surgery.
6) Arnica Montana: Some patients will be bruised following rhinoplasty surgery. This is particularly true when the nasal bones are infractured in order to narrow the nasal width.
If you have done all of these things and think that your nose is still swollen, do not worry. This is normal. As a rule of thumb, you can expect the swelling in your nose to persist for 3-6 months in the upper third of the nose, 6-9 months for the middle third of the nose, and 9-12 months for the lower third of the nose. After a rhinoplasty, it may take as long as one full year for the swelling to do down completely at the tip.
*photos on this post are not actual patients of Dr. Brenner.