Swelling after plastic surgery is a concern for many patients. “When will I look normal?” is often asked by Washington DC area patients who want to get back to work without drawing unnecessary attention. A previous blog post reviewed some methods to help reduce swelling after facial cosmetic surgery, such as avoiding excess salt, using arnica montana tablets, and keeping the head elevated.
Rhinoplasty swelling lasts for several months, even up to a year or longer. Fortunately, a majority of the swelling resolves soon after surgery. The nose may swell a little bit before shrinking back down after the nasal cast comes off one week after surgery. After the first couple weeks, only the patient or plastic surgeon will appreciate the swelling as it doesn’t normally draw attention from friends, family, or strangers. Approximately 80% of the swelling has resolved around 4-6 weeks after surgery and continues to improve with time.
Some patients swell more than others following rhinoplasty. Set expectations appropriately as every patient differs in the recovery process. These other rhinoplasty specific factors for increased swelling after surgery include
- thick skin
- open rhinoplasty
- revision rhinoplasty
Nasal swelling can occur for many other reasons apart from surgery as well. Factors such as diet, hormones, emotions, temperature, medications and supplements, dust or smoke exposure, gravity, and allergies all contribute to swelling. The nose may appear more swollen on some days and smaller on others during recovery from these factors.
Above is an example of a rhinoplasty patient a few months and a few years after cosmetic nasal surgery. She had a closed rhinoplasty by Dr. Chaboki, which avoids external incisions. As you can see, the nose becomes more refined with time.
Considering rhinoplasty or nasal surgery for a deviated septum? Contact the office to schedule a consultation.