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How can I decrease swelling after Rhinoplasty Surgery?

By: Dr. Shabnam Ghazizadeh


How long can swelling last after rhinoplasty?

Have you been thinking about a nosejob or rhinoplasty to improve the appearance of your nose? If so, you're not alone. Rhinoplasty surgery is the most common facial plastic procedure and can improve breathing as well as enhance the appearance of the nose. At Dr. Ghazizadeh Facial Plastic Surgery, Newport Beach, CA board-certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Shabnam Ghazizadeh helps patients like you achieve their ultimate aesthetic goals and get the nose you have always dreamed of. See below to learn more about what to expect during rhinopalsty recovery, including how long your swelling may last.

How does cosmetic nasal surgery or rhinoplasty work?

Rhinoplasty, or a cosmetic nose job, is the surgical solution to reshaping the external nose to enhance the appearance and function of the nose. A nose job, or rhinoplasty, is the surgical procedure for changing the shape of the nose. Because the nose is so central within the face, a nose surgery can make a huge impact in improving one’s appearance. The operation can also address breathing problems related to the nose.

While rhinoplasty, or nose job, is commonly known, most people don't realize it is the most difficult of all the surgeries performed in facial plastic surgery. This is due to the complex three-dimensional structure of the nose as well as the challenge of preserving structural integrity while improving shape and appearance. Generally rhinoplasty involves accessing the internal and underlying structure of the nose -through a closed or open technique -  to sculpt the underlying cartilage and bone to achieve the desired shape. 

Rhinoplasty performed by an experienced specialist ensures more predictable and long-term results. There are a wide variety of “problem areas” for which nose surgery patients have been successfully treated. These areas include (but are not limited to):

1. Bump or hump on bridge of the nose

2. Crooked nose

3. Bridge too wide

5. Visible angles or ridges of nasal bones

6. Nasal tip too wide or irregular

7. Nostrils too flared or wide

8. Nose too long

10. Nasal tip asymmetric

11. Nasal tip pinched

12. Nasal breathing obstruction


What to know about swelling after rhinoplasty

Swelling is a natural part of the healing process following rhinoplasty. While each patient’s recovery may vary, it's normal to experience swelling for up to 1 year after cosmetic rhinoplasty surgery. However, it's important to note that the duration of nasal surgery swelling can depend on various factors, such as the specific rhinoplasty technique used, the amount of grafts placed in the nose, the patient’s skin thickness, and adherence to post-surgical aftercare guidelines. For example, ultrasonic rhinoplasty or piezo rhinoplasty — which is a gentler technique that avoids a hammer and chisel to reshape the nasal bones — often produces less post-treatment swelling and can result in a shorter recovery period. If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of rhinoplasty and piezo surgery, don’t hesitate to discuss this with Dr. Ghazizadeh during your consultation.

How can I reduce rhinoplasty swelling?

While swelling is an expected part of the recovery process, there are some measures you can take to manage and reduce swelling, including:

Take medications as prescribed: Dr. Ghazizadeh often prescribes patients a short course of steroids to reduce immediate post operative swelling, this can help immensely beneficial to jump-start recovery and decrease unwanted swelling from peaking

Nasal taping after surgery: Dr. Ghazizadeh will likely recommend taping the nasal skin after surgery depending on your procedure and skin thickness. Nasal tape after rhinoplasty minimizes swelling and the likelihood of unwanted scar tissue – which can cause prominent contours and bumps that can distract from the final rhinoplasty result. 

Elevate your head for 2 weeks: Keeping the head elevated above the heart level can help reduce swelling by promoting proper fluid drainage.

Apply cold compress: Cold compresses can be placed near and around the nose after nasal surgery. This will help reduce swelling, manage pain and enhance overall comfort during the early stages of recovery. 

Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated can support the healing process and aid in reducing swelling. Reducing excessive sodium intake can also be helpful.

Following your procedure, Dr. Ghazizadeh will provide you with detailed rhinoplasty aftercare instructions to help ensure your recovery experience is as comfortable as possible.

Set yourself up for a successful recovery after rhinoplasty in Newport Beach, CA

If you're considering rhinoplasty, seeing a rhinoplasty expert and understanding what to expect during recovery is an important part of making your final decision. At Dr. Ghazizadeh MD, Orange County board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Shabnam Ghazizadeh and our dedicated team are committed to providing comprehensive care, education, and guidance throughout your cosmetic rhinoplasty journey. Schedule a consultation at our Newport Beach, CA practice to learn more about the benefits of rhinoplasty for changing the shape of your nose and boosting your confidence today. 

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.