Rhinoplasty is a popular facial surgery procedure, more commonly known as a nose job in Sydney. Its immediate purpose is to reconstruct the nose, nasal bridge, tip, or nostrils, typically for aesthetic improvements or functional correction. Some patients –for example, someone who suffered a serious injury that broke or deformed their nose– may need correction for both. These cases may sometimes require additional surgery or secondary rhinoplasty.  

Inflammation is a normal side effect of almost any surgery. Your body undergoes structural changes, which can lead to swelling, bruising, and discomfort during the healing process. This is standard and will usually go away on its own. However, in some cases, patients might have uneven swelling after rhinoplasty or severe inflammation. Feel free to reach out to your surgeon for a follow-up if you have any questions about how your surgery is healing. 


Post-Op Tips For Swelling After Rhinoplasty

Overall, there will be some swelling, inflammation, bruising, pain, and discomfort that patients will likely experience during the healing process following a nose job. There are ways you can help control swelling after rhinoplasty, however. Here are some great tips:


Keep Your Head Elevated

This is one of the most important tips as it can help drain the blood and excess fluid from the area. Whether it is lying flat, bending over or even looking down for extended periods, elevation can help relieve pressure and keep the fluids from building up. You should also sleep in a semi-sitting position –propping yourself up on pillows can be extremely helpful– to avoid any pooling around the surgical site while you sleep.

Nose Swelling

Apply Ice Packs and Cold Compresses

It’s pretty common to use ice or a cold compress to alleviate inflammation in the muscles, and it can also be an excellent way to gradually reduce swelling after rhinoplasty. It can also help to numb the area and slow the blood flow, which helps with bruising and discolouration. This is usually most effective in the first 48 hours (20 minutes on and 20 minutes off) after your procedure, and should be done as needed throughout the recovery period. 

A cold compress can be made by placing a clean, wet towel or cloth in a plastic bag in the freezer for 15 minutes. If you plan to use ice, remember to wrap it in a towel or cloth to avoid it touching directly your skin. Be sure to avoid placing anything directly on your nose, as the pressure might be uncomfortable and irritate the surgical site. Instead, place it on the surrounding areas, such as your forehead or eyes. 


Follow Proper Taping Instructions 

For most nasal surgery, a splint will be worn until the stitches are removed. From there, the nasal tape might be used to help maintain the desired structure as it heals. Your surgeon will likely provide instructions for how to properly tape your nose, as well as when you can remove the tape. After some weeks, most patients can transition to using it while they sleep. Regardless of what your unique instructions may be, it’s important to follow them accurately! This can help ensure your nose heals properly while helping to prevent or reduce scarring.


Use Arnica

Arnica is a natural, herbal remedy that is extremely helpful with combating inflammation, bruising, and pain in soft tissues. It’s available in various forms, including topical creams, ointments, and gels, as well as in tablets that can be taken orally. For rhinoplasty recovery, its recommended to use it topically in the areas around the surgical site – but be sure to avoid any open areas or broken skin. 


Try to Avoid Sneezing, Coughing or Crying

It’s nearly impossible to prevent yourself from involuntarily sneezing or coughing when the urge arises. Unfortunately, however, these type of violent jerking actions can put patients at high risk for irritating their stitches, causing them to bleed or potentially burst. 

Avoiding cigarette smoke, allergy triggers (like pollen or pet dander) can help reduce your risk of sneezing or coughing! Crying can irritate the surgical site as well, plus it can lead to congestion.


Don’t Forget to Hydrate

You might experience dry mouth, throat, or dehydrated sensations while your nose is swollen. Be sure to drink plenty of water, avoid high sodium foods and alcohol and consider using a humidifier at night to help alleviate any discomfort.


How to Deal With Swelling After a Nose Job

Swelling after rhinoplasty typically lasts for 10 – 15 days after surgery. This varies, of course, but most patients will start to see a visible improvement in any inflammation and discolouration by the second week. There may be some fluid retention left behind, which will slowly alleviate over time and full results will begin to show over the next six to twelve months. Call us today at (02) 8880 5116 to schedule a complimentary consultation with our experienced Consultant!

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