during the 10 days follwing my secondary rhinoplasty involving nose-lengthening (and correction of over-exposed nostrils) with septal and ear cartilage grafts, i have accidentally exerted pressure on the tip with my heating pad, unknowingly because it was so numb. i went out everyday with a surgical mask and since it was quite tight, everytime i took it out my nose tip was red. did i flatten the grafts on my tip? i noticed my nose tip became flatter especially after the most exertive episode.
Will Nose Tip Flatten with Added Pressure After Tip Grafting?
Doctor Answers (5)
It is unlikely that you have done any damage to the grafts. The person that would really have the best answer is your surgeon.
Pressure on nose tip following Rhinoplasty
There's no way for any of us here to tell you for certain that you did or didn't shift something or rupture sutures inside your nasal tip. Pressure, on the nasal tip, immediately (first month) after a Rhinoplasty is never beneficial and can cause stitches to break or tear cartilage inside. You should see the plastic and cosmetic surgeon that did your Rhinoplasty ASAP for an evaluattion and further instructions.
Changes to the tip after cartilage grafting
It is not too likely that you caused any serious problems with your nose, but you should have your surgeon evaluate. You are only 10 days out from surgery and it is very difficult to tell what the final result will be. Your nose will change quite a bit over the next 6 months to a year. I would be very careful about heating pads, especially on numb body parts, and I doubt it will help you much in your recovery. It may cause your nose to swell a bit more than if you did nothing. Also avoid any pressure on the nose for at least 3-6 weeks after surgery. The best thing is to follow up with your surgeon and follow his direction. That is the best way to get the optimal result from your procedure.
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10 days is a decent amount of time after revision rhinoplasty, maybe the pressure from the mask caused the redness. I wouldn't worry too much, but bring it up to your plastic surgeon and see him/her if you are concerned. I agree with Dr Johnson, you shouldn't need a surgical mask, just let your nose breathe normally. If you pinch the mask too tight, it could leave indentations or shift the grafts around. The splint you probably had was all the protection you needed. Just be patient, let it heal, see your surgeon, and see how it goes.
Careful rhinoplasty recovery
It sounds like your secondary rhinoplasty was quite complicated and you should have taken greater care. Heating pads are a danger after all cosmetic surgery as sensation is less than normal and healing tissue is much more sensitive to a burn. And the pressure of a face mask? Really, give your nose a week at least after rhinoplasty, perhaps two to give yourself a good start toward recovery. Your surgeon will help you sort out what you might have done.
Best of luck,