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Rhinoplasty: If I keep the cast and tape on for longer than 2 weeks, will it reduce the amount of swelling after it's removed?

I plan to get Rhinoplasty and I will need a dorsal hump removal (osteotomies), refining of the tip (I don't have thick skin), and possibility nostril reduction. I don't want to experience a lot of swelling, so I was wondering if I kept the cast on for longer will it reduce the swelling, in comparison to, if I took the cast off 2 weeks after surgery?

Doctor Answers (6)

Keeping the cast and tape on for longer than 2 weeks, will it reduce the amount of swelling after it's removed?

+2
Swelling and healing vary significantly from patient to patient.

In general keeping the cast or tape on longer than 2 weeks should not improve or speed up your recovery.

I would suggest you find a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) or facial plastic surgeon (ENT) that you trust and are comfortable with. You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person and follow his or her instructions.

Robert Singer, MD FACS

La Jolla, California


La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Rhinoplasty: If I keep the cast and tape on for longer than 2 weeks, will it reduce the amount of swelling after it's removed?

+2
No. This will not create any change in the amount of swelling that is present when the case is eventually removed. It will likely create a ton of white heads and pimples on your nose, however, as the cast, tape and glue tend to block the pores in your nasal skin.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon

Stephen Weber, MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Tape on nose after rhinoplasty

+2
Keeping the tape and splint on the nose for two weeks or longer will not probably decrease the swelling.  The tape itself may cause irritation if kept on too long.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

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Rhinoplasty: If I keep the cast and tape on for longer than 2 weeks, will it reduce the amount of swelling after it's removed?

+1
The cast and tape will not help if worn for a prolonged period of time.  A closed rhinoplasty will have less swelling than an open rhinoplasty.

The nose can be swollen for up to a year or more. Swelling will depend upon the nature of maneuvers employed, presence of grafts or implants, thickness of skin, open vs closed, revision vs primary, etc.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 237 reviews

Taping the Nose After Rhinoplasty

+1
It may not benefit you to keep the tape on the nose for longer than 2 weeks after surgery. This tape that was placed at the conclusion of your rhinoplasty is not likely to be tight enough on the skin by the 2 week mark after surgery. However, it may benefit you to begin taping the nose nightly after this point to help encourage the skin to 'shrink wrap' down. This is something I have many of my patients do after rhinoplasty. However, it should only be done with specific instructions offered to you by your rhinoplasty surgeon.

John M. Hilinski, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Rhinoplasty cast or splint - how long

+1
Most surgeon leave the cast/splint on for 1-2 weeks.
I aim for 1 week because it tends to come off on its own if left on for longer - an then patients think something bad has happened.
I also have found in some patients that if it is left on for longer than 1 week then get acne on their nose.
So this is what I do to decrease swelling (has proven to be affective in personal experience with 100s of patients and/or from evidence based medicine).
1) Head elevated following surgery for at least 72hrs
2) Oral steroids
3) Diuretics in some patients
4) Low salt/low carb, grain, dairy diet for 2 weeks before and two after (many stay on longer due to increased energy and sustained weight loss).
5) Tape nose after splint off for about 3-5 days
6) no strenuous activity for 3 wks after surgery

This is not meant to be medical advice, just what i do for my patients.
Those interested can cheek out at austinfaceandnose.com or drweinfeld.com

Adam Bryce Weinfeld, MD
San Angelo Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.