Swelling 4 Years After Rhinoplasty - How Can I Determine What's Causing It?
- Asked by itzz_sheena in Bangalore, India
- 5 years ago
I have undergone four consecutibve rhinoplasties, first 2 at a gap of 6 months, and last at a gap of 4 years. The second last rhinoplasty involved cartilage graft and lot of other changes, like filing of bone of nose. After that rhinoplasty, I have always felt my nose to swell as soon as I experience exposure to heat, even minor exertion, eat spicy or hot food. This also causes a condition like chording where the skin inside my nose feels pulled.
Finally sleeping, fresh air gets back my skin to normal. Moisturizing the skin also helps a bit.
I contacted a lot of doctors, including my PS and all they could diagnose is that due to subsequent rhinoplasties, there is excessive scar tissues in my nose, which causes disruption of lymph flow.
I came across this question on RealSelf about rhinoplasty swelling and I'm wondering if the cartilage graft is the real problem? I never had a infection, but the rhinoplasty swelling is recurrent even after 5 years of my second last surgery.
Can somebody please clarify, if there are some tests to identify the real cause behind the swelling?
Nasal Swelling After 4 Rhinoplasties
There is no test to determine the "real" cause of your nasal swelling. It seems that your swelling fluctuates and is worsened when there is increased blood flow to your nose (exercising, etc.). The doctors that advised you are likely correct in explaining that what you are experiencing is due to scar tissue and lymphatic and blood flow. Hopefully your symptoms will resolve with more time. Be well.
If truly swollen you should see another surgeon
What you describe sounds like you "feel" it is swollen. That's different than it is swollen and changes shape. Sometimes patients have strange feelings from there nose after surgery. These paresthesias usually last only a few months but may last longer. There is no treatment for this.
If there is actually swelling that recurs you should see a surgeon to make sure you don't have an infection or a cyst. We see patients routinely who have had 4 or more rhinoplasties who actually have thin noses and no swelling and no lymph blockage.
Swelling long-term after rhinoplasty
Swelling at this late stage can possibly be due to poor lymphatic drainage after several previous procedures.
If it is only related to activity, then this is the likley diagnosis. If it happens at other times for no specific reason, then perhaps it could be infectious in nature.
Is there any drainage or redness to the nose? Althought I doubt this will give you answers, sometimes an MRI of the nose may be helpful to check for inflammation and infection.
Recent Rhinoplasty Reviews
Swelling After Rhinoplasty
Swelling is normal after rhinoplasty. In a primary rhinoplasty, most of the significant swelling subsides in the first 3-6 months, but can take up to one year or longer if the patient is a male or has thick skin. For secondary rhinoplasty, it take 1 ½ - 2 years and can be compounded if they’ve had other procedures as well especially if they’ve had grafts done along with the procedure. If abnormal swelling occurs several years after rhinoplasty, it can be due to an infection. However, this is very uncommon.
4 rhinplasties in 4 years ... what is swelling on my nose?
You don't have a simple problem. There are many reasons that swelling can occur in your nose; anatomical changes in the nose; soft tissue scarring which includes blood and lymph vessels, fatty tissue, fiberous tissue, cartilage, bone and skin. In the post operative process there are an increased number of blood vessels that come in to the area to assist healing. These usually mature and go away. However,if they persist they can cause significant swelling upon increased activity. Sometimes this is difficult to diagnosis. You need to work with your surgeons to test for this. You might also consult a dermatologist to assist you in evaluating the scar tissue for you. Also remember there are certain infections that are more common in India than the US, so you may have what we in th US would consider an unusual infection (fungus , tubuculosis, etc.) that we never see. A dermatologist might be usful in that regard as well.
In any event, you need to be seen in person by a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to assist you in making a decision as to what is best for you. I hope that this is helpful for you . Jon Sattler, MD Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Glendora, California.