Revision Rhinoplasty for Other Form of Swelling?
- Asked by darendas
- 4 years ago
I am a 44 year old male, and had a Rhinoplasty revision done. It has been 10 1/2 months post-op. I had a Septoplasty and a Rhinoplasty to remove a large hump (cartilage). I am experiencing swelling in the morning, after a night of drinking. I have had five "kenalog" injections from my plastic surgeon, and have had a fraction of less swelling with every injection.
If the swelling is not scar tissue, and is a form of an edema, will a revision help? My plastic surgeon said he'd have to do it opened again. But, if I just got the septum fixed, he said that he wouldn't have to open it.
Septoplasty and/or rhinoplasty can both be done through a closed technique
Kenalog shots that are placed in the internal portion of the nose help with dissolving scar tissue and removing lymphatic edema that gets trapped in the supratip area of the nose. Cortisone injections do come in two different strengths, Kenalog-10 and Kenalog-40. A septoplasty and/or rhinoplasty can both be done through a closed technique, not an open technique. A septoplasty will not affect any edema of the supratip area of the nose.
Be careful of steroid injections
Five steroid injections may have helped with some swelling, but steroids have a way of thinning skin and causing vascular proliferation (additional blood vessels). Your skin is thick, not uncommon for a 44 year-old man. No matter how little swelling you have, the thick skin will not allow the underlying architecture to show like you see in young women with thin skin.
I am not sure that surgery will help you any more. I would also be very careful with more steroid injections. Your nose looks relatively straight and it is not uncommon to have it pull down when your smile. There is a small procedure that can cut a muscle that predisposes to pulling down. It can be done from within the mouth, but the results can be variable. Ask your doctor about it, and consult with someone used to doing multiple revisions.
A revision won't help swelling
I don't think you can expect any improvement if your revision surgery is aimed at helping your swelling improve. Rhinoplasty is a delicate procedure and each revision carries with it more risk, in particular for a bad cosmetic outcome.
The operation needs to be focused on correcting a specific anatomic problem, and if this cannot be identified before the procedure, I would avoid any more surgery. It does sound like the kenalog injections have helped-- this, with time (sometimes 12-18 months for some open rhiniplasties) may be what it takes.
Web reference: http://www.drsalemy.com
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Swelling after rhinoplasty can occur
The skin soft tissue envelope is one of the most important elements in rhinoplasty surgery. An experienced rhinoplasty surgeon has great respect for the skin and soft tissues, since they realize that this is the most difficult element to control. If this is damaged or the lymphatics disrupted it can be difficult if not impossible to re-mediate perfectly. This can be a difficult problem to get a satisfactory result.
It is most likely to be cartilage.
Chances are that it will not resolve after this amount of time and steroid injections. It is probably cartilage or excess scar tissue and this will require a revision. You may seek another opinion from an experienced revision rhinoplasty surgeon.
It sounds as if you are still healing.
With revision rhinoplasty, a surgeon typically reopens previously operated upon tissue. This can place even more scar into the surgical space than before. Also, the lymphatics or fluid draining vessels may be slower to recover creating prolonged edema. The fact that steroids are helping indicates that the inflammatory process that is part of normal healing is being controlled.
A revision for swelling will probably only make things worse because the tissues would get traumatized for a third time. It is very easy to create a lumpy, amorphous nose from too much surgery. Unless your breathing is severely restricted, I would stop touching the nose for a long while to let your body settle itself down. The steroid injections can certainly continue but only if the benefits outweigh the risks.
Surgery does not help swelling
It is unclear what your problem really is. If it is truly swelling, then surgery will not help. It can take a very long time for swelling to resolve after rhinoplasty and it sounds like the steroid injections are slowly working. If the issue is anatomic (residual hump) and not truly swelling then you may need revision surgery. Good luck.
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.