Do steroid pills decrease post-operative swelling with rhinoplasty? What are the pros and cons?

Doctor Answers 3

Steroid Pills and Rhinoplasty

Thanks for your question.  I typically don’t give steroid pills after surgery to reduce swelling and bruising.  We do provide some steroids intraoperatively, but not postoperatively.  However sometimes, my patients do take Arnica to help with postoperative recovery along with head elevation and icing.  It really depends on your plastic surgeon’s preference.  I hope this helps. 

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Steroids and Herbals like Arnica can help bruising and swelling

This is great question and there has been a number of studies looking into how to reduce swelling and bruising after rhinoplasties. The results haven’t always been consistent but the data suggest that steroids, cooling with ice and head elevation are beneficial. Herbal medications, like Arnica Montana and Bromelain, have also been shown to help and even be as effective as steroids. Everyone responds differently to steroids. The typical short term tapered dose packs are very well tolerated but may result in anxiety, hyperactivity and difficulty sleeping. If you have a bad reaction you can stop and it should resolve itself quickly.

Corey S. Maas, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Steroids to reduce post rhinoplasty swelling

I definitely believe in using steroids to reduce post rhinoplasty swelling, and have for many years. I actually give a dose intravenously before the procedure at the time of surgery. To reduce potential complications of these medications, They are only given for a few days, in tapering doses. The benefits outweigh the risks by far. The most common side effects I have seen are transient heartburn and trouble sleeping, which are easily treated.

Harrison C. Putman III, MD
Peoria Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

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