Slight Crookedness and Swelling Normal After Septoplasty?

I had Septoplasty to straighten my nose because it was very crooked, especially at the top. The doctor told me I could remove my cast ten days after the surgery. When I took the cast off, my nose was very straight and it was narrow at the top and I was pleased. The next day when I woke up, I looked in the mirror and noticed that my nose had swelled up at the top and the bone also looked slightly crooked at the top but not as bad as it was before surgery. It seemed the bone was going back towards the way it was. It's been four days and it is still like this. Is this normal or is my nose going to stay slightly crooked?

Doctor Answers 3

Slight crookedness and swelling after nose surgery

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After a septoplasty and rhinoplasty, you should expect to have swelling throughout your nose. You should notice some significant changes immediately after the surgery, however your final results will only be apparent after your swelling has resolved which is in 6 to 8 months after surgery. At this time, it's best to be patient and to await your final results.

Nasal septal surgery rarely alters the external nose

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In medicine terms are very precise and meaningful. A SEPTOPLASTY is an operation to straighten the nasal septum. The septum is a midline partition in the nose comprised of bone and cartilage. A SEPTORHINOPLASTY is a procedure to change the shape of the nose and includes a septoplasty, but also involves complex surgery on the structural support of the nose. A RHINOPLASTY is a procedure to change the shape of the nose, not involving any septal surgery.

From your description it is not clear that you did not have some procedure to straighten the nasal bones (since a septoplasty would not achieve this). It is not uncommon for some swelling after a nasal procedure. It is best to see your surgeon and outline you concerns. The surgeon can examine your nose and then determine if this swelling is normal or whether it represents a potential complication such as infection or hematoma.

Robert Mounsey, MD
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon

Nasal Surgery Recovery:

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It is not uncommon for the nose to swell significantly after the cast or splint has been removed and for the appearance to change. If only a septoplasty was performed it is unlikely that the change in the external appearance will be permanent. However, if your nasal bones were broken, you should see your surgeon right away to make sure that the bones have not shifted.

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.