I Am 5 Days Post Op from a Rib Revision. When Will The Swelling Subside?

I just got cast off and while the tip was derotated well and nostrils look great, my nose looks like a long molded chunk of playdoh stuck onto my face. I did not have grafts on my bridge, just around nostrils and columnella, though I did have my nasal bones infractured. It is very disconcerting to look like an alien even though I know swelling is partly to blame. Is it normal to look like this and for how long? My doc does not want me to ice anymore, what else can I do to speed healing?

Doctor Answers 3

5 days after rhinoplasty is very early

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In cases of revision rhinoplasty, 5 days following significant surgery is too early to tell what the final outcome will be like.  Everyone swells after rhinoplasty, and some individuals swell more.  Your nose looks like a blob on your face because your nose is actually a moving component of your face.  During the early part of your recovery your nose will not move because the muscles of the face that move your nose are also healing from your rhinoplasty.  I have been told by patients that they feel like an Avatar character during the first week of recovery from their rhinoplasty only to have them thrilled with their results a week later.  I also tell my patients to expect swelling and that they should not expect their final result until months following surgery.  If the swelling is particularly pronounced a steroid injection may help to expedite the resolution of some of the swelling.

Chevy Chase Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

You just hit max swelling.

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What you describe is very normal.  Your nose is at maximum swelling at day 5 typically.  With time and compression this will settle down.  Noses that undergo revision rhinoplasty surgery can take longer to evolve than primary rhinoplasty noses.   Normally, it can take at least one year to finalize a nose, so be patient as you have a while to go.  Go speak to your surgeon about after care options to optimize your nose surgery recovery.  Keep the lines of communication open because revision rhinoplasty is difficult and patients need to be prepared for longer recovery times.

Good luck,

Dr. Shah

Manish H. Shah, MD, FACS
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

How long will swelling last post revision

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This is very normal for a revision that is extensive enough to require a rib graft. You get more sweliing and it takes longer to subside. I advise all my revision patients that we are embarking on an 18-24 month process intil we see complete healing. There will be lots of improvement stops on the way but be patient and be prepared for a long healing time.

Michael L. Schwartz, MD
West Palm Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 12 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.