How Can I Help Reduce Columella & Tip Swelling Post Rhinoplasty?

While I know the healing process takes months, especially for open procedures such as mine, I would like to know if there is anything I can do to assist the healing. I had a 5 hour surgery, septorhinoplasty. I had a deviated septum, enlarged turbinate & dorsal hump fixed, as well as grafts to the tip. Should I still be sleeping upright 4 weeks post op? Will this help? Will reducing sodium help? Thank you in advance.

Doctor Answers 10

Reduction of Columellar and Tip Swelling

At this time the best treatment for your swelling, in addition to what your doing, is patience. You do not mention when you had your surgery, but it sounds like you have a good understanding of the healing process. Follow your surgeon's instructions.

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

A few tips to reduce swelling...

It’s not unusual for patients undergoing rhinoplasty to have prolonged swelling.Several factors, including the use of open rhinoplasty, fracture of the nasal bones, thickness of the nasal skin, and a previous rhinoplasty have been associated with lengthened swelling.
Most patients will note significant swelling for about two weeks following surgery.After two weeks, most patients are comfortable resuming their normal lives and going out in public.
Swelling will persist in most patients for at least one year following surgery with the nasal tip being the last site to experience resolution.In the immediate post-operative period, nasal splints, elevation of the head, low salt diet, ice and rarely steroids can be used to minimize swelling.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

To speed up healing

Only a generous application of tincture of time will releave swelling.No diet or ice or positon will help now. I have used medrol dosepak and flonase which have helped in some caes..Patience patience

Richard Ellenbogen, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Swelling after rhinoplasty

Swelling after rhinoplasty takes months up to 12-18 months to fully subside. Initially elevation, ice and perhaps small amounts of cortisone injections can help. But in the long run you just have to be patient and keep following up with your surgeon to assure that you are on the right course.

Andrew Pichler, MD
Sacramento Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Rhinoplasty tip swelling.

It takes 6-12 months for the swelling to go down and doing the things you mentioned will make little difference. Only time--be patient and the swelling will go away.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Tip swelling following rhinoplasty.

As you have mentioned, one of the drawbacks of open rhinoplasty is prolonged swelling of the nasal tip.  In the early postop period, several measures are used by surgeons such as sleeping with the head elevated, cold compresses and oral steroids in order to try and minimize the swelling.  After the first 1 to 2 weeks, these measures do not provide any measurable benefit and it becomes a matter of time to allow for the normal healing processes to proceed.  Steroid injections can be used for isolated areas of prominence starting at 3 to 4 weeks but are not without risk such as dermal atrophy which can result in permanent contour deficiencies.  They should be used with caution.

Mario J. Imola, MD, DDS, FRCSC.




Mario J. Imola, MD, DDS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Swelling after open rhinoplasty

The swelling is still going to take some time to go down after your rhinoplasty. At this point, sleeping position or dietary changes will not make much difference. 

Sometimes, injecting a small amount of steroids into the swollen regions can help the swelling to resolve faster, particularly if you have thick skin.

Talk to your surgeon to see if that might be an option for you. Otherwise, hang in there and give it time.

Best wishes,

-Dr. Jamil Asaria, FACE Cosmetic Surgery, Toronto



Jamil Asaria, MD
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 131 reviews

Nasal swelling takes time to subside - and patience

There is little that you can do at this point in time to accelerate the reduction of nasal swelling. Realize that it can take up to a year for the swelling to maximally resolve. Sleeping with your head elevated will probably have little effect on the overall swelling.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Healing after a rhinoplasty

Healing and the resolution of swelling following a rhinoplasty takes times.  A significant amount of reduction occurs within the first four to six weeks following rhinoplasty surgery but it may take up to a year for the swelling to completely resolve.  Based upon the photos you seem to be following a normal post operative course.  Sleeping with your head elevated at this point is not likely to result in any significant resolution.  The best thing is going to be a tincture of time.  If the swelling persist, you can talk with your rhinoplasty surgeon about massaging or taping the nasal tip as well as the use of nasal steroids.

Anthony E. Brissett, MD, FACS
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

How to help reduce swelling in the tip after a rhinoplasty

 The amount of swelling in the nasal tip is dependent upon the skin type and the surgical procedures performed on the nasal tip.
  To reduce swelling in the nasal tip there is a combination of procedures that can be performed in the postoperative healing phase. These include Blenderm  tape applied across the nasal supratip at night to help prevent fluid retention in that area. Cortisone shots by your surgeon can also help reduce swelling to limit the lymphatic edema present in the supratip area of the nose. A low-salt diet will also help prevent fluid retention in the nose as well.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 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.