Best Way to Reduce Swelling 2 Months After Rhinoplasty?

Hey...I recently had open rhinoplasty done about 2 months ago and pretty much most of the swelling had gone away...until about a week ago I was on spring break and I was drinking alcohol and smoking (both cigarretes and marijuana) and i noticed that the next couple days my nose looked bigger(swollen) in the tip and is this normal? What can i do to get the swelling down??

Doctor Answers 8

Swelling After Rhinoplasty

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Some patients experience transient swelling after rhinoplasty with activities such as exercise, sun exposure, and alcohol consumption.

This swelling should go down gradually. Taping the area above the tip can sometimes help.

If the nose becomes more swollen, more tender, or becomes red -- signs of infection -- an evaluation by your surgeon is recommended.

Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 149 reviews

Tips to Reduce Swelling Post Rhinoplasty

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As a cosmetic surgeon, I am very involved in my patients’ healing process and want them to feel as comfortable as possible, as soon as possible. The following are various suggestions I relate to my patients in order to promote healing and to reduce swelling that is still prevalent even months after surgery. Try to stay away from alcohol and smoking, and try to cut salt out of your diet. Moderate, controlled exercise can actually stimulate healing (walking 30 minutes a day is most recommended). Finally, make sure that your head is elevated at all times; try not to bend down and drop your head, and sleep with your head raised above the rest of the body (2-3 pillows work best).

Sam Rizk, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Swelling Two Months after Rhinoplasty

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I'm confidant you did no permanent harm, but now you must be patient as the swelling resolves, Circulation in your nose is not normal, and therefore you had an unfavorable response to the alcohol and sun exposure. It would be smart to schedule a follow-up appointment with your surgeon.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

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Reduce swelling of nose

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There are no magic bullets for this.

Occasionally, steroids are injected but this would not generally be advised in your case.

You may want to seek the advice of your plastic surgeon to make sure that all is well and that this is not a sign of a deeper underlying problem.

In the short term, sleeping with your head elevated and using ice compresses may provide some relief.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Sun and fun after Rhinoplasty

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Just stop doing what caused the swelling. =)
In general, your nose has less natural protection from the sun right after rhinoplasty. All the tissue was just elevated off of the internal structure of the nose, including the bone and cartilage, and blood vessels were coagulated in order to do this. There fore we weakened the nose's natural defense since we weakened its blood supply. This blood supply grows back , but it can take quite a bit of time to happen. In the first 6 weeks, your nose is less naturally resistant to UV rays and is more likely to burn and get discolored. Also, since your nose is mostly numb early on, its less likely that you are to notice the problem until its too late. I recommend you stay out of the sun as much as possible in the first 6 weeks after surgery. If you are in the sun for short periods of time, stay in the shade, and wear a big hat and a good sunblock. Do not wear sun glasses in the first 6 weeks, or any glasses for that matter, if osteotomies were performed, (breaking of the nasal bones). You can get your nose wet as soon as the splint comes off, but I would be careful about chlorinated pools early on until the incision is fully healed an more mature, as the chlorine can irritate the incision. The gym and anything that increases you blood pressure will increase the swelling of your nose and delay your healing time. I recommend 6 weeks for this as well. Sometimes it can take longer for your skin to mature, even a year and more in some cases. I suggest that you wear sun block for at least a year every day while out in the sun.Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Recurrent swelling after rhinoplasty

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Recovery after rhinoplasty will vary based on the person, characteristics of the nasal tissues and what was done during surgery.

It can take somewhere in and around 12-18 months for postoperative swelling to completely resolve and to see the final results. The areas with thicker skin in the nose such as the tip, alar rims and radix may require longer to settle. Also, there appears to be a linear decrease in swelling for the first several months followed by a period where the swelling fluctuates (sometimes little or no swelling and other times more swelling) before the nose settles. Some factors that may exacerbate postoperative swelling include factors that cause fluid shifts and water retention in the body such as drinking alcohol or a high salt diet. Additionally, factors that cause increase sweat production such as warmer weather can also contribute to skin and soft tissue swelling postoperatively. Sometimes, taping of the nose can help encourage the resolution of swelling. You should continue to follow-up with your surgeon and follow your surgeon's recommendations.

Improving Swelling After Rhinoplasty

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The best way to improve swelling after rhinoplasty is taping, massaging the nose, sun avoidance, keeping it elevated as much as possible and then tenture of time. It will take up to a year to see the final result from the swelling after a primary rhinoplasty.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon

Swelling after rhinoplasty

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Post operative swelling is an expected occurrence after rhinoplasty and it takes months to completely subside. Extra caution is needed especially in the first 3 or 4 months to avoid situations where inadvertent trauma or stresses do not irritate or injure the healing skin and underlying cartilages and bone. This would include avoidance of sunburns, physical bumps, activities that decrease circulation, and taking safety measures to protect it from people and objects such as the steering wheel! You might see some increases and decreases from day to day the first few months. For most patients, the passage of time helps the most:  usually 12 months at least but sometimes as long as 2 years may pass before all of the soft tissue swelling has subsided. 

Donn R. Chatham, MD
Louisville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 75 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.