How long does internal swelling last after alar batten graft? (photo)

I'm 6 weeks post op. The area where the graft (conchal) was placed is almost touching the other side of my nostril. Surgeon removed some sutures 1 week post op and that is when I noticed the swelling start to increase. At this point I've seen no improvement in weeks and I am very concerned. Is collapse possible? Scar tissue? I'm not due to see doctor again for another few weeks. See attached photo.

Doctor Answers 5

Displaced cartilage

Generally, the majority of the swelling in this region should resolve in 6 weeks. A good measure for persistent swelling is whether you see swelling externally in he nose. If there is persistent swelling and it is firm, this may be the cartilage graft. If it is causing problems with breathing (determined by your doctor with the modified cottle maneuver), you can generally expect that this will not significantly improve with time. The cartilage may have migrated or have been displaced if this is the case. This can only be formally corrected with a revision surgery.

Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon

6 weeks post op, some advices:

Thank you very much for enquire.Swelling after a rhinoplasty depends of the surgery complexity.
In this regard, the nasal swelling Post-op It can last from two weeks to two months.
To reduce this swelling, I recommend you perform delicates daily lymphatic drainage massage therapy over the face (around the nose) avoid sun exposure, and take pain/inflamation pills, as your surgeron precribe you.
Kind regards, 
Dr. Emmanuel Mallol Cotes.-  

Emmanuel Mallol Cotes, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 270 reviews

Post graft swelling

In the nose, particularly along the lower lateral cartilages, Swelling can take a few months to resolve.  It has to do with the characteristic of the soft tissue - the overlying skin is very adherent to the underlying cartilage with poor lymphatic drainage, and the inside sits at the border of the lining of the internal nasal tissue and the hair-bearing "external" skin.  When patients get severe swelling, it can take quite some time for it to go down - I usually say 2-3 months, but it can take up to 6 (depending on your skin type, maneuvers performed, etc).  Hang in there.  Time will tell if you need anything to help fix your breathing, but for now, it is still too early to tell.  continue to keep your doctor in the loop such that any issues can be determined and taken care in a timely manner.  Btw, great shot of the inside of the nostril - that is particularly tough! Best of luck.  I hope some of this helps.

Miguel Mascaro, MD
Delray Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Nares swelling post graft

You may well still have swelling that is making the issue worse. I would wait at a minimum six months and possibly longer for a final evaluation. If the external cosmetic result is good and it does not interfere with breathing, I would not do anything about it.

Robert H. Hunsaker, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Resolution of soft tissue swelling after rhinoplasty

It takes many months for swelling to completely resolve after a rhinoplasty, especially in the tip area, which cannot be compressed with a splint that first week after surgery.  Congratulations on posting should a good photo - it's really hard to show intranasal anatomy with photos.  But I can see exactly what you're talking about.  Batten grafts are used in this area to treat alar (lateral nostril wall) collapse on inspiration.  Had you had a previous rhinoplasty?  These are usually placed to correct collapse from a previous procedure.  At any rate, the swelling should eventually completely resolved, but we may be talking months here instead of weeks.  You don't mention if you have airway blockage on that side or not.  Be sure to keep all of your postop appointments. Best of luck in the healing process.

George H. Pope, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 19 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.