Overdoing it 4 weeks post-op. Tips on reducing swelling? (photos)

I saw my Dr this week and he said that my nose is too swollen and that I am overdoing it. The tip is what is swollen - it feels hard. What can I do to reduce swelling? Eat better, walk slower, don't lift much...? I've read applying ice wouldn't help at this point. I can feel throbbing in my nose when I walk too fast or pick up certain things. I just want to do as much as I can to reduce the swelling as I don't want it to get stuck at this swollen point.

Doctor Answers 6

Post Operative Rhinoplasty Swelling

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Your surgeon should provide instructions to you regarding nasal exercises, lymphatic massage, reducing sodium, eliminate heat exposure, reduce exercise, sleep elevated, and many other post operative care instructions that will help your swelling dissipate. Speak with your surgeons office as this is their responsibility to go over all of the instructions that they want you to follow. Best regards, Michael V. Elam, M.D.

Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 218 reviews

Swollen nose

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Thank you for sharing. There are numerous strategies for dealing with post operative swelling. The majority of swelling is gone by 2 weeks. The last amount subsides by 1 year. It is hard to decide how much swelling you have without pre-op pictures. Follow up with your surgeon. I recommend topical treatments to some patients with swelling. Best wishes!

Tips to reduce nasal tip swelling

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If you are experiencing throbbing in your nose, then you are probably overdoing it. A few tips that I provide for my patients to reduce swelling are

1) Limit sodium intake(this is probably the best tip to follow)

2) Being upright most of the day

3) Directed compressions to certain areas of the nose(this is only done after I explicitly show my patients where and how to do this).

4) I will do a steroid injection to the nasal tip to help expedite swelling.

Hope this helps. Best of luck. 

Michael T. Somenek, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon

Rhinoplasty swelling, how to fix it?

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Hi NewNose,

Thanks for your question and photos. It certainly is swollen. Tape as mentioned helps. Arnica Montana Helps as well as lymphatic massage. Take it easy by exerting yourself and most importantly be patient. The nose takes several months if sometimes years to reach its final result while still adjusting years later. Good Luck!


All the best,

Carlos Mata MD, MBA, FACS

#rhinoplasty   #swelling        

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Carlos Mata, MD, MBA, FACS
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Post-operative Exercise

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Thank you for your question.  It is certainly easy to over-extend yourself after surgery.  I agree with your surgeon to try and rest as much as you can, to help keep swelling in your nose to a minimum.  I advise my patients to abstain from strenuous exercise for 4 weeks after surgery.  They also will tape the nose nightly, up to 4 weeks after surgery, as well.  I would advise you to follow the post-operative care instructions given by your surgeon.  The good news is that once the swelling has resolved and you are healing, you should be able to resume your normal exercise and activity routine. 

I hope that this helps!

-David Gilpin

David Gilpin, MD
Nashville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Recovery after Rhinoplasty

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4 weeks after your surgery, swelling can definitely be a result of over-exerting yourself.  What type of physical activity are you doing?  

I advise all of my patients after rhinoplasty to avoid any strenuous activity for up to 4 weeks. This includes avoiding any activity that will increase your heart rate and get you "hot and sweaty."  Good examples are lifting more than 10 pounds, any jogging that increases your breathing rate, walking up and down many stairs, and a prolonged yoga session.  Avoiding all strenuous activities will help improve swelling over time.

In addition, I would also recommend keeping your head elevated when sleeping.  Use a couple of pillows or sleep in a recliner to keep your head at a level above your heart.  This can also help improve swelling around your nose.

As you mentioned, eating better can also be of benefit.  Good, light, healthy foods and foods that are low in salt/sodium are good choices.

These techniques (along with giving your body time to heal) should help reduce your swelling.  If you do not see an improvement over several days, I recommend you visit your surgeon to make sure nothing else is going on that needs attention.

Best of luck.

Kyle T. Yamamoto, MD
Reno Facial Plastic Surgeon

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.