Facial Reconstruction w/ Rhinoplasty - Long-Term Swelling?

I was in a accident a year ago and since then I've had multiple facial reconstructive surgeries. The latest one on my nose was to be the final one and give me those nose we were working toward but it has been three weeks now and i still see no difference. To give some info, the surgery took 12 hours and this is the third time within 9 months the area has been operated. He used rib graft as well. Could this be why it is still so swollen? When will I see results?

Doctor Answers 3

Reconstructive rhinoplasty: Results take time

After a rhinoplasty, most patients require ~10 days of social downtime during which time the majority of the swelling and bruising of the nose resolves. However, the final results of rhinoplasty surgery can take up to 12-18 months. During this time the nose become increasingly refined as the small bit of residual swelling in the skin of the nose disappears. At 3 weeks, particularly after a major reconstruction of the nose with rib cartilage, you still have a ways to go before your nose has reached its final result. 

Best of luck,

Dr. Mehta

Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Swelling After Reconstruction/Rhinoplasty

Final results following rhinoplasty and, certainly, nasal reconstruction usually take a full year. However, it seems like you have had extensive surgery over the past year requiring multiple staged procedures. As a craniofacial surgeon, I treat all types of complex facial injuries involving the skull and soft tissue and it is not uncommon to progress to the next reconstructive stage every 3 months. However, a final result will still require a full year from the last procedure (not the first) to be appreciated.

Jeffrey Weinzweig, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Results From Extensive Facial Reconstruction (Rhinoplasty Can Take Months To See

While most of the details of your original facial injury and the latest round of facial reconstruction are not given, it is fair to say that your last surgery was quite extensive. If it took 12 hours to perform that would be a long and extensive operation. Even without knowing any details, I would expect that three weeks is too early to see any details of the outcome and it will likely be months before you will see visible results.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

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