Septorhinoplasty: Help with Swelling 11 Days Post-op? (photo)

I had an open septorhinoplasty 11 days ago. I know it is very normal to still be very swollen, and continue to be swollen for up to a year. I just wanted to know if there are any things I can do to help the swelling go down. Should I still be sleeping with my head elevated on three pillows? What about icing my nose? Any tips? And my nose is very runny, should I tell my ps?

Doctor Answers 5

Medications help with swelling after rhinoplasty

Hi Nosegirl1990;

Eleven days after rhinoplasty is not long for the nose healing period.  Yes, it can be swollen for up to a year, but the fact is, generally, at three months, 90% of the result is in.  100 days is the magic number for all surgeries in the body, whether it is heart surgery, lung surgery, hernia surgery, or rhinoplasty.

With response to your question on what you can do to help reduce swelling, yes, it is helpful if your head is a bit elevated.  There is not much else you can do except to take medications that your doctor may prescribe.  A short course of "cortisone" or steroids may be indicated. 

The thing to do now is to go back and visit the cosmetic surgeon and have him check you out.  He will look inside the nose after he has anesthetized it and will have a good chance to feel, observe and check all aspects.  If your nose is runny, there should be a reason for that, and he will be able to help you.

Frequent postoperative visits are always advisable.  I am sure your doctor wants you to come in if you have any questions.  Good postoperative care is as important as good surgical technique.  

Robert Kotler, MD, FACS
Original cast member, Doctor 90210

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Septorhinoplasty: Help with Swelling 11 Days Post-op?

Return to your surgeon for closer follow up and MORE post operative guidelines to care and healing....

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Swelling following septorhinoplasty

Keeping your head elevated while sleeping is generally recommended to help minimize swelling. Refraining from bending over also helps, in addition to taking it easy during your initial recovery. Overexerting yourself too soon can also lead to swelling. I would recommend following up with your surgeon regarding any additional concerns, as they know the details of your procedure and exactly what was performed. I hope this helps, and I wish you the best of luck.  

Paul S. Nassif, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Septorhinoplasty: Help with Swelling 11 Days Post-op?

Dear NoseGirl.

Thank you for your question and photos.  Every surgeon is different, but I take off the tape at one week.  Your surgeon may be leaving the tape longer to hold cartilage in place.  The tape will keep the tip swollen longer, but may be necessary depending on how your surgeon stabilized the cartilage.  I would keep sleeping with head and back elevated, like in a recliner, and avoid vigorous activities that get yout blood pressure up, or bending over, getting the blood pressure to the face higher.

best wishes,

Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Minimizing swelling after rhinoplasty


Thank you for the question and the photos.  Congratulations in making the leap to undergo a rhinoplasty.  Time is perhaps the biggest factor for swelling to improve.  I think you are on the right track in terms of keeping your head elevated.  I think ice can help early on but you will want to follow your plastic surgeons instructions on that one as each plastic surgeon likes to do things differently.  A runny nose early after a rhinoplasty procedure is not uncommon either.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 162 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.