Rhinoplasty Swelling Stages

A nose job, or rhinoplasty, is a popular surgical treatment that changes or resizes the nose for functional or cosmetic reasons. One of the most frequent worries following a rhinoplasty is swelling, making patients uneasy and anxious. This article will cover what causes swelling following a nose job, rhinoplasty swelling stages, how long swelling usually lasts, how to treat swelling, and when to get concerned about extreme or ongoing swelling.

What Causes Swelling After Rhinoplasty?

Following rhinoplasty surgery, swelling is a typical side effect of the healing process. The manipulation of the nasal bones, skin, and cartilage during the surgical procedure may damage tissue and blood vessels. To heal the injured tissues, the body launches an inflammatory reaction in response to the trauma, which causes swelling. Several factors, including the type of surgery, the length of the treatment, and the patient’s healing abilities, might affect how much swelling each patient experiences.

3 Rhinoplasty Swelling Stages

  1. Acute swelling: This may last for up to two weeks and happens right after surgery. The nose can feel sensitive, painful, and swollen at this point.
  2. Subacute swelling: This occurs between the second and fourth week following surgery. Even if swelling is reduced at this point, inflammation and discomfort may worsen.
  3. Late swelling: This occurs between the fourth and twelfth week following surgery. Most swelling must have gone down by this point, although some may remain and impact the nose’s final appearance.

Because the eyes and nose are so close, you can also see some redness, bruising, and swelling in these areas.

Note: Although everyone’s recovery from a rhinoplasty procedure heals differently, the nose usually takes up to a year to recover fully and show the desired rhinoplasty results. Patients should adhere to their surgeon’s post-operative advice during this period, which may include refraining from strenuous exercise and using a bandage or splint to support their nose while it heals.

Normal Rhinoplasty Swelling Timeframe

Following a rhinoplasty, there are several stages to the healing process; with time, the swelling typically decreases. It is a general timeline regarding the recovery process following a rhinoplasty:

  • Week 1: Significant bruising around the cheeks, eyes, and lips; puffiness at the tip of the nose; asymmetry; uneven swelling; trouble breathing through the nose; splint and nasal bandages; and above.
  • Week 2: There has been a substantial reduction in swelling; leftover bruising can be hidden with makeup, and the new nose shape becomes more different. If work is not too rigorous, return to it, and avoid extreme activities for up to 6 weeks.
  • Weeks 3-4: There has been a significant reduction in swelling, mostly absent obvious surgery scars, a more defined new nose, clearance for mild exercise, and the potential for chronic swelling in individuals with thick skin or those undergoing revision rhinoplasty.
  • Months 2-3: Full results start to appear, healing and swelling continue, and the stable bone structure permits the use of glasses and the restart of weight-bearing exercises.
  • Months 3-6: The relief of tingling or numbness in the skin or within the nose begins.
  • Months 6-12: Visible results include minimal swelling, relocated cartilage that completely fits into the new shape, and a more refined nasal tip.

Revision surgery, substantial nasal reconstruction, and skin thickness and texture are some factors that can affect the period of rhinoplasty recovery.

Tips For Handling Swelling After Rhinoplasty Procedure

To minimize post-operative swelling and accelerate the recovery process, follow the following tips:

  • Observe the aftercare instructions provided by your surgeon.
  • After surgery, keep your head up for a few days.
  • Apply ice packs to your nose every 1–2 hours for 10–20 minutes during the first three days.
  • Avoid intense activities for 2–3 weeks.
  • For at least a week following surgery, refrain from blowing your nose.
  • Apply sunblock to your nose to prevent sunburn.
  • Avoid swimming for a week.
  • Limit your salt intake to help in a quicker recovery of swelling.

When to Be Worried About Post-Rhinoplasty Swelling

While a certain level of swelling following a rhinoplasty is normal and expected, there are particular cases in which excessive or ongoing swelling could be the reason for concern. Get in touch with your plastic surgeon right away if you encounter any of the following:

  • Severe swelling that either stays the same or becomes worse with time
  • Unequal swelling that persists for longer than a week and appears asymmetrical
  • Swelling accompanied by excruciating pain, fever, or drainage from the injury
  • Difficulties breathing from the nose because of swelling.

Symptoms and Signs of Complications After Rhinoplasty

While complications following rhinoplasty procedures are uncommon, it is essential to be prepared for potential issues. Among the symptoms and signs of complications are:

  • Infection: Fever, increased discomfort, skin redness, and pus-filled discharge from the surgery site.
  • Hematoma: A blood clot under the skin that results in discomfort, swelling, and discoloration.
  • Septal perforation: A hole within the nasal septum that causes breathing difficulties, bleeding, and crusting.
  • Skin necrosis: Dead skin tissue as a result of a damaged blood supply, which causes the skin to scab and discolor.

Contact your surgeon immediately if you have concerns about a rhinoplasty consultation and suitable treatment.

Residual Swelling

Residual swelling may occasionally last longer than anticipated after healing. Previous experience of revision rhinoplasty or thick nasal skin are two possible causes of this swelling. It is essential to exercise patience, even if this extended swelling can be annoying. Talk to your surgeon about any concerns you have about any remaining swelling so they can offer advice on how to handle this problem.

Facial Swelling

Some patients may also have face and nose swelling following rhinoplasty surgery. Usually, this swelling will decrease briefly as the healing process advances. Remember that recovery from a rhinoplasty needs time, so allow your body to heal completely. See your surgeon for advice and reassurance whenever you have issues with your swelling or recovery.

Nasal Passage Blockage

Breathing through the nose can occasionally become challenging due to temporary blockage of the nasal passages caused by swelling following rhinoplasty. To relieve nasal congestion, use saline nasal sprays as your surgeon directs. Contact your surgeon to discuss possible reasons and treatments if you have severe or ongoing nasal obstruction.


How to Relax and Boost Healing After Rhinoplasty

Encouraging a calm and restorative environment is crucial to a healthy recovery from a nose job. The following tips can help you relax and recover from your procedure:

  • Follow the aftercare instructions provided by your doctor.
  • Get lots of rest.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  • Eat a well-balanced meal with minerals and vitamins to aid your body’s healing process.
  • To ease stress and promote relaxation, try deep breathing techniques and meditation.
  • When returning to regular activities, heed your surgeon’s advice and refrain from physically demanding activities.
  • Recovery requires patience and a positive attitude.

Tips On How To Minimize Post-Nose Job Swelling

Take into consideration the following tips to help reduce swelling following your rhinoplasty procedure:

  • Use cold compresses on your face and nose for the first 72 hours following surgery as your surgeon directs.
  • Sleep with your head raised for the initial few days following surgery.
  • At least two to three weeks should pass between intense activities and exercise or as your surgeon directs.
  • Reduce the salt you consume to aid with swelling and fluid retention.
  • Drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
  • Eat a diet rich in minerals and vitamins and a balanced diet to help your body recover.
  • Attend every follow-up appointments and adhere to the aftercare instructions provided by your plastic surgeon.

These tips can lessen swelling and encourage a speedy recovery from your rhinoplasty treatment. Remember that the healing process requires patience, and you must allow your body time to heal properly.

Choosing Your Rhinoplasty Surgeon in Newport Beach

Select a surgeon for a procedure as invasive as plastic surgery who can not only meet your specific needs and goals but also give you the support and care you require before, during, and after the process.

Dr. Brennan is a board-certified facial cosmetic surgeon in Orange County with expertise in facial plastic surgery intended to assist patients in reaching their desired aesthetic results. Dr. Brennan develops extensive and inventive procedure plans to provide transformative and natural-looking outcomes. Renowned for his rhinoplasty and facial rejuvenation expertise, Dr. Brennan and his esteemed team take great pride in providing patients with individualized procedures and the best care available in Newport Beach.

If you are considering a rhinoplasty in Newport Beach, you can schedule an appointment with us by calling (949) 644-1641.