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How Do You Reduce Swelling After a Rhinoplasty Revision?

Jacky Gale | August 13, 2020 | Posted in Revision Rhinoplasty

It’s normal to experience some side effects after having any type of plastic surgery, including a revision rhinoplasty. For rhinoplasties in particular, swelling is among the most noticeable issues. Fortunately, it’s also temporary. There are a few things you can do to help the swelling subside more quickly. However, you shouldn’t try to rush your recovery. Get plenty of rest, take care of your health, and follow your post-operative discharge instructions.

A quick look at revision rhinoplasties

A rhinoplasty is a plastic surgery intended to correct the function or improve the appearance of the nose. Unfortunately, not all rhinoplasties turn out the way the patients had hoped, and so it’s sometimes necessary to get a second surgery, called a revision rhinoplasty. Revision rhinoplasties are far more complicated and can require a slightly more intensive recovery process with a little more swelling than the first surgery.

Post-rhinoplasty swelling tends to linger. Patients typically see significant improvements within 10 days and after three months, the majority of the swelling should be gone. However, it may take up to a full year to completely resolve all lingering swelling.

How to help reduce the swelling after a rhinoplasty

Immediately after your surgery, you can begin taking steps to minimize the swelling and inflammation. You’ll want to get plenty of rest after your procedure, but make sure you always lie down with your head elevated. If you have an adjustable bed frame, keep the headboard section elevated. Otherwise, use extra pillows under your head. This helps fluids continue to drain downward from your face, which prevents excessive swelling.

Place cold compresses on your forehead and/or cheeks. It’s critically important to avoid placing the compresses on top of your nose or in a manner that exerts any pressure on your nose. During the first 48 hours post-op, use ice packs for 20 minutes on, then 20 minutes off, and so on.

For some patients, plastic surgeons recommend nasal splinting. The surgeon can strategically place small nasal splints and surgical tape across the nasal tip and bridge to minimize the swelling. This also helps to keep the airway open.

If these steps are not sufficient to help reduce your swelling, you should call your plastic surgeon’s office to ask about other methods. For revision rhinoplasties in particular, scar tissue from the original surgery can worsen the swelling. If this applies to your situation, the surgeon might recommend injections of a steroid drug. Corticosteroids can reduce the swelling in the area and help support the healing process.

Schedule your revision rhinoplasty consult in NYC

Are you thinking of having a revision rhinoplasty in NYC? The most important consideration is the surgeon you select. A revision rhinoplasty requires a high level of technical skills and experience. It’s important to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon with a long track record of success, such as Dr. Thomas Loeb. Dr. Loeb is an experienced revision rhinoplasty surgeon who blends his clinical expertise with a sense of artistry that is unmatched. Call our Fifth Avenue office today at 212-327-3700 to schedule a one-on-one consultation.

Additional resources on revision rhinoplasty

American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Understanding revision rhinoplasty and why patients seek out this procedure, The Rhinoplasty Society, Secondary Rhinoplasty,

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