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Ways to Reduce Swelling after Rhinoplasty (Nose Surgery)

Ways to Reduce Swelling after Rhinoplasty (Nose Surgery)

Ways to Reduce Swelling after Rhinoplasty 300x265 - Ways to Reduce Swelling after Rhinoplasty (Nose Surgery) | Beverly Hills | Los AngelesLike any plastic surgery procedure, rhinoplasty requires time for the body to heal. During this time, patients should expect certain side effects, such as bruising, tenderness, and swelling, during the recovery process. Although these effects should mostly subside during the early recovery period, many of our Los Angeles patients hope to further decrease the severity and duration of their swelling. To help our current and prospective patients with their rhinoplasty treatment, we offer the following tips on reducing post-operative swelling.


Click Here to See Rhinoplasty Before and After Photos

Why Does Swelling Occur?

There are essentially two types of swelling that occur after rhinoplasty surgery. The first is a result of the procedure itself and its temporary damage to the nasal tissues. This swelling tends to be the most obvious, beginning immediately after the procedure and lasting through the first week, as the cartilage and soft tissues begin to heal.

Once initial swelling has diminished, the nose will begin to look far more normal. However, it may still appear slightly inflamed or puffy for months afterward, due to fluid retention beneath the skin. Although this prolonged swelling may not be particularly noticeable to others, many patients must wait for it to fully subside until they can gain an accurate assessment of their final results.

CHECK LIST: Reducing Early Nose Swelling

Swelling will be most prominent in the first few days after surgery. Oftentimes, the precautions taken by patients early on will carry positive effects throughout their recovery. It is therefore crucial to follow your doctor’s instructions regarding general post-operative care. In addition, the following steps may help reduce the onset of swelling:

  • Avoid anti-inflammatories before surgery: While anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin and ibuprofen can alleviate pain and swelling after surgery, these drugs should be avoided in the week prior to treatment. This will reduce bleeding and the risk of complications during surgery, thereby reducing the risk of excessive swelling.
  • Avoid alcohol consumption: Abstain from alcohol in the week prior to and following surgery, as the consumption of alcohol inhibits the natural healing processes.
  • Apply an ice pack: An ice pack is one of the most effective ways to curb swelling in its early stages. Over the first 24 to 48 hours, apply the cold (but not wet) compress near the swollen area for 10 to 15 minutes at a time, with the same time in between applications.
  • Keep your head upright: Bending over or engaging in strenuous activity can worsen swelling in the first couple of weeks. It can also raise blood pressure and therefore the risk of complications.
  • Avoid heat and moisture: In the first week of recovery, avoid getting the bandages wet. Once removed, you may gently wash your face with lukewarm water, but your nose should not be directly washed until directed by your doctor. Similarly, heated environments such as a spa or hairdresser’s dryer should be avoided for at least two weeks.
  • Avoid hot water showers: We generally tend to take bath in hot water after a surgery as it is known to heal wounds faster. However, for inflammation, taking a hot water bath is not advised as it can cause the swelling to get aggravated.

Reducing Long-term Swelling

It typically takes months for swelling to completely resolve after rhinoplasty – as long as six months for the bridge of the nose and a year for the nose’s tip. To both hasten and minimize this residual swelling, we suggest the following:

  • Avoid sodium: Foods that are high in sodium may prolong or worsen swelling. While it is difficult to avoid sodium completely, be conscious of your diet, avoid salty snacks, and avoid adding salt to meals. A good goal to aim for is 1500 mg or less of sodium per day.
  • Elevate your head when resting: While sitting or lying down, keep your head as elevated at possible. In bed, opt for two pillows as opposed to one. The more elevated your head is, the more easily your body can slowly drain fluids from the nose.
  • Avoid direct sun exposure: When possible, avoid direct exposure to sunlight, as your skin will be hypersensitive. If you plan on being outside for a prolonged period, apply sunblock diligently. This routine should be followed for at least the first four months.
  • Consider anti-inflammatorymedicines: Arnica gel and Bromelain are two natural remedies for swelling and inflammation. However, speak with your doctor before using any non-prescribed medications or herbs.

Learn More about Rhinoplasty Aftercare

If you are considering rhinoplasty, septoplasty, or any other of our cosmetic techniques, we will gladly address all of your questions and concerns. Contact our office to schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Keyes.

Beyond Social Media: How to Measure Your Doctor’s Ability to Meet Your Needs

Plastic surgery, compared to other areas of surgery, has been at the forefront of embracing social media. Before Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest were household names, plastic surgeons were posting photos, videos, and more on their websites and social media profiles. 

When reading about celebrity nasal surgery on Facebook or seeing nose operations on YouTube, often a cursory overview is given to the viewer.  When one wishes to have a more in depth understanding of the procedure, a comprehensive consultation with an expert surgeon is the best way to achieve that goal.

 In this post, you’ll learn three questions to ask that will help you refine your search for the best doctor to meet your nasal surgery needs.

Is Your Doctor Board Certified?

When a physician is Board Certified, it means that he or she has met the rigorous requirements after completing a specialty residency training in the field of plastic surgery.

My training is in both Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.  I am certified by both the American Board of Otolaryngology Head and neck Surgery and the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS).

While I definitely believe being certified by two surgical boards has better enabled me to serve my patients, there are many great plastic surgeons who are only certified by either one of these boards.  Understanding credentials is the first step in assuring that you obtain the result you desire.

Is the Doctor’s Facility AAAASF Certified?

The American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, Inc. (AAAASF), is considered the “gold standard” for patient safety. If the facility where you’ll undergo your rhinoplasty is AAAASF-certified, it has passed stringent standards to ensure a safe surgical experience.

I currently serve as the President of AAAASF after having been a member of the Board of Directors for a number of years.  I am proud of the work AAAASF has done to improve outcomes and safeguard the public.

Are you asking the Right Questions?

How long has your surgeon been practicing? In which professional societies are they members?

Did you ask to see a list of academic publications they have contributed to the scientific literature? Do they hold any leadership positions within any of the societies or organizations to which they belong? This last question speaks to a doctor’s motivation to serve, improve the plastic surgery profession as a whole, and stay abreast of the latest information.

No doubt, social media has played an important role in spreading awareness about nasal surgery. My colleagues and I have extensive websites that highlight our procedures and our expertise. During your search, however, it’s important to move beyond fully featured and beautiful websites and dig deeply into your doctor’s education, accreditation, and place among his or her fellow doctors. During your search, it’s important to seek out surgeons with years (and even decades) of experience, a long list of satisfied patients, and who hold current leadership positions within highly respected medical organizations.