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How to reduce swelling after rhinoplasty

3rd April 2018

Swelling after a rhinoplasty - or nose job - is perfectly normal and is nothing to be concerned about. Bruising should also be expected after surgery - initially dark blue or even black in colour, then fading to yellow around a week after your procedure. Any post-operative bruising should heal within two weeks of your rhinoplasty procedure.



Post-operative swelling will be at its worst in the first few days after your rhinoplasty, but any swelling should also start to reduce within a week after surgery. Any swelling should have fully healed within six weeks, when the shape of your new nose will become clear.

Ways to reduce postoperative rhinoplasty swelling

The most important thing to do to optimise your recovery after rhinoplasty is to follow the aftercare advice you receive from the clinic. This will ensure your recovery is smooth and free from complications.

If you do not follow your aftercare advice, you could slow your healing, meaning it takes longer to recover after surgery and ultimately, delay the final result of your procedure.

You’re sure to be impatient to see the results of your rhinoplasty once you have had your surgery and our tips to reduce postoperative swelling can help to speed up your recovery time:

  1. Keep your head in an elevated position as much as possible - try to sleep propped on several pillows, as this will help fluid to drain from your nose, reducing any swelling and discomfort

  1. Drink lots of water and fluids - this will help to reduce swelling by flushing through any fluid retention

  1. Eat lots of leafy greens and food rich in Vitamin K, but avoid too much salt - this can encourage your body to retain water, making post-operative swelling worse

  1. Use ice packs or cool compresses on areas around your nose which are swollen or bruised. Don’t apply ice directly to your nose or the skin on your face

  1. Natural supplements such as arnica and bromelain may help to aid the healing process and reduce any swelling and bruising after surgery

  1. Avoid hot showers and baths until your cast is removed - steam can make swelling worse and could even cause your cast to fall off

  1. Avoid taking blood thinning medication - this can impair healing and cause complications. Discuss any regular medication you take during your consultation

  1. Avoid taking supplements and vitamins such as vitamin E and St John’s Wort, as these can also impede the healing process

  1. Limit strenuous activity such as exercise for at least two weeks after rhinoplasty. This can worsen swelling and delay the healing process

  1. Avoid smoking - cigarettes slow the healing process and they can also increase the risk of post-surgery complications after surgery.

Remember, rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure and recovery takes time. While you may be impatient to see the results of your surgery, you must give your body sufficient time to heal and recover.

If you have any concerns about the healing process after a rhinoplasty, please contact us at the clinic where we will be able to advise you further.

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