Patient undergoing rhinoplasty need to be prepared to experience different staging of swelling.
Unfortunately, there is no way to have rhinoplasty without swelling and take more time for swelling to resolve after rhinoplasty than after other plastic surgical procedures. Swelling after closed rhinoplasty tends to resolve faster than after open rhinoplasty.
1. Onset of swelling. Swelling develops around the nose and upper face day 1-3 after surgery and tends to look more pronounced during these first 3 days. This usually happens in patients who had work on the nasal bones.
2. Splint Removal . In our practice, the splint comes off on day 5-7 after surgery. At this stage, most of pronounced swelling around the eyes has improved. There may be swelling in the bridge of the nose, face, and upper lip. Noticeable facial swelling improves fast over the next 7-10 days. The upper lip may appear longer and the smile may feel stiff. This resolves gradually within 30-60 days. The tip may look more upturned and it will come down over the next 7-14 days.
3. Upper part of the nose. Although the entire nose will be gradually shrinking and softening, swelling in the upper part of the nose will be resolving faster. By 30-60 days after surgery most upper nasal swelling will subside and the skin will feel soft in the upper part of the nose.
4. The tip. Although one may read online that it takes one year for all nasal swelling to go away, the reality is that it takes several years for all swelling to go away before you can see the final shape. At the end of the first year after surgery, the patients are likely to see 85-90% of swelling resolution and by the end of the second year almost all of swelling will resolve. Patients with think nasal skin may take longer to heal. Once nasal tip swelling resolves, the tip feels softer and tip cartilages become more visible and easier to feel.
To learn more about rhinoplasty with Dr. Vladimir Grigoryants, visit our rhinoplasty page.