December 28th, 2012
Most facial plastic surgeons will tell you that it’s normal for swelling to persist for up to a year following rhinoplasty. But while one year is the general benchmark, in some cases it can take up to a year and a half.
Postoperative swelling usually lasts longer in the nasal tip than elsewhere. If this describes your situation, you’re probably still healing from the procedure. Pay close attention to when the swelling is occurring. If it’s happening more in the morning and then subsiding throughout the day, you are most likely still in the healing period.
Patients with thicker nasal skin are more likely than other patients to experience extended periods of postoperative nasal swelling. In thick skin patient tip swelling can persist up to two years or longer. This is related to fluid retention and scarring. We all retain more fluid some days than others. Larger quantities of fluid are retained in scar tissue than in other tissues, because it has less resistance. And since thicker skin tends to scar more, those with thicker skin are more likely to retain fluid and experience swelling. This is slightly more common in women because they retain fluid several days a month.
Patients with Rosacea can have persistent swelling longer than two years which fluctuates throughout the day and is not just related to rhinoplasty but the Rosacea condition.
If your nose is swollen all the time, steroid injections may help; 5FU injections can also help. Your surgeon should be able to administer the injections, if they are appropriate in your case. If you’re only swollen sometimes, you’re probably just healing still, in which case steroid injections may not be the best option.
Speak with your rhinoplasty specialist to learn more about postoperative nasal swelling.