Rhinoplasty surgery has the potential to result in both swelling and bruising or “black and blue” for a period of time following surgery. This is a normal result of any surgery. However, because nose surgery involves the most central aspect of the face, it is common to be concerned with the extent and duration of these symptoms. The photographs below give a general idea of the greatest amount of swelling and bruising one can reasonably expect to experience. Often, however, the swelling and bruising is significantly less.
The patient below underwent a complete rhinoplasty. All aspects of her nose were addressed in order to achieve her desired final result. She is seen here at her preoperative meeting that took place 2 weeks prior to the date of her rhinoplasty surgery. She is then seen the day after her nose surgery. At this visit she was evaluated to ensure she was doing well and her internal nasal packing was removed. The day 1 after photograph shows the maximum about of swelling and “black and blue” that this patient experienced. The third after photograph was taken 1 week following her surgery. At this appointment, the tiny sutures that were used to close the small skin incision were removed. In addition, the external nasal splint was removed as well. This photograph demonstrates that most of the swelling and “black and blue” has resolved, although, some remains, specifically around the eyes and at the tip of the nose. The 2 week photograph demonstrates that there are almost no residual signs of surgery and by 1 month (the last photograph) almost all swelling has completely resolved.
The time after your nose job, especially the few weeks following your surgery, are very important to the proper healing of your new nose. Although swelling can be present for an entire year before fully subsiding, the main focus of your rhinoplasty recovery is concentrated on the first 12 weeks of this crucial time.
Dr. Morin will give you more instructions suggestions on exactly what to do and not to do in person after your rhinoplasty, but the following is intended as a general guideline.
Take it easy. Avoid strenuous physical activity and lifting heavy weights for at least 3 weeks after your surgery by Dr. Morin. Right after your nose job is when swelling and bruising will be the most obvious, so avoid making important social engagements around this time.
Sleep with your head elevated with a few pillows under your head at night, as this helps to orchestrate proper blood flow. Avoid direct contact with your nose, and try not to itch, rub, or irritate it. Also, do not blow your nose too after rhinoplasty surgery.
Dr. Morin typically suggests that his patients eat softer foods so as to avoid heavy chewing. It is important to avoid exposure to the sun following a nose job. Finally, do not smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol for the time being as this could delay recovery and increasing swelling/bruising.
Don’t worry too much about the changes that have taken shape (or those that have yet to come to light), as your new nose will likely continue to change for months into your recovery. Results appear gradually, and continue to develop especially in the initial six months following surgery.
Swelling and bruising are an unavoidable aspect of recovering from a nose job. The great majority of your swelling should go down in the first 2-3 months after your rhinoplasty, after which time you will have a better idea of how your new nose will look and will also be able to enjoy it better. Up to this point, the swelling may mask the changes that Dr. Morin has made to your nose which is why he always advises to be patient with the recovery process.
Dr. Morin will place a splint over the operated nose. Think of this as a bandage that is helping to hold the aspects of the new nose together. The splint is usually removed at Dr. Morin’s office after one week. Lastly, if you are experiencing pain at any point during your recovery, Dr. Morin may prescribe pain medication to ease the process and to maximize your comfort.
Though risks and complications are relatively rare, they do exist. As a board certified surgeon with years of hands-on experience in the field, Dr. Morin always takes the necessary precautions to avoid such complications. He wants your nose job to go as smoothly as possible, from start to finish. It is for this reason that he always stresses that his patients disclose all medical and personal information that may be relevant prior to committing to surgery. The most common risks and complications associated with a rhinoplasty include:
Again, these risks are rare but they must be considered when deciding whether or not to go forth with your potentially life-changing decision.