Rhinoplasty swelling stages | tips, reasons, timeline

 Rhinoplasty swelling stages | tips, reasons, timeline

Rhinoplasty as one of most common cosmetic surgeries is completely invasive which cause a fundamental change in the structure and the shape of the nose. So, like other surgeries, it is associated with complications such as swelling and bruising. In this article we discuss about swelling stages, tips, reasons and timeline progression

Primary swelling is an inflammatory reaction to repair the affected area caused by increasing intercellular fluid and usually lasts up to 1 to 3 months after operation. The delicacy of the surgeon's hand is a determining factor in the amount of postoperative swelling and bruising. The thickness of the skin as a huge factor in rhinoplasty is also related to post-op swelling and final result of surgery. For instance, if the patient's nasal skin is thicker, the intercellular fluid will increase and as a result, we will face more swelling after the operation. Of course, The size of swelling and bruising is different for each person.

rhinoplasty swelling stages

The stages of swelling timeline in rhinoplasty surgery follow three processes: Inflammation, proliferation and remodeling, which we will explain each one briefly.

rhinoplasty swelling progression

Inflammation: The duration of this process is 7 to 10 days, which is associated with great pain and swelling.

Proliferation: This process lasts 1 to 6 weeks; Collagen will be produced around the nose, which leads to thickening the nasal tissue and wounds. At the end of this period, the sensation of the nasal nerves also returns.

Remodeling (Maturation): During this stage, which may take about a year, extra collagen is broken down and nasal tissue becomes soft and supple. Note that the swelling of the tip of the nose disappears much later than other parts.

 Rhinoplasty swelling stages | tips, reasons, timeline

rhinoplasty swelling timeline

rhinoplasty swelling week by week:

2 to 3 days after surgery, you will feel moderate pain (which can be controlled with medication) and swelling. You may also experience nausea immediately after surgery due to a combination of anesthetic effects and ingested blood. You should reduce physical activity and avoid taking aspirin or ibuprofen, and drink plenty of water as it reduces pain. One week after surgery, the cast and splint are removed and the pain, bruising, and swelling are reduced.

In the second week, the swelling is greatly reduced and you can return to work. In the third week after surgery, the swelling has resolved enough, but the nasal skin has not returned to its normal state. Respiratory obstruction may also exist, although it would be much better than the first week.

rhinoplasty swelling month by month:

1 month after rhinoplasty, you can resume normal (moderate) exercise and physical activity. Swelling on the bridge of the nose has been healed but the tip of the nose is still swollen and weak. By 3 months after surgery, about 90% of the swelling in the nose is gone, but the tip of the nose may still be numb and stiff. If you feel a slight asymmetry in your nose, you should know that you still have to wait.

Usually, the final result of nose surgery is not visible yet, and the nose is still not graceful compared to 1 to 2 years after surgery, but so far, most people have better feeling about their noses when taking pictures. Almost 60 percent of swelling disappears 3 months after nose surgery and usually after one year, about 90 percent of the nose swelling is gone. From 2 to 5 years after rhinoplasty, the swelling is completely gone, and the final result of the reshaped nose will be visible.

 Rhinoplasty swelling stages | tips, reasons, timeline

How long does swelling last after rhinoplasty thick skin?

The skill and expertise of the surgeon, along with observing the conditions of the recovery period, taking the medications prescribed by the doctor, etc., are very important to achieve a better result. The initial shape of the nose and its skin type are also very determining factors on the final shape of the nose.

Does skin thickness affect rhinoplasty?
Does skin thickness affect rhinoplasty?

Surgeons focus a lot on the bony part of the nose, because the major part of the nose and its overall shape is formed by the nasal bone. However, skin tissue, fat, and subcutaneous muscle should not be overlooked; Because the subcutaneous tissues and the skin itself have an important effect on the final shape of the nose. The skin of the nose is rarely changed during rhinoplasty . . .

When we talk about skin type in rhinoplasty, we mean the thickness of the skin. To have dry or wet nasal skin also affects the final shape of the nose, but it mostly affects the length of recovery. The type of skin in rhinoplasty can be divided into two categories: Thin and Thick.

Thin skin rhinoplasty

In patients with thin skin, wounds which left after surgery will be more visible. that is why nasal skeleton defects cannot be hidden. The nose also tends to contract during surgery which can cause the nose to lose its normal shape and create unpleasant anomalies.

Thick skin rhinoplasty

Unlike thin skin, If the patient's nasal skin is thick, there is a hope that the thickness of the skin can largely cover the defects of the nasal skeleton, including the nasal hump. Unfortunately, this also means that some positive surgical results might not be easily visible.

Fleshy nose tip swelling after rhinoplasty

In Fleshy noses, the tip of the nose is usually wide due to the thick skin. These noses had weak cartilage, especially at the tip of the nose which are unable to tolerate the high volume of nasal skin. Therefore, in fleshy noses rhinoplasty, we need the strength of cartilage during the operation.

For this purpose, the surgeon uses the cartilage of other parts of the nose, or the cartilage of ear, or the patient's own ribs; to strengthen the cartilage of the nose tip and this process prevents the tip of the nose from falling again and also returning its shape to its previous state.

It should be noted that the changes which are applied in surgery on fleshy noses are not clearly palpable. Therefore, the result of fleshy noses rhinoplasty in most cases are normal and this type of noses cannot be operated in a semi-fancy or fantasy form. Also, the operation swelling is more severe in fleshy noses and the healing process is slower.

bony nose swelling after rhinoplasty

In bony noses, the skin of the nose is thin, and the cartilage is strong, so any delicacy of what the rhinosurgeon does during the surgery is well visible. This is considered an advantage for bony noses and allows the surgeon to reduce the size of the nose and make the desired changes without any restriction. This type of noses can be operated on a variety of rhinoplasty models such as natural, fantasy and semi-fantasy.

However, it must be considered that even a very small and minor defect which occurs in the skeleton of a bony nose will appear at the end of the surgery. So, it is recommended not to make many changes on the tip of bony noses to reduce the incidence of multiple complications

 Rhinoplasty swelling stages | tips, reasons, timeline

swelling of nose tip after rhinoplasty

Sometimes despite the swelling of the whole nose, the highest amount of swelling is in the tip of the nose. It is important to note that the swelling reduction process begins from the upper part of the nose - the nasal bridge - and the tip of the nose is the last part where the swelling goes away. This process takes between 12 to 18 months.

nostril nose swelling after rhinoplasty

In addition to manipulating the structure of the nose in surgery, the nasal fins generally need to be changed, which is the main reason for the swelling of this area. Sometimes, swelling of the nasal fins might be caused by bandage and gauze that is inserted into the nose for 3 to 24 hours after surgery.

However, there is no need to worry, because this type of swelling eventually disappears in 4 months.

Unevenness of nose sides

Rhinoplasty swelling stages | tips, reasons, timeline

Asymmetry of the nostrils

Asymmetry of the nostrils is one of the most common and controversial issues after rhinoplasty. The goal of all cosmetic surgeons is to make the nose as symmetrical as possible, and that means creating a nose where all the components are aligned and fit from all angles.

Uneven nose after rhinoplasty
Uneven nose after rhinoplasty

However, the fact is that the holes on both sides of the nose are never perfectly symmetrical and always slightly different, even if the nose surgery is done in the best way. So do not be too sensitive to this issue

Swelling of the nose and asymmetry of the nostrils after surgery is due to the pressure on the nasal bone during the operation, which is completely normal.

Swelling, plaster, and nasal tampons affect the heterogeneity of the nostrils, which will resolve completely after recovery. If the nostrils are still uneven after 6 to 8 months, call your surgeon, it should be noted that sometimes in some noses, the final result of cosmetic surgery may take more than 2 years.

Non-surgical nose reshaping

 Rhinoplasty swelling stages | tips, reasons, timeline

Rhinoplasty itself can be performed either open or closed method. As a rule, the more changes and the more invasive the operation, the greater the complications. But in a nose lift (non-surgical), the nose is pulled from the inside with a special thread or tape to find the desired shape, or it is made to the desired shape by filler (injecting gel). In nose lift, due to not damaging the structure of the nose, the rate of postoperative complications and swelling will be much less.

non surgical nose job
Non surgical nose job in Iran | filler and thread

Nose lift

Performing a nose lift may cause pain and swelling in the affected area and cause some bruising and redness. The amount of swelling in the nose lift (non-surgical) is much less than the rhinoplasty, with the disappearance of bruising and swelling in 1-2 weeks, the result of the lift will be well visible. Nose lift is usually not a recovery period, and you can do your daily activities after that.

Reduce swelling after surgery

The rhinosurgeon will give you detailed instructions as care after rhinoplasty that should be followed regularly and carefully; Because ignoring these precautions increases the risk of possible complications from the operation. Here are some tips to help you get started:

rest after rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty swelling stages | tips, reasons, timeline

The body consumes a lot of energy to improve its condition during surgery and recovery, so patients should rest well in the first week after surgery, because by sleeping and resting, the body replenishes its lost energy.

But it is also important to follow a few small tips for sleeping; The person should not sleep on the face or sides, as it puts pressure on the nasal area. The patient should put a few pillows around him before going to bed so that he does not move during sleep. He should place two small pillows under his head so that the head is above the chest and creates an angle of 30 degrees, this will improve blood circulation and reduce swelling around the nose.

Don’t wear glasses

Rhinoplasty swelling stages | tips, reasons, timeline

Do not to wear glasses. Sunglasses, prescription glasses and even blindfolds can cause pressure in the nasal area and increase swelling and bruising or even a depression in the nasal bone, in which case the person will need reconstructive surgery.

For this reason, it is recommended not to wear glasses until complete recovery. If you need to use glasses to study, you can use special glasses that do not fit on the nasal bone and are very light weight.

Brush gently

Rhinoplasty swelling stages | tips, reasons, timeline

It is best to use a soft toothbrush to clean your teeth after the operation, and also do not put too much pressure on the upper teeth when brushing, as the sutures may be damaged and torn.

Postpone your dental work until you are fully recovered.

Take care of the splint

Rhinoplasty swelling stages | tips, reasons, timeline

After surgery, a special splint is placed over your nose to help holding your nose in place. The splint usually stays on the nose for up to 10 days and is removed from the nose by your surgeon on the tenth day.

Keep in mind that the splint should not get wet or damp during this time; Because it will lose its strength and consistency, so it is forbidden to be in the bathtub or swim for some time after nose surgery.

Don’t Drink alcohol

Rhinoplasty swelling stages | tips, reasons, timeline

Do not drink alcohol for two weeks after rhinoplasty. Recovery after surgery takes a lot of energy from the body and the speed of this process also depends on healthy habits.

Alcohol interferes with the healing process, so avoid drinking alcohol, at least in the early stages of recovery.

Don’t Smoke for some week

Rhinoplasty swelling stages | tips, reasons, timeline

Smoking, like alcohol, slows down the healing process and disrupts blood circulation and prevents oxygen and other nutrients from reaching the surgical site.

Because wound healing requires large amounts of oxygen-rich blood, smoking can disrupt the natural healing process.

Use cold compresses

Rhinoplasty swelling stages | tips, reasons, timeline

Bruising and swelling are obvious complications of nose surgery; Of course, you can use a cold compress for the first three days to reduce bruising and swelling after surgery, because the cold causes blood vessels to constrict and reduce swelling.

What increases swelling after rhinoplasty?

 Rhinoplasty swelling stages | tips, reasons, timeline

. Thickness of the nose skin

 Swelling in bony noses is less due to thin skin and strong cartilage, but in bulbous noses due to the thickness of the nasal skin and changes in surgery to achieve the desired result, swelling is more after surgery.

. Surgeon Skills

 The surgeon’s technique and delicacy are an important factor in the rate of swelling after rhinoplasty. Precise incision and delicacy in surgery reduce swelling. In both open and closed procedures, if the surgery is not performed correctly, excessive swelling will occur, so the surgical method alone does not have much effect on the amount of swelling.

. Rate of nasal changes

 If the nose has many defects and needs more changes in the cartilage. Of course, surgical wounds are more and as a result, swelling become more.

. Follow the recommendations of postoperative care

 Following the recommendations of your doctor will decrees the rate of swelling, so recommendations such as taping the nose correctly is very effective in reducing and improving swell. Also proper nutrition after surgery and consumption of low salt, are important factors in reducing and rapid recovery of swelling after surgery.

10 tips to reduce swelling after rhinoplasty

  1. take only the recommended medicines after surgery.
  2. Do not take blood thinners for up to two weeks after surgery.
  3. You should not do strenuous activity or heavy exercise for at least 3 weeks after rhinoplasty.
  4. Avoid exposure to direct sunlight for up to one month after surgery.
  5. For the first 1 Month after rhinoplasty surgery, avoid foods that are high in salt and spices.
  6. Use only the prescribed washing serums to clean the inside of the nose and avoid inserting anything for 2 Month
  7. Sneeze with your mouth open for a few weeks after the operation to reduce the pressure inside your nose.
  8. It is normal to feel pain after surgery and it will go away after a while. If you have severe pain, you can use prescribed painkillers with your doctor’s permission.
  9. Don't you bend your head down, under any circumstances.
  10. Avoid sex for up to two weeks after surgery.


Hi, my name is Aishka, I'm a nurse and also a translator and content developer. We are going to argue about cosmetic surgeries, like rhino, blepharoplasty, hair implant and ….. if there is any question about this topics. don't be shy . just ask.

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