Do Your Bones Swell During a Rhinoplasty?

In the next 6 months, I plan on getting a rhinoplasty. I have heard that after your procedure, it can take up to two years for the swelling to go down. Why does it take so long? Does the bone on the bridge of your nose swell? I know the cartilage at the tip of your nose takes the longest to heal, but why is that the case? Are there ways to speed up the healing process?



M, 27, New York

The entire nose swells after a rhinoplasty, including the bridge. The bulk of the swelling subsides within the first 3 months starting at the bridge and working its way down toward the tip, which takes the longest for the swelling to resolve (usually 18 months). This is because nasal tissues are small and confined to a small space, so there is not a large amount of room for the excess fluid that is causing the swelling to drain. Open rhinoplasties swell more and take longer for the swelling to subside than closed rhinoplasties. We give our patients steroids in the OR and immediately postop to minimize the amount of swelling. We also give arnica and bromelain, two herbal supplements that help. Lastly, ice within the first 48-72 hours, alone with head elevation help reduce the swelling a lot. Other than that, it just takes time.

Dr. Gary Breslow has 12 Nose job before & afters:

» View Dr. Gary Breslow's full profile