Swelling after Septoplasty and Turbonite reduction?

How long will the bridge of my nose be swollen after septoplasty? Also, will my face be swollen? And for how long? Thank you for your time.


F, Virginia

Tags:nose deviated septum

A septoplasty is usually performed through the nostrils without the need for external incisions or cuts. During the procedure, the deviated portion of the nasal septum causing the obstruction is trimmed so equal air flow is available to both nasal passages. In the standard septoplasty procedure, known as the endonasal septoplasty, there should be minimal facial and nasal swelling as the incisions are internal. A small portion of patients may experience some minor swelling for the first two weeks after the procedure.


However, there are cases where open septoplasty must be performed to correct a severely deviated septum that is hindering nasal airflow. Open septoplasty requires an incision underneath the nose to facilitate the removal of deviated cartilage and bone. You can expect swelling following this surgical procedure but it should subside significantly after the first month, and then gradually over the next few months as the nose continues to heal.

The extent of swelling that you can expect following septoplasty is influenced by several factors. Patients who undergo septoplasty in conjunction with other nasal surgery procedures such as turbinate surgery, or surgery for septal perforation, are more likely to experience considerable swelling. Post-operative nasal packing also affects the swelling. Most plastic surgeons and doctors use internal splints after surgery to help push the septal flaps back together. The slight exertion of force or compression can also help alleviate inflammation. Your surgeon will advise you about the extent to which you can expect swelling in the nasal area and face based on the procedure(s) you are undergoing and the extent of your nasal septum deviation.

Swelling also depends in part on the patient. You can reduce the likelihood of swelling by closely following your surgeon's postoperative care and recovery guidelines. Some surgeons recommend that their patients use a decongestant such as saline spray to clear any crusting in the nasal cavity and prevent airway obstruction, which helps the healing process.

To specifically treat any swelling that does arise, you can gently place ice packs or cold compresses over your nose for the first 24 hours after surgery, keep your head elevated when you sleep, and eat a low-sodium diet for the first week after septoplasty (salt encourages fluid retention). Seek medical advice if you do experience excessive or prolonged swelling that causes pain or difficulty breathing.

Alexander Ovchinsky has 10 Revision Rhinoplasty before & afters:

Revision Rhinoplasty before image performed by Dr. Alexander OvchinskyRevision Rhinoplasty after image performed by Dr. Alexander OvchinskyRevision Rhinoplasty before image performed by Dr. Alexander OvchinskyRevision Rhinoplasty after image performed by Dr. Alexander OvchinskyRevision Rhinoplasty before image performed by Dr. Alexander OvchinskyRevision Rhinoplasty after image performed by Dr. Alexander OvchinskyRhinoplasty (nose job) before image performed by Dr. Alexander OvchinskyRhinoplasty (nose job) after image performed by Dr. Alexander Ovchinsky

» View Alexander Ovchinsky's full profile

Septoplasty surgery does not usually cause significant external swelling of the nose. Internal swelling is more common, and can usually be effectively treated with gentle nasal irrigation, anti-inflammatory medication and in some cases, nasal sprays and antihistamines. Antihistamines are usually recommended for patients who tend to be more prone to allergies, which can exacerbate swelling.

However, as septoplasty is a procedure that distorts the normal anatomy, soft nasal tissue swelling can occur in some patients. Swelling may last for several weeks, or in more severe cases, several months. Unfortunately, post-op swelling can be unpleasant as it sometimes causes trouble breathing through the nose.

It is rare, however, that patients need more than three months for postoperative swelling to subside. Those who do experience prolonged swelling often have another factor contributing to the swelling, such as sinusitis, which could require sinus surgery.

Your surgeon will be able to provide you with an estimated recovery time based on your personal characteristics and the extent of your surgery. If you do experience post-surgery swelling, you can check with your surgeon for advice and instructions regarding the most effective and safest methods of treatment. There are a variety of treatments that reduce swelling of the nose and quicken the healing process.

In the immediate postoperative period, ensure you sleep with your head elevated above your heart for one week, but don’t overly prop your head up and cause a tuck in your chin as this can cause an outflow obstruction. Some surgeons also recommend that patients try ice water soaked eye pads over the eyes to reduce puffiness. Arnica Montana tablets can also be helpful in reducing swelling, as can pain medication such as Ibuprofen.

Finally, ensure you do not engage in strenuous physical activity or heavy lifting for at least two weeks after surgery. If you follow your doctor's directions following surgery, you will improve your chances of a rapid and complication-free recovery.