Swelling is a normal part of the healing process after rhinoplasty. Fortunately, there are many things that can be done to address it. Here are some of the main remedies to relieve swelling following rhinoplasty (along with an explanation of each below):
- Dorsal splints
- Intranasal splints
- Nasal taping
- Cold compresses
- Bromelain (a pineapple extract)
- Arnica montana (a plant extract)
Depending on your situation, your facial plastic surgeon may provide you with a dorsal splint, which is a surgical splint placed on the nasal bridge for about a week to reduce swelling. Intranasal splints can address swelling and open the nasal airway.
Nasal taping is surgical tape that may be placed across the nasal bridge and tip before placing a dorsal splint. It is removed around a week after surgery, at the same time sutures are removed.
Cold compresses are used to reduce swelling in the first 24 hours after the rhinoplasty procedure; they should not be used on the nose (only on the cheeks) as this risks moving bone segments and/or cartilage grafts.
Rhinoplasty specialists often recommend the herbal remedies bromelain and arnica montana to reduce postoperative swelling. Speak with your surgeon to find out if these are appropriate in your situation.
None of these remedies will eliminate swelling altogether in months following your rhinoplasty procedure. Swelling typically last three to 12 months, depending on the patient and the part of the nose treated. Be sure to follow your surgeon’s instructions very closely to promote faster healing and reduced swelling. To avoid undue swelling, also make sure to avoid bumping your nose, and stay out of the sun for six weeks. If swelling persists beyond a year, steroid injections may be helpful.