The amount of swelling and how long it persists after nose surgery depends on several factors such as the surgeon’s technique (open versus closed approach), the number of prior nasal surgeries or whether the nasal bones were broken or cartilage added. Patients who have open rhinoplasty, cases in which the nasal bones were broken, and a history of one or more previous nasal surgeries often will have more prolonged swelling.
Swelling occurs both on the outside and inside of the nose. During the first week, most patients will have moderate swelling. Usually, by the end of the second week, much of the bruising and swelling have subsided to the point that it is not obvious that the patient has had surgery. Patients are generally able to resume regular activities and social events within 2 weeks following surgery. Most swelling subsides within a month.
However, the nose will look swollen or puffy to the patient for 3-4 months. The final 20% of swelling takes up to a year after surgery. Fortunately, the final swelling is usually only noticeable to the patient and surgeon.Tip swelling is usually the last to subside. Head elevation and post-operative splinting can help reduce swelling and speed healing. So don’t be discouraged if it takes 12-18 months for the final result to be revealed.