Once you have made your decision to undergo a rhinoplasty cosmetic surgical procedure with Dr. Griffin, you are no doubt already excitedly looking forward to what your new nose will look like. You may even be thinking that you will get to see that reshaped nose almost immediately after surgery.
Unfortunately, the reality is that it will often take anywhere from one to two weeks just for the initial healing. It may actually take eight weeks for the final results to become apparent (although most patients will already see a significant improvement by at least the fourth week following the rhinoplasty procedure).
Nevertheless, you should be prepared for the fact that it will take time for you to see the final outcome after the bandages and splints have been removed. This is particularly true in the case of swelling, which is perfectly normal following any surgical procedure, regardless of whether it is medically necessary or cosmetic.
What Causes Swelling after Rhinoplasty?
The immediate swelling, often along with bruising, that you will experience for the first one to two weeks after your surgery is actually a natural part of your body’s healing process. In response to any traumatic injury (such as the skin being cut open for surgery), your body will attempt to isolate the injured area from the rest of the body by blocking it off with fluids, so as to avoid contamination or infection. This ends up manifesting itself as swelling.
However, if you are past the initial healing phase and are still experiencing swelling, this may also be perfectly normal. Your skin will need to re-conform to the new shape of your nose as a result of Dr. Griffin shaping your bones and cartilage. During this process, fluid may form between your skin and layer of cartilage. The addition of gravity means that this fluid will likely form at your nasal tip. Dr. Griffin has noticed that this is more likely to happen if you have thick skin around your nose.
For swelling during the first one to two weeks after surgery, Dr. Griffin recommends using ice packs and cold compresses once any external incisions have healed over. You may also find that an herbal Arnica montana gel preparation will also help reduce the amount and duration of swelling and bruising.
To help reduce any swelling that takes place over a longer time period, you should cut back on your sodium intake (a good idea, regardless) and increase your water intake. This will help your body re-absorb the fluid that has formed under your skin at your nasal tip.
You’ve put a great deal of effort into considering exactly what you want out of your rhinoplasty procedure, as well as in selecting Dr. Griffin to be your surgeon. Given all of this, it is perfectly natural to want to see the results from the procedure as soon as possible. However, Dr. Griffin cautions patients to not become discouraged by the swelling that is experienced following the procedure. It is just a natural part of the healing process.