No one can undergo a rhinoplasty without some swelling afterwards. The bulk of the swelling and bruising will be gone 2 weeks after rhinoplasty surgery but it takes 18 months for all the swelling to truly settle. On a positive note, this means your rhinoplasty will look better and better.
Certain factors affect the amount of swelling you will experience after rhinoplasty.
1. If you don’t need much done e.g. a small bump, your rhinoplasty will not involve much disturbance to the body, so post op rhinoplasty swelling is small. Conversely if you have a nose which has been traumatised by sporting injuries it may need major rhinoplasty reconstruction. Here obvious post op rhinoplasty swelling may last several weeks, even months.
2. Allow time for your post op rhinoplasty to settle. It is fine to plan to return to work 2 weeks after rhinoplasty surgery but less than this amount of time may mean that your swelling is noticeable.
3. As we age, the collagen and elastic fibres in our skin are less likely to take up the new shape of the nose quickly. This means that after rhinoplasty the skin gradually moulds and the swelling takes longer to subside.
4. If you are not active and simply take to bed following your rhinoplasty, the swelling will be prolonged. Vigorous exertion may create bleeding but walking at least once a day win the first 2 weeks following rhinoplasty surgery is a good way to encourage the rhinoplasty swelling to drop with gravity. Lying horizontal tends to allow it to puff up again.
5. Lastly, if you have a very big nose, or a very big bump, your new rhinoplasty nose may be much smaller. You need to allow time for the rhinoplasty to heal as the skin envelope of the old nose moulds to the new rhinoplasty nose.
Like everything, there is no one special time. For rhinoplasty it will be affected by several factors. Firstly, you need to make the decision that this is right for you. You have chosen a rhinoplasty surgeon you can trust and that you understand what rhinoplasty involves. Allow some room for doubt and anxiety especially just before your rhinoplasty surgery. This is normal and reflects that you are not undertaking your rhinoplasty lightly.
The timing of rhinoplasty will also be affected by your work and social commitments. Post-op rhinoplasty bruising lasts at least 2 weeks and swelling to a much lesser extent takes weeks to months to finally settle. Therefore we suggest you avoid commitments in the first 2 weeks following rhinoplasty surgery and major events such as weddings for at least 6 weeks.
For sporting activities similar advice is given following rhinoplasty. Gentle activity such as walking is encouraged as it helps resolve post op rhinoplasty swelling but vigorous activity such as running could promote bleeding in the first 2 weeks following rhinoplasty. After the 2 week mark it is fine. Contact sports such as football, soccer and netball are dangerous in the first 6 weeks following rhinoplasty as any trauma to a post op rhinoplasty nose could permanently alter the shape. Goggles for swimming laps are also discouraged for 6 weeks following rhinoplasty. In summary, plan your rhinoplasty for the end of the sport season, or alter your exercise pattern for those early post op rhinoplasty weeks. For major contact sports like football, it is best to have your rhinoplasty at the end of your football career.