How much you’ll swell really depends on you and on your surgeon’s technique—not so much the type of rhinoplasty you had. Dr. William Portuese, a facial plastic surgeon in Seattle, says that “The amount of swelling after a rhinoplasty procedure depends upon the type of rhinoplasty performed [open versus closed], the thickness of the skin, the amount of alteration required to the nasal tip, and the patient’s variability with the healing process itself.” He notes that “Some patients require taping and steroid shots in the tip of the nose to reduce swelling in that area for the first several months after the procedure.” According to Dr. Miller, “A very clean open rhinoplasty can result in minimal swelling, while with a closed procedure that isn’t performed in the ideal tissue and cartilage, you can have a lot more swelling. If the dissection travels through soft tissue or muscle on top of the cartilage, more bleeding and swelling will develop.” He notes that most people can also expect some bleeding from days two to five, but it should lessen with each passing day.
Case 89: This patient had broken her nose with consequent severe loss of tip support, tip rounding, crookedness, and a traumatic bump. In this case, a lateral crural overlay technique was used to reduce and lift the tip along with a septal extension to help with support and straightening which has improved tremendously as seen on the base view. Even though she’s still swollen in these early photos, she already has a great result and it’s only going to get better.
Some people opt for a temporary nonsurgical nose job—also called a liquid rhinoplasty—with hyaluronic=acid-based injectable fillers, like Voluma or Restylane Lyft. This minimally invasive procedure can camouflage bumps, create more symmetry, or lift and build up the tip of your nose. This approach has its limitations though. “If you have a large nose, it’s not going to get any smaller with fillers,” says Dr. Miller, though changes in proportions can sometimes make it appear smaller. It also can’t fix a crooked nose.