A rhinoplasty, commonly called a nose job, is a surgical procedure that changes the shape and, often, the size of your nose. If your nose has a prominent bump, crooked bridge, or wide tip, or it seems too big (or even too small) in relation to the rest of your facial features, surgical rhinoplasty could be your best option to correct it. It’s sometimes combined (and often confused) with a septoplasty—the surgical correction of a deviated septum, a condition where the wall between your nasal passages is crooked. A septoplasty is performed to improve breathing, while a rhinoplasty is usually performed for cosmetic enhancement. Both procedures can be performed simultaneously under one anesthetic, with one recovery period.
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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.