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Uneven Swelling After Rhinoplasty

Friday, December 6th, 2013

It is not unusual soon after a rhinoplasty for one side of the nose to look slightly different from the other side. In fact, uneven swelling is common after rhinoplasty. In noses that are crooked, the skin has been pushed out in this position for a long time and takes on a particular shape. When the bone and cartilage underneath is straightened, it often takes some time for the skin to contract and flatten to the new level to allow the nose to appear straighter. Swelling can also appear asymmetric and this is true when there are two sides to anything in the body, be it after facelift, eyelid lift, or any other procedure. If you favor laying on one side when you sleep, that side may frequently appear more swollen.

With uneven swelling, don’t be surprised if the unevenness appears to switch sides at times. With time, apparent asymmetries should be improving, not getting worse. On the flip side, getting a crooked nose perfectly straight is difficult. It may be that the nose is persistently crooked but it is much too early to draw this conclusion within the first few weeks to months after surgery. One thing you can check that will give you some reassurance is whether the area of apparent fullness or crookedness is soft. If the tissue is spongy and compressible, then this can be attributed to swelling and will likely resolve with time. By all means, talk to your surgeon about your concerns if you are seeing something unsettling.

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