Everyone who has rhinoplasty, also referred to as a nose job, should expect swelling to some extent. There is no away to completely avoid swelling in the area of your eyes, nose and facial area in general. In some people, this condition can last for several months. However, there are some steps you can take both before and after surgery to reduce the amount of swelling you experience after a rhinoplasty.
Avoid taking over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen (commonly called NSAIDs) for the week before you are scheduled for rhinoplasty surgery. The Las Vegas Nevada Resource for Rhinoplasty Surgery explains that abstaining from these medications, as well as alcoholic beverages in the time before your cosmetic procedure, helps your body heal more quickly postsurgery (see Resources).
Get up and around as soon as your can following your rhinoplasty. Walking promotes better circulation throughout your body and can help reduce swelling in your facial area.
Reduce the swelling around your eyes by applying cold compresses several times a day. Your doctor will have specific instructions for you, but generally a cold compress can be used up to 20 minutes at a time, three times a day. Keep the compress off your nose.
Keep your head elevated as much as possible both during waking and sleeping hours. Prop yourself up on a pile of bed pillows or sleep in a reclining chair to achieve maximum elevation. Bend over as little as possible.
Consult with your doctor to determine what type of pain reliever is safe for you to take during your recovery period. He may prescribe a pain reliever or an anti-inflammatory medication that can help decrease your swelling.
Go the homeopathic route and apply arnica gel to the swollen areas of your face. Arnica is a natural treatment for pain, bruising and swelling. Use arnica only with the permission of your doctor.
Follow all postoperative instructions issued by your physician to avoid increased swelling, bleeding and other complications from your rhinoplasty. Keep your bandages on for the specified time, and do not begin vigorous exercise until you get the green light from your doctor.
Reduce the likelihood of additional swelling by limiting the amount of sodium you eat. A high-sodium diet can lead to increased edema in some people, regardless of whether they have recently had surgery.