Will I Get Black Eyes After Rhinoplasty?

Woman holding face and smiling

Have you ever wondered why black eyes often show up after rhinoplasty? At our practice northeast of Fort Worth, TX, rhinoplasty patients often ask if they’ll have black eyes after their surgeries. Black eyes are a common side effect of a nose job and should be expected, although the severity varies from patient to patient.

What Causes Black Eyes After Rhinoplasty?

A black eye is simply a bruise around the eye. If you get hit by an object in the area of the eyes, delicate blood vessels in the eyelids and surrounding tissues are injured. Blood collects under the skin, causing black or blue discoloration around the eye socket. The thin skin under the eyes is relatively transparent compared to skin in other parts of the body, so the discoloration of a bruised eye can seem darker and more dramatic than bruises in other places.

The amount of bruising after rhinoplasty can be a bit unpredictable because the severity often depends on variables such as the part of the nose that was altered or whether nasal bones were broken as part of the procedure. If nasal bones were broken, the bruising and swelling following the surgery will be more pronounced. Still, the results are worth it.

Is There a Way To Minimize Bruising Under the Eyes?

The best way to reduce bruising and swelling after rhinoplasty is to closely follow the post-op instructions provided by our practice.

Some specific tips for reducing black eyes after a nose job include:

  • Use ice packs or a cold compress during the first 48 hours after surgery. The cold minimizes both swelling and bruising. Applying the ice packs or compresses every 30 minutes during this initial stage of recovery is important. Be gentle when placing the compresses on your face, though.
  • Avoid ingesting anything that thins the blood, such as aspirin, alcohol, and certain herbal supplements. These increase the risk of bleeding and bruising.
  • Limit your physical exertion. You may feel fine after even just a few days, but overexerting yourself during the first couple of weeks after surgery can worsen the bruising and swelling and lengthen your recovery time.
  • Avoid contact sports. Even just going out for an easy game of pickup basketball risks having the ball strike you in the nose, resulting in trauma that can affect your results.
  • Sleep in a recliner or with your upper body propped up with pillows. Keeping your head elevated during the initial stage of recovery reduces both bruising and swelling.

Many patients use makeup to camouflage bruising under the eyes after a few days.

When Can I Go to a Social Event?

Facial plastic surgery procedures involve both physical recovery time and the time needed before patients feel comfortable attending a significant social event, such as a wedding. Even though the severity of black eyes is hard to predict from one patient to the next, it usually takes at least 3 to 4 weeks before most patients can attend an event without people noticing the bruising. Residual bruising and swelling, though, can last for several months.

If you are considering rhinoplasty and looking in the Dallas-Fort Worth, TX, area for a board-certified plastic surgeon, request a consultation using the online form to meet with Dr. Bogdan. You can also call us at (817) 442-1236 to schedule an appointment.

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