Interventions to Decrease Postoperative Edema and Ecchymosis after Rhinoplasty: A Systematic Review of the Literature

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Today, minimally invasive procedures are becoming more popular because of the fast recovery. Rhinoplasty is a common facial plastic surgery procedure that can be associated with significant postoperative morbidities, especially periorbital edema and ecchymosis. The aim of this review is to summarize the results of published literature that studied interventions that decrease postoperative edema and ecchymosis after rhinoplasty, and provide evidence-based strategies for surgeons to incorporate into practice.


A systematic review of the PubMed, Scopus, and EMBASE databases was performed to investigate interventions studied to decrease postoperative edema and ecchymosis after rhinoplasty. After inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied, articles were grouped into one of the following categories: corticosteroids, other medications and herbal supplements, interventions to decrease intraoperative bleeding, other postoperative interventions, and surgical techniques.


A total of 50 articles were included for review. Fourteen articles studied corticosteroids exclusively, whereas another 10 articles reviewed other medications and herbal supplements. Nine articles evaluated methods to decrease intraoperative bleeding during rhinoplasty, and four articles studied postoperative interventions to decrease edema and ecchymosis. Thirteen articles studied various surgical techniques to decrease postoperative morbidities.


There was a consensus within the literature that steroids, intraoperative hypotension, intraoperative cooling, and head elevation postoperatively decrease postoperative edema and ecchymosis, whereas nasal packing and periosteal elevation before osteotomy increased these postoperative morbidities. Studies of herbal supplements may be incorporated into practice with minimal risk to the patient. More studies must be performed before recommending an external or internal approach to lateral osteotomy.

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