Nose Job Problems: My nose is swollen after my cast came off!

Hello, fellow nose-job-haver! Let’s talk about the anxiety you’re currently having.

You just had your cast removed after surgery, you’re ready to see your beautiful (and costly) new nose, and instead you turned out looking like Shrek after a bad bar fight. 

I’ve been there, trust me I know what you’re feeling right now. My nose job was an ordeal. I was supposed to have a 4 hour surgery, but halfway into it, my surgeon discovered that I had a “traumatic nose” which meant more work had to be done, and the surgery was 8 hours long. 

I was also vegan at the time I had this done, so my bruising was, as the nurses blatantly told me months after, “the worse we have ever seen”. 

Let’s all have a good laugh - I’ll show you exactly what I looked like when the cast came off. 

You might think this looks gruesome, but truth be told, when I first saw this I was ecstatic! My nose was a bit swollen, yes, but I had expected that from what my doctor and people online had chattered about. But from the side my new nose was gorgeous, had no bump and was smaller - that was what I had wanted to fix the most. 

I got in the car happy, and drove home with my parents. The drive was about 30 minutes.

Then I got home and realized that my face had turned into a big, fatass potato person. I was the embodiment of live-action Lion King a year before it had been created. I looked like a Wii avatar. Fuck that, I looked like the Avatar, straight from a fucked up James Cameron fever dream. 

(That photo to the right is me a week ago, high and watching TV. It gets better!!!!)

Now, here’s the important thing to remember after your rhinoplasty - and I did a pretty okay job of this at the time - objectively, this is hilarious

Without a doubt, this is the weirdest you will ever look in your life. It’s a bit demoralizing because you just spent a week bloodied and bruised, with a huge cast on your face, just waiting for it to come off so you can finally be beautiful…and now you’re a potato. And you’ll be a potato for about a week. 

I was sad, I was pissed, I was self-conscious…but I also couldn’t stop laughing. I went on a few forums where other post-surgery people complained about their nose and compared it to various cartoon animals. 

Have you ever heard of the theory that the most beautiful faces are the most symmetrical? There are photos where people will mirror celebrities faces to see what they look like when they’re perfectly symmetrical, and sometimes they look beautiful, but sometimes they look super weird, like the below photos.

That was how I felt I looked. Wide. Stretched. Weird. And also bruised and bloody and just swollen in many places.

Remember how I said that I laughed? I did also cry. And that’s totally okay. You just went through major surgery, spent a week recovering, only to find out the battle is only halfway done. Let it out! It feels good.

Let’s talk about trying to speed along the swelling process.

There were a few things that helped my tragic situation, which I want to share. 

Put arnica gel on your nose

I can’t vouch for the tablets because I didn’t take them, but arnica gel did really help me. I didn’t take the tablets because I assumed they were homeopathic bullshit but trust me, it’s not! The gel will work at any time so grab some and start using it. 

Just slather a layer of this good stuff on your nose and you’ll see a change over the next few days - it truly does help!


Bromelain pills

Now, just because these come from pineapple doesn’t mean you should eat or drink pineapple for the benefits. Bromelain actually comes from the stalky part of pineapple that isn’t in the fruit or juice, so only the pills will help. 

Also make sure you drink an entire glass of water, or more with each pill. Otherwise you will get diarrhea, have to go relieve yourself in a nearby PF Changs, and a mother and daughter will walk in and the daughter will loudly say “mommy it smells really bad in here” and you’ll want the earth to open up and swallow you, and your swollen nose, whole. True story. 

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Concealer for bruising

Your under eye bruising will be pretty bad, so first things first, make sure you’re hydrating that area as often as you can. Put Arnica gel on, pop a bromelian pill (with a full glass of water haha), and hydrate your under eye area before you take a pain pill and a nap. Because otherwise your concealer will be flaky and your bruising will be even more noticeable. 

There are 2 brands I vouch for when it comes to concealer (for nose job purposes) and that’s Kokie and Kat Von D. You can try other kinds, but I found some of them a bit cakey, and you’ll want a watery, hydrating concealer for these purposes. 


Avoid salty foods like the plague (and alcohol)

You already know to do this, but I can’t stress how important this is! Even a year out from my nose job, if I drink a bunch of wine and eat pizza one night (it happens) my nose will look a tiny bit bigger the next day. It’s not a big deal now - since my swelling is down, but this first month (or first three, more like it) just stay away from chinese food, pizza, popcorn, etc!

The rest of my tips are more vague, but I think they’re the most important, so I want to share them. 

Think of this as a funny situation, not a sad one

Perspective really is reality. I know, it’s easy for me to say that because I’m a year out, my nose isn’t swollen anymore. But just know that every day with your nose swollen - that’s the day you will look the worst, and it only gets better from there on out. Maybe I’m a bit fucked up - I think there’s something a bit fun and freeing at being in rock bottom in one aspect.


Watch the movie Roxanne

Also, after complaining (and probably getting a bit teary) over how I looked to my wonderful parents who took care of me during this whole ordeal, my dad suggested watching Roxanne, the movie with Steve Martin where he has a huge nose. It’s a really funny movie, and helped a lot with lifting my spirits at that time. 


Granted, his nose is more long than wide - but the message is there, and laughing is a great way to really take your mind off anything horrible.

Interact with the forums

It’s just always nice to have camaraderie in like…anything in life, right? Check out RealSelf, Reddit, Vlogs about people going through surgery. It’s nice to hear that other people have been in your shoes. Scroll up and look at my gross photos! I went through the ringer! You’ll be looking great in no time :)

Look at me now!

Just doing normal stuff like hanging with a dog, spending time with coworkers, sitting in a chair and taking horrible selfies while walking up to my apartment! You will get here soon too - I promise.

And if you have any questions - or just want to vent about your nose - hit me up!

Until next time,