Steroid Injections and Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty is often considered one of the most difficult types of plastic surgery. Surgeons must have extensive knowledge of the nasal structures and their functions, along with the aesthetic skill to produce beautiful results. In addition, they must be experienced in the techniques that are employed. The use of steroid injections in rhinoplasty is one such technique.

When people think of steroid injections, they may initially think of body builders or professional athletes, but there are many different types of steroid injections, all with different purposes. In rhinoplasty, steroid injections (called corticosteroids), are simply a strong anti-inflammatory agent that helps reduce the volume of the soft tissue. This reduces post-surgical swelling and the potential for scar tissue formation. Here is some general information that will help patients understand more about steroid injections and rhinoplasty.

Types of Steroids

As mentioned previously, there are many different types of steroids, and the choice of steroid is not limited to just one in rhinoplasty. The most popular type of steroid injections used in both rhinoplasty and rhinoplasty revision is cortisone. Most people have heard of cortisone and its ability to reduce inflammation, swelling, and general pain.

Another type of steroid often used in rhinoplasty is triamcinolone (Kenalog), which is a synthetic steroid that also helps with inflammation. One interesting fact about Kenalog is the amount that is injected varies depending on the amount of scar tissue and the amount of swelling in a particular patient. This means that the dosage needed will vary from individual to individual, giving surgeons the ability to personalize the process.

Why Surgeons Use Steroids

The main reason surgeons use steroid injections in rhinoplasty is to reduce swelling. Any time the skin is cut, it results in swelling. Since the nose is so sensitive, and plays such an important role in breathing, it’s important to manage swelling.

Steroids are also used to prevent scar tissue from forming. After surgery, it’s natural for scar tissue to form, and it’s nearly impossible to eliminate all scar tissue. However, steroids can reduce the amount of potential scar tissue. Additionally, steroids can treat old scar tissue.

Timing and Amount of Injections

Many of Dr. Marin patients wonder how many steroid injections will be necessary. This is a great question, and the answer is it really depends on the individual. As a general rule, most patients will require steroid injections within the first one to four months of surgery. Most patients will need more than one steroid injection to get the full benefits of steroid injections.

The timing of steroid injections will depend on how quickly the nose is healing. During follow-up appointments, Dr. Marin will monitor the patient’s healing process and recommend steroid injections as needed.

For more information about rhinoplasty and steroid injections, contact Dr. Marin’s practice in San Diego. Dr. Marin’s staff will schedule an in-office consultation so potential patients can find out if they are good candidates for treatment, and ask any questions they may have about surgery.

About the Author:

Dr. Vince Marin is a San Diego board-certified plastic surgeon specializes in cosmetic surgery of the face, nose, breast and body. If you wish to contact Dr. Marin, write to [email protected] or you can follow him on Twitter!