Among the more common postoperative complications of rhinoplasty are edema and ecchymosis, which cause anxiety for patients and physicians alike and can affect cosmetic results. The traditional treatment for these is corticosteroids.
Results of a recent Brazilian study, however, suggest that preoperative use of dexamethasone sodium phosphate alters the occurrence of edema and ecchymosis following rhinoplasty.
The research team designed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, into which they enrolled 42 rhinomegaly patients who were randomized into two groups. The 20 patients in group 1 received an injection of dexamethasone before surgery. The 22 patients in group 2 received an injection of saline solution.
Photos of the patients were taken when they returned for follow-up one week after surgery. The photos were analyzed by five plastic surgeons who were blinded as to whether dexamethasone or normal saline solution had been injected. The surgeons rated the degree of edema and ecchymosis.
The researchers found that the patients in the dexamethasone group showed lower rates of postoperative ecchymosis and edema than those in the saline group.
“Preoperative use of dexamethasone reduced edema and ecchymosis at seven days after rhinoplasty,” the authors write. “Rigorous methods in this trial demonstrate the beneficial effect of preoperative corticosteroid administration in this surgical procedure.”
The researchers are from Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Casa Hospital, and Mãe de Deus Health System, all in Porto Alegre, Brazil.