Perioperative steroids for minimizing edema and ecchymosis after rhinoplasty: a meta-analysis

Aesthet Surg J. 2011 Aug;31(6):648-57. doi: 10.1177/1090820X11416110.


Background: Minimizing complications after rhinoplasty is a priority for every surgeon performing the procedure. Perioperative steroid administration has been shown to decrease postoperative edema and ecchymosis in a number of prospective randomized trials.

Objectives: In an effort to further elucidate the significance of the data and develop an evidence-based algorithm for steroid administration, the authors offer a meta-analysis of the existing literature.

Methods: A systematic review of the literature was performed. All articles were reviewed for relevant data, which were extracted, pooled, and compared. Seven prospective randomized trials investigating perioperative steroid use in rhinoplasty have been conducted and reported. Four of these studies had the same method of patient edema and ecchymosis assessment, and their data were compared.

Results: Based on results from the four relevant studies, perioperative steroid use significantly reduces postoperative edema and ecchymosis of the upper and lower eyelids at one day and seven days postoperatively (P < .0001). Preoperative steroid administration decreases postoperative upper and lower eyelid edema at one day preoperatively, when compared to postoperative administration (P < .05). Extended dosing is superior to one-time dosing (P < .05).

Conclusions: Perioperative steroid use decreases postoperative edema and ecchymosis associated with rhinoplasty. Preoperative administration is superior to postoperative, and extended dosing is superior to singular. Based on these results, evidence-based guidelines for perioperative steroid administration can be given.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Ecchymosis / etiology
  • Ecchymosis / prevention & control*
  • Edema / etiology
  • Edema / prevention & control*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Eyelids
  • Glucocorticoids / administration & dosage
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Perioperative Care / methods
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Rhinoplasty / adverse effects
  • Rhinoplasty / methods*


  • Glucocorticoids