Rhinoplasty Scar Tissue

Is there any way to correct nose job related scar tissue?

Doctor Answers 26

Rhinoplasty scars

Unsightly external scarring from rhinoplasty is a rare complication. Most rhinoplasty incisions are internal and the external incisions typically heal well.

If scarring is visible, it can often be improved by procedures such as laser resurfacing or dermabrasion. Scar tissue under the skin of the nose may be improved with steroid injections, but this is most effective in the first 6-12 months after surgery.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Scar Tissue Following Rhinoplasty Surgery

Rhinoplasty surgery is frequently accompanied by the development of scar tissue. This scar tissue may occur in several locations including external incisions, the subcutaneous tissue, and the internal nasal cavity. Excess scar tissue can result in impairment of nasal function and altercations in nasal aesthetics.

Scar formation in the vast majority of patients is normal to some degree. It typically responds to conservative management, including massage and tincture of time. In rare situations, more aggressive treatment may be necessary. This may require surgical scar revision or steroid injection.

Major interventions for scarring should not be undertaken for at least one year following rhinoplasty surgery. During this period, scar tissue gradually softens and swelling slowly resolves. In many cases areas of concern will have total resolution without intervention. If you have concerns about scarring following rhinoplasty make sure you discuss this issue with your plastic surgeon. Your surgeon will be able to recommend the appropriate course of action to ensure the best possible result from rhinoplasty surgery.

Steroids and Rhinoplasty Scar Tissue

During the recovery phase of rhinoplasty some patients may develop unwanted scar tissue under the skin. This unwanted scar tissue can cause excess fullness that contributes to an irregular contour whether it be along the bridge or around the tip. In some cases, taping the skin down on a regular basis can minimize the impact of the scar tissue. In other cases, a steroid may be needed to soften or dissolve the scar tissue.

Kenalog is the most common steroid I happen to use for rhinoplasty patients. There are two different concentrations that I use routinely - one mild and the other strong. Sometimes it takes only one injection to reverse the effects of the scar tissue while in other cases a series of steroid injections may be indicated. If a series is required, I will typically space them apart by 6-8 weeks, which I find to be a safe interval between injections.

John M. Hilinski, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Nose scar tissue

Fortunately, undesirable external scarring after rhinoplasty is rare if the external incision is closed meticulously. However, if some unsightly scarring does occur, most can be treated with laser resurfacing or microdermabrasion. Scarring under the nasal skin can occur even in the best hands as a consequence of the body's healing process. Often, simple massage can smooth these down. If unsuccessful, Kenalog injections can be used with good success.

Corey S. Maas, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Correcting Scar Tissue After Rhinoplasty

The best means for correcting scar tissue after rhinoplasty depends on where the scar tissue is and how long it has been there.

There are several types of post-rhinoplasty scars/scar tissue.

1) External - if the surgery was done open or if alar base (nostril excisions) were performed, an unsightly scar can be dermabraded or resurfaced with a laser. Or even re-excised.

2) Internal - internal scar bands can block the airway and should be excised.

3) Subcutaneous- compressive taping during the first 1-6 months of surgery. Steroid injections into the area can be helpful up to one year after surgery, but there is a risk of thinning the skin or causing discoloration.

C. Spencer Cochran, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 119 reviews

Scarring after rhinoplasty

In general, scarring after rhinoplasty is hardly visible and not an issue. If you have excess external scarring, this can be surgically revised. If you have exceeds internal scarring, steroid injection or surgical revision can be an option. 

Lara Devgan, MD, MPH
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Scarring after rhinoplasty

Short answer: yes. But it depends on what type, where, and how severe. Depending upon these things this can be of varying difficulty. Definitely obtain a consult as there is much nuance to discuss.

Good luck!

Bryan Correa, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Scar tissue after rhinoplasty

Scar tissue after rhinoplasty can be improved.  The treatment depends on where the scar tissue is.  If the scarring is beneath the skin, this will show more in patients with thin nasal skin.  Treatment may consist of fillers or revision surgery to place fascial grafts in areas where the scarring has caused a visible contour irregularity. If there is external scarring (which is very rare) of the skin, fractionated laser can be an effective treatment.  Dermabrasion can also be helpful.  See a revision rhinoplasty specialist to evaluate your nose in detail and make recommendations.

Sirius K. Yoo, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Scar tissue after rhinoplasty

This depends on where the scar tissue is and if it is in fact due to scar tissue. If it is determined that scar tissue is contributing to your problem, a steroid injection to the area can sometimes soften and reduce the appearance. It is best to go to your rhinoplasty surgeon so that they can evaluate you and make an accurate diagnosis of the problem. If steroid injections aren't an option or don't work then sometimes a revision surgery is recommended. 

Michael T. Somenek, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

rhinoplasty scar tissue

 Closed rhinoplasty techniques will completely obliterate  any of the external incisions. There is scar tissue internally that can be addressed with cortisone shots at the postoperative visits, if needed. For many examples of closed rhinoplasty, please see the link below to our photo gallery.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.