Rhinoplasty Scar Tissue

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

Doctor Answers (22)

Steroids and Rhinoplasty Scar Tissue

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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.

San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Rhinoplasty scars

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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.

Sam Naficy, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 152 reviews

Scar Tissue Following Rhinoplasty Surgery

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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.

Nose scar tissue

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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
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Treatment for rhinoplasty scar tissue

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Significant scar tissue after rhinoplasty is (fortunately) somewhat rare, and can be in one of two areas:

1) Along incisions made on the skin of the external or (!) internal nose.  The latter may cause nasal obstruction. 

2) Underneath the skin that is elevated to perform the rhinoplasty.  In this case, exuberant scar tissue formation can cause an unsightly shape to the nose (one example is the so-called 'pollybeak').  

Either (1) or (2) can be treated.  If the issue is an unsightly scar, this can be revised.  If the issue is nasal obstruction, revision intranasal surgery may be indicated.  If the issue is a pollybeak or some other similar issue, steroid injection may help.  

Hope this helps,

Dr. Sam Most

Sam Most, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Correcting Scar Tissue After Rhinoplasty

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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 104 reviews

rhinoplasty scar tissue

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 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
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Scar tissue after rhinoplasty can be treated

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The answer to your question depends on where the scar is. 

If it is external: surface treatments such as dermabrasion can help. Scars can also be surgically revised. There are many options. 

If it is too much scar underneath the skin, steroid injections can help. 

It is best to see a rhinoplasty specialist to help you with this. 


Dr. Zoumalan

Richard A. Zoumalan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Rhinoplasty Scar Tissue

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After a rhinoplasty as well as other facial plastic surgery procedures, the healing process tends to go smoothly and recover better than other areas of the body. Depending on what point you are at during your recovery process, I would recommend waiting it out and giving your nose the proper time to fully heal. If you are still concerned, you should address this with your facial plastic surgeon.

Carlo Honrado, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Treatment for Scar Tissue after Rhinoplasty

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Thank you for the question. Scar tissue can form wherever incisions are made or tissue planes separated. Depending on the approach and specific maneuvers performed during your rhinoplasty, scar tissue may form in different places. If the scar tissue is internal, this is treatable in most patients using a combination of steroid injections (kenalog in different strengths) and massage.  Over time, as the residual swelling resolves, improvements in contour will be seen. For scars that form at the external incisions, sometimes scar revision is indicated -- though not typically within a year of the surgery.

Evan Ransom, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 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.