How Long Does Swelling Really Last After Rhinoplasty?

I am 20 months post open revision rhinoplasty. This was a complete re-do as I needed extensive correction. The results are overall great and I will go weeks with a very slim and refined nose. However, I stil have flucuating swelling during which times my nose looks puffy and I can feel that my nose is squishy with fluid under the skin. I also feel congested during that time. Will this ever end? It changes day to day or sometimes within the same day. Please advise...

Doctor Answers (5)

How long does swelling really last after rhinoplasty?

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Swelling after rhinoplasty lasts about 6 months. If the skin is thick or its revision surgery, the swelling can last longer. Two weeks after surgery about a third has resolved. At a month, about half the swelling is gone, and at two months, 3/4 has disappeared. After the swelling has resolved, there are still subtle changes for the following 6 months to a year more. Minor settling and shifting occurs, like a house settling down on its foundations. Day to day flucuations are noticed by many people, but these peeter out over a few years, becoming less frequent and less pronounced. For the vast majority these have resolved by 2 years, although I've had patients comment on them as long as 4 years afterwards.


Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Swelling after rhinoplasty

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ususally one year

so your congestion may be allergies etc

after two surgeries the lymphatic drainage may be altered - thus you may be prone to occasional bouts of swelling

consider avoiding grians/dairy and reducing salt (dont embark on any diet without clearing it with your your md) 

Adam Bryce Weinfeld, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

How Long Does Rhinoplasty Swelling Really Last

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In general, we tell patients that there may be significant changes over a year following rhinoplasty surgery, but in patients with thick skin or those recovering from augmentation or revision surgery this will sometimes take 18 months or more. If your surgeon is geographically desirable try to let him see you at good times and bad times. I know it's been a long time, but I recommend that you continue to be patient. I occasionally see  a rhinoplasty patient that I did 25-30 years ago with subtle changes since they were last seen 5-10 years after surgery.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

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Swelling after rhinoplasty

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Conventional wisdom usually describes swelling after rhinoplasty for up to one year. Revisions are possibly even longer.  I would suspect that if you are now 20 months out, it's no longer surgical swelling.  Meaning the waxing and waning appearance is due to other issues, like water retention from exercise, specific activities, allergies, food intake, etc.  If you had a lot of reconstruction done, the skin may be destined to behave abnormal at times, as the trauma might have disrupted the lymphatics that drain fluid.  Similarly, you might have thick skin that tends to act full or squishy , because it could not fully shrink wrap to your new cartilaginous structure.  The skin can sometimes be the limiting factor for rhinoplasty, especially in revision and reduction cases.

No real treatment except more time.  

Kevin Robertson, MD
Madison Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

How Long Does Swelling Really Last After Rhinoplasty?

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Swelling is highly variable from patient to patient but typically lasts about 6-9 months after a Rhinoplasty.  In patients with thick, oily skin or in Revision Rhinoplasty cases, the swelling can persist for a year or longer.  

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 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.