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4 Months Post Rhinoplasty: Tip Swelling

I had a rhinoplasty to correct a large dorsal hump and a twisted septum on Dec. 28 2010. I have noticed some swelling going down but my tip seems to be lacking definition and is still quite hard. It was an open procedure.

Doctor Answers (17)

Tip swelling with open rhinoplasty


Tip swelling and stiffness will take at least six to twelve months as a rule after open rhinoplasty. The improvements in softness progress so slowly it can be hard to notice on a daily basis. Love the sunglasses in your photos.

Best of luck,


Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

4 Months Post Rhinoplasty: Tip Swelling


I have to thanks you for posting the photo series. I agree in part with waiting at least 6 to 9 months following the rhinoplasty operation to allow tip swelling/edema to subside. But based upon my viewing of your photos to me you tip needs additional refinement or a tip plasty. Just my opinion. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Tip Swelling Takes Time


While the profile typically takes on its finished appearance in weeks or a few months, the front view of the tip can often times take years to finalize.  You had an open approach which tends to make tip swelling worse since that incision temporarily removes one of the lymphatic drainage paths.

Thick skinned individuals are definitely more susceptible to this problem.  If your skin is porous or oily, you probably have thick skin.  Most thick skinned people who had an open tip approach can see swelling improvement for years after the surgery.

I would certainly be patient with this issue.  If the nose is way to wide at the tip one year after surgery, that is a bad sign.  If it is just a little wide, I would expect that in another year or two it should be nice.

Louis W. Apostolakis, MD
Austin Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

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Persistent Tip Swelling after Open Rhinoplasty


Your surgeon did a nice job with your nose.  The swelling in the tip will continue to subside with time.  When you can wiggle the tip of your nose and it doesn't hurt or is not stiff anymore, then you can start analyzing it.  Prior to that time you're still healing.  As far as your tip definition, I've seen tips refine over 3-4 years, so I would NOT revise it; your nasal skin looks normal to thick and any revision would not guarantee a thinner tip.  Make sure you discuss your concerns with your surgeon.

Ramtin Kassir, MD

Ramtin Kassir, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Prolonged tip swelling and firmness are normal after open rhinoplasty



As frustrating as it is, I think you need to be patient a little longer with your results. Tip swelling can be persistent anywhere from 6-12 months following an open rhinoplasty. In addition, it is quite normal for the tip to feel hard at 4 months after surgery. If you are not pleased with the appearance of your tip after a year from surgery, that is when you should start thinking about a revision. Make an appointment with your surgeon to discuss your concerns. Good luck!


Sarmela Sunder, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Tip swelling

Swelling can really vary depending on the patient. It can take several weeks for the initial swelling to occur, then months for it to subside. Swelling in the tip generally takes the longest to subside. Please wait a few months before evaluating your results. Best of luck! 

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Tip swelling is the last to go away.


Hello "grand rapids",

Thank you for the question and the photos.  Small world; I trained there.  Swelling of the tip is the last to go away.  If nothing was done to the tip then it should regain its former appearance once all of the swelling has subsided.  The time for this to occur is different from one individual to another.  At 4 months I would anticipate most of the swelling should have resolved.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Tip Swelling


Tip swelling can last for up to a year. Occasionally, some careful injection of a cortisone preparation into the tip could help expedite the process. Ask your doctor about cortisone injections.

Elliot M. Heller, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Swelling after Rhinoplasty


After reviewing your pictures it appears that you achieved a very natural and aesthetically pleasing result from your rhinoplasty.  I understand that you are concerned about prolonged swelling in the tip, but you need to realize that swelling after rhinoplasty surgery takes up to one year to fully resolve.  Over the course of the next 8 months you will continue to see the shape of your nose mature into its final conformation.  In the meantime be patient, and follow up with your surgeon if you have any specific questions.  Good Luck, Dr. Corrado

Anthony Corrado, DO
Philadelphia Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Tip hard 4 months after Open Rhinoplasty


Open Rhinoplasty causes more swelling in the tip than Closed Rhinoplasty and typically takes 6 months for the swelling to decrease.  Wait a few more months and see what happens at that time.

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.