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How Long Should Numbness After Rhinoplasty Last?

I had rhinoplasty 8 months ago, and predominantly the healing process has been going very well! However, my concern is that the right side of my nose is still very numb, going from the bridge down to the nostril. It feels very stiff, and tingles mildly to the touch, and the tip is a bit more swollen still on the right hand side. I can't seem to find any concrete information on this, so I was curious if anyone knows if this is a normal possibility? Thanks for your help! Cheers.

Doctor Answers (9)

Numbness after rhinoplasty resolves slowly

+2

Numbness of the nose after rhinoplasty is normal and often takes months to resolve. Particularly, with an open rhinoplasty, the numbness may last for 1 to 2 years. It is also not uncommon to have numbness only on one side the nose or to be more prolonged on one side of the nose. Along with the numbness, the tissues often feel stiff and swollen. Be patient; improvements will occur slowly.


Huntsville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

How long should numbness after rhinoplasty last?

+1
Hello! Thank you for your question! Numbness after any surgical procedure is expected for several weeks to months following. As the nerves to the area are traumatized and will then experience a temporary neuropraxia, a transient loss of nerve conduction. This usually resolves over the next 6-12 weeks, but depending on the procedure performed, sometimes much longer. Typically this should resolve by 1 year. As it goes past this date, the likelihood of the sensation returning is small. However, it can take up to 2 years. If no return from there, it is unlikely to return. It should be discussed that persistent sensory changes may develop following any surgical procedure.

The usual signs of the nerves regenerating and neuropraxia resolving is itching, followed by a burning sensation and then occasional sharp, shock-like pains. These will be normal to experience, and actually a promising sign. Usually, normal sensation returns, but is is also possible to have decreased sensation or even increased sensation to the areas affected. Re-educating nerves postoperatively is often helpful and will allow proper instruction for the affected sensory nerves - methods include using different textures to the affected areas when showering, bathing, applying lotion, etc. If bothersome, there are some medications that may be helpful, including Neurontin for pain for hypersensitivity. You can try various textures such as washcloths, loofahs, cotton sheets, etc. Massaging the areas is also beneficial for the incision to make the finest scar possible. The last place to regain the sensation will be directly adjacent to the incision/scar as the nerves will make its way from the periphery to this location. If continual pain arises, evaluation is warranted. After ruling out other causes, one rare explanation may be that a neuroma has developed and may require surgical excision. This is very unlikely unless a large sensory nerve has been transected inadvertently during the procedure. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Numbness after Rhinoplasty

+1
In general, almost all noses are numb right after a rhinoplasty. In most cases its the tip that is numb, but this numbness can extend down to the upper lip, and in rare cases some of the teeth. There are nerves that are cut and stretched during a rhinoplasty, and it takes a long time for those nerves to start working again. This is true of an open as well as closed rhinoplasty, although it tends to be more extensive in open rhinoplasty. This could also be more extensive if a septoplasty is performed at the same time. This, along with the swelling, gives you a stiff, plastic type feel, and can give you an odd smile. However, the nerves will start working and again, and your nose stiffness will go away with time. This takes in most cases months, but can take years in rare cases. Extremely rarely, the numbness is permanent, although I have never seen such as case.
Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

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Loss of sensation during nose jobs.

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Although nerves may be injured in the course of performing a rhinoplasty, the vast majority of these tend to resolve with time. Generally, it is best to wait it out. I am not aware of an operation for restoring sensation to the nose.

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Numbness after rhinoplasty

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Numbness after rhinoplasty is the rule rather than the exception. The fact you have tingling in the area most likely means the nerves are trying to grow back, which is a good sign. It may take one year or longer for the sensation to return, so be patient.

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Tingling of Nasal Tip Is a Sign of Healing Nerves

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There are many small sensory nerves in the nose that continue to heal after a rhinoplasty and it can go on for up to 2-3 years. It takes time but does go away.

If you see any blisters on the tip, then I would be concerned and see your surgeon right away as that could be a viral infection.

Swelling alone is quite normal. Give it more time.

Regards

Tanveer Janjua, MD
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Numbness after rhinoplasty and how long to go away.

+1

This may take 12-18 months to return, but in 35 years of doing thousands of rhinoplasties, I have never had a patient where it did not go away.

Toby Mayer, MD
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Numbess after Rhinoplasty

+1

Hi,

Numbness can last up to 2 years. If a nerve has been damaged, it usually takes about 18 months for regeneration. Anything after that may indicate permanent nerve damage. However, you should be regaining sensation slowly over 2 years.

Best,

Dr.S.

Oleh Slupchynskyj, MD, FACS
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
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Rhinoplasty numbness

+1

It's not unusual to notice asymmetrical swelling and numbness after a rhinoplasty. You should speak to your surgeon, but if you had a graft placed on your right side only, that would account for many of your symptoms. In some cases we just need to do more work on one side, which is why that area will take a bit longer to heal. Good luck, /nsn.

Nina S. Naidu, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
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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.