As a general rule swelling or post-operative edema can remain for a full year and in thicker skinned noses for up to two years in my experience. It takes time for the definiton of the underlying cartilage to show through the thickened tissues. As to whether this chronic edema can become scar, yes that is possible. One advantage of open rhinoplasty as you have described is the ability to achieve good hemostasis or control of bleeding. In addition I like to spray a thin layer of fibrin sealant (platelet rich plasma) to further reduce any build up of fluids between the skin and cartilage. Long term night taping will also be of benefit. Sometimes a judicious injection of low dose steroid will help to dissipate some of this swelling.
The swelling within the tissues several months after the rhinoplasty is performed does tend to resolve with time.
Kenneth Hughes, MD
Los Angeles, CA
The swelling at the tip of your nose will eventually resolve. This may take several more months. Scar tissue willl not be the result of swelling.
In the early period after rhinoplasty, pockets of collected fluid beneath the skin can turn into scar tissue if the nose is improperly taped and splinted. Over the long term, soft tissue swelling (edema), which is different from fluid collecting beneath the skin, does resolve.