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Question About Touching Nose Post-rhinoplasty

can i touch my nose 7 months post op rhinoplasty, also i was wondering is it normal if one side of my nose tip feels soft and the other side feels bony and numb...this would mean my nose is healing at different rates on both sides is this normal, i also noticed the hard numb side has a subtlely higher nostril hood is this normal

Doctor Answers (5)

Numbness and rhinoplasty

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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. A revision rhinoplasty is a much harder surgery with a lot of internal scarring to cut through. This can also be a reason for prolonged numbness. 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. As the nerves grow back, you may feel some tingling, itchiness and on occasion pain. 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


Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Rhinoplasty Healing

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The nose shouldn't heal at different rates. If the nose feels different on one side, it might be because there is either cartilage graft or scar tissue underneath. At 7 months if it feels and looks noticeably different you should return to the surgeon to reexamine your nose.

Saeed Marefat, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Healing after Rhinoplasty

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It is common for different areas of your nose to heal at different rates.  It is also not uncommon to have different sensations in various parts of your nose.   This usually resolves anywhere from 6-12 months after surgery.  Seems like your are in the earlier part of this window of time.  I am confident you will find improvement in the upcoming months.

Richard Ellenbogen, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

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OK to Touch Your Nose

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It is certainly OK to touch your nose at 7 months after rhinoplasty.

Much of what you describe is normal for this time after nasal surgery. Firm spots and numbness can last 18 months after surgery, especially at the tip of the nose.

Asymmetry may be temporary, but it is wisest to check this out with your surgeon to be sure that it is not a problem that may require intervention.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Touching your nose after rhinoplasty

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All the things you describe are typical in the first year following a rhinoplasty.  Touching your nose is fine at this time.  This differences you describe may be fine or there actually might be some asymmetry which has occurred from the procedure.  It is difficult to tell without seeing photos or examining you. You will not know for sure if these things are definitely a problem until the nose is completely healed at one year.  The two sides of the nose can certainly heal at different rates.  I would suggest you discuss these issues with your surgeon who should be able to better reassure you or explain what he/she thinks is going on.  Good Luck

Adam D. Stein, MD
Raleigh-Durham Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 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.