7 weeks post op of Rhinoplasty, I have uneven on one side and swelling not going down. Is this normal?

I had a rhinoplasty and septoplasty 7 weeks post op my left side of the bridge is a lot bigger then the right could something have moved or is this swelling. My swelling of my nose is not going down its been the same since surgery is this normal?

Doctor Answers 8

Asymmetry after rhinoplasty

Recovery after rhinoplasty will vary based on the person, characteristics of the nasal tissues and what was done during surgery. Immediately after the splint or cast is removed, it is common for the nose to look more defined. After the compression has been removed, the skin and soft tissues can swell and this can take weeks to months to significantly improve. After rhinoplasty, tip shape is typically the last thing to settle before seeing the final result; this can take 12 months or longer in patients with thick, oily skin. My experience has been that edema may take 18 months or longer to resolve. During this time you will notice that the size of your tip decreases as swelling resolves and subtle details and tip definition appear. Additionally, the tip may descend causing the tip to rotate downwards (depending on what was done during surgery). Around the 4-6 week mark, most patients are able to appreciate most of the changes from surgery as a significant amount of swelling has resolved. However, it can take somewhere in and around 12-18 months to see the final results. The areas with thicker skin in the nose such as the tip, alar rims and radix will require longer to settle.

In some cases, swelling can occur asymmetrically where one are is more swollen and takes longer to settle than other areas. It's hard but important to stay patient during your recovery and to be diligent attending your follow-up appointments with your surgeon.

Asymmetry at 7 weeks after rhinoplasty

Thank you for your question!

It is understandable that you are concerned especially with the asymmetry of your nose bridge. Changes after rhinoplasties vary with every patient and what you are experiencing is normal especially that swelling takes time to subside as it masks the results of your surgery.

Without a physical exam it is not possible to provide you with a definitive medical answer.

However, it is important to keep in mind that it is early to pass a judgment. Usually, a year is required before formulating how your nose will be. Even then, your nose will keep shaping itself and to complement your face for better results in the years to come.

My best recommendations at the moment is to be patient, allow nature to take its course and edema subsides for better results. There is no doubt that once the swelling resolves, more definition and shape will be achieved and you should be happier with the results.

Also, it is important that you keep communicating with your surgeon and work as a team together to achieve the best results possible.

Congratulations on your surgery and please remain positive!

Ali Sajjadian, MD FACS

Ali Sajjadian, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

Asymmetry after rhinoplasty

You are very early in your post op recovery...
i am sure your surgeon informed you that it takes a full year or more for the result to be final...
be patient, talk to your surgeon...
best of luck to you.

Terrence Higgins, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Re: 7 weeks post op of Rhinoplasty, I have uneven on one side and swelling not going down...


Thanks for your question.

At seven weeks your are in the very early phases of tissue healing.  As the healing process progresses over the next several months (usually by 7 to 9 months) you, and your surgeon, will be better able to assess your concerns.

Thank you,

S.P. Maggi, MD, FACS
Austin Plastic Surgery Center

7 weeks post op of Rhinoplasty, I have uneven on one side and swelling not going down. Is this normal?

It is always difficult to assess the final result so early in the healing process.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

7 weeks post op of Rhinoplasty, I have uneven on one side and swelling not going down. Is this normal?

It is difficult to give you an opinion without the standard photographs. Generally speaking, rhinoplasty is a year long recovery. It takes that long to appreciate your final result. 
Meanwhile, I recommend sharing your concerns with your plastic surgeon and adhering to your follow ups. 

Maan Kattash, MD, FRCS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Asymmetry of the nose seven weeks after a rhinoplasty is not necessarily anything to worry about.

It would be useful if you provided a photograph. In general however swelling will persist months after a rhinoplasty so there is no reason to panic At seven weeks.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews


Hard to say, especially without photos. It could be swelling, it could be bone still too far out compared to the other side. Keep your follow-up appointments with your surgeon so she/he can see the progress-or lack thereof- over the next few months.

Robert H. Hunsaker, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 48 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.