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How Long Does Swelling Last After Rhinoplasty Surgery?

I had rhinoplasty about a 2 weeks ago, currently the tip is quite swollen and the skin almost feels stretched or thicker? All of the other swelling is gone but the tip looks almost bigger than it did before. Is this normal? Usually how long will the swelling last?

Doctor Answers (8)

Swelling after Rhinoplasty

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It is VERY normal to have swelling at this stage after surgery. Although the length of time for swelling to resolve after rhinoplasty varies among patients (some taking up to 2 years), I tell my patients that swelling will resolve across the dorsum (bridge) in 6 months, while the tip and sidewalls (region where glasses sit) take 12 months.

If you had an open procedure, tip edema tends to take a bit longer than for a closed rhinoplasty.

You are now at the stage where you sit back, relax, and wait for the final result to reveal itself – there is no way to speed things up.

The tip is usually the last place for swelling to resolve after Rhinoplasty

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It sounds like you are going through the normal course of healing that everyone experiences. The swelling around the bony area of the nose always resolves quicker as the skin and soft tissue is thinner. Around the tip, the skin is not only thicker, but it is the most dependent area of the nose so swelling always takes longer to resolve. Just be patient and give it time. If you are not sure, take a picture of your nose at one month after surgery and at six months after surgery and compare them. You will almost certainly see a difference that is hard to notice as you look at it daily. Good Luck.

Dr. Miller

Andrew Miller, MD
Edison Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Swelling after Rhinoplasty lasts about a year

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After Rhinoplasty, it can take up to a year or longer for the tissues to completely settle and the swelling to resolve. While the majority of the swelling resolves within the first few months, the tissues continue to change over the next year.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Swelling from rhinoplasty is not gone in two weeks

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Dear Kendra,

I am sorry to say that in no case is the swelling gone in two weeks. Even if you were punched in the cheek, the swelling would take longer than two weeks to completely go away.

On the nose, where a small amount of swelling can be visualized, at two weeks you have a long way to go. Furthermore, the tip tends to remain swollen longer than the other parts of the nose.

Best of Luck!

Robert M. Freund, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Duration of Swelling Post Rhinoplasty

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Swelling is, unfortunately, an inevitable side effect of undergoing a rhinoplasty. Depending on the severity of the procedure and what has been done, the amount of swelling and bruising can fluctuate. Swelling is apparent immediately, and reduction in swelling is a gradual process. The first month is a crucial part of your recovery, and swelling is typically the most during this time. The greatest reduction in the visibility of your swelling will occur between 3 to 6 months after your nose job. In general, the entire swelling process takes about one year to entirely subside. Most surgeons offer their patients advice on what to do and what to avoid in order to accelerate the healing process. 

Sam Rizk, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Swelling Following Rhinoplasty: 2 Weeks

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                  It’s not unusual for patients undergoing rhinoplasty to have prolonged swelling. Several factors, including the use of open rhinoplasty, fracture of the nasal bones, thickness of the nasal skin, and a previous rhinoplasty have been associated with prolonged swelling.

                  Most patients will note significant swelling for about two weeks following surgery. After two weeks, most patients are comfortable resuming their normal lives and going out in public.

                  Swelling will persist in most patients for at least one year following surgery, with the nasal tip being the last site to experience resolution. In the immediate post-operative period, nasal splints, elevation of the head and ice can be used to minimize swelling. 

Post op swelling after a rhinoplasty

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One must always expect some degree of swelling and bruising after a rhinoplasty.  The splint, since it compresses the soft tissue will keep some of the early swelling down.  Once this compression is removed the entire nose can swell.  Do not be discouraged, the swelling will gradually improve over the next few months.  Other than ice and elevation there is not much you can do to speed the process along.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Swelling can last a few months

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The tip will feel thicker, hard, and woody in the postoperative phase for the first couple of months due to lymphatic edema, scar tissue and healing that has not completely subsided yet. The tip will look bigger for the first couple of weeks until the swelling comes down.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 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.