Swelling and Changing Shape of Nose After Cast Removal

I had rhinoplasty done about a week and a half ago and I loved the way my nose looked immediately after cast / packing removal. It was very taut, slim, and had a nicely upturned tip. Over the next few days the shape has changed, my nose looks bulbous and bulges out, the tip has dropped far more than expected, and one nostril droops down.

It looks entirely different. I've read that most of this initial swelling subsides after 2 weeks. Is this accurate? And is what I'm describing typical?

Doctor Answers 8

Normal for nose to swell post-Rhinoplasty

 It's completely normal and expected that swelling of the nose will occur, be asymmetrical for weeks after the cast is removed.  I have all of my Rhinoplasty patients look at their nose right after I remove their cast following a Rhinoplasty and show them how their nose can and will swell unevenly on one side on day and the other side the next.  I instruct all my Rhinoplasty patients on how to massage this swelling out of their nose beginning at 1 month.

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

8500 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90211


In general, swelling after rhinoplasty takes months and months to fully resolve. You'll notice your nose is swollen at the moment, especially since you've just had your cast removed. The initial swelling may disappear after 2 weeks, but that doesn't mean you still don't have any swelling right now. You should wait at least a year before considering revision rhinoplasty.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

362 Fairlawn Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M5M 1T6

Swelling after rhinoplsaty

Thank you for your question!

It is understandable that you are concerned. 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. After removal of cast, swelling dynamics tend to act as the tissue continues finding its way down the healing path.

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 subsides, 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 176 reviews

496 Old Newport Blvd
Newport Beach, CA 92663

Rhinoplasty Swelling after Nasal Cast Removal

The nasal cast will minimize swelling after rhinoplasty. The present swelling will reolve over the next several months, not 2 weeks as you suggest. It will take time for you to see the final result.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

416 N Bedford Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Rhinoplasty swelling after cast removal

It is true that if you do not like what you see as the case is removed there can be trouble ahead. True also that the skin will swell a bit as the cast or splint is removed. Still your nose should look OK though the definition may be temporarily lost. After six months things should sort themselves out again, and still the best is yet to come after the first year of healing. Be patient and stay the course.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

8901 West Golf Road
Des Plaines, IL 60016

Rhinoplasty changes

Dear Stampella,

It is still very early in your healing process after rhinoplasty.  If it looked good after your cast removal, it should look good after it heals up.  The initial bulk of swelling takes about 2 weeks to come down, but the final result won't be permanent until about the six month mark.  There are also patient factors like the thickness of the skin which can delay healing.

As you heal, the skin will start contracting, or shrink wrapping, around your nasal skeleton.  So a little patience goes a long way.

Sometimes a course of oral steroids can help bring down the swelling a little more quickly, but that decision would have to be made by you and your surgeon. 


Nima Shemirani

Nima Shemirani, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

201 South Lasky Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90212

Temporary Changes in the Appearance of The Nose After Rhinoplasty Splint Removal

It is very typical that the nose shape will temporarily change after splint removal due to swelling. What once looked great right when the splint came off will swell and look less defined within a matter of days. This is because the splint adapted the skin to the changed underlying framework. Not that this pressure is off, the tissue will naturally ballon up and look 'worse'. This will eventually improve but it is going to take months before the shape returns as the skin shrinks back down again.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Indiana University Health North Hospital
Carmel, IN 46032

Nasal Swelling after Rhinoplasty Cast Removal

Hi stampella,

The nose may appear larger, bulbous, or swollen after rhinoplasty cast removal. Most of the swelling improves in the first month after surgery, with the residual swelling taking a year or longer to improve. Speak with your rhinoplasty surgeon regarding any concerns you have. Best of luck.

Dr. Chaboki


Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

2300 M St NW
Washington, DC 20037

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.