6 Weeks Post Rhinoplasty and No Improvement - Help!

Hi, I had open rhinoplasty six weeks ago with a reputable company, when the splint was removed the tip of the nose was very swolen without any change in length but the bridge was straight, I was assured that the tip was swolen and it would go down. Six weeks on, the tip has reduced in swelling but not length, which is exaclty what I wanted fixed. As for the bridge, it is now becoming more pronounced and bigger again so that my nose is actually no different to pre surgery at all. Why is this?

Doctor Answers 4

6 weeks after rhinoplasty

Closed or open approach rhinoplasties take 12 months on average to heal, and the healing process is all about post-operative swelling.  Closed rhinoplasties heal symmetrically.  The newer open approach noses heal top down, with the tip of the nose being the last part where the swelling finally settles.

An average open rhinoplasty patient, at 6 months after their surgery, will hopefully say that their nose looks better, that it breathes OK, and that their nose tip looks fat.  They will be right.  It is the second six months after the surgery when the tip swelling settles.  I like to tell my patients that if their nose looks fantastic at 2 months, then they will end up with a pinched, operated-looking nose at one year.

It is too early to panic. Don't bother with looking at pre-operative photos at this stage.  Follow up with your surgeon over your progressing post-operative year.



Vancouver Facial Plastic Surgeon

No change in rhino at 6 wks

6 wks may still be a little early.  i am sure you are used to hearing this but we dont see final results until 1 full year.   however i think that if there is no change when the splint comes off, you still may be disapointed at 1 year.  i do have to agree that looking at your pre op photos may be helpful.  patients and doctors alike have short memories for what a feature looked like prior to surgery.  the pre op photos set us both straight.  remember 15% of all rhinoplasty patients nationwide undergo a revision.  if you needs one you are in good complany, unfortunately.  because of this - we as surgeons must all strive to respect rhinoplasty for what it is - one of the most complex procedures we do as plastic surgeons.  we must spend time discussing expectations with our patients, and we must spend time in the operating room trying to meet those expectations when reasonable.  behind the scenes you hear a lot of chatter about how many rhinoplasties one does, or how quikly.  these are important - but what i think is more important is to collectively focus on planning and execution so as to reduce the unacceptably high nationwide revision rate.  remember - respect rhinoplasty, respect cosemtic surgery.  its a lot more than just a "nip and tuck."

Adam Bryce Weinfeld, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Unsatisfactory result 6 weeks following rhinoplasty.

6 weeks is much too early to make definitive conclusions.  At 3 months you can start to determine whether a revision will be necessary.  Visit with your surgeon at that time and ask for the preoperative photos to compare.

Mario J. Imola, MD, DDS, FRCSC.

Mario J. Imola, MD, DDS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Unhappy Rhinoplasty Results

 If you are 6 weeks out following your rhinoplasty and you can see no difference may I suggest you ask your surgeon for your pre operative photographs to confirm your suspensions. If you really cannot see a difference after careful and thoughtful examination then, express your concerns to your practitioner in hopefully a non-adversarial fashion. Remind them of the goals you requested before your operation. Review each goal and ask them how it was addressed/ corrected. Consider writing down the responses. Then, consider requesting a copy of your operative report.
 Since, it appears that you goals for your Rhinoplasty were not meet first, ask your surgeon how they intend to meet your expectations. If you are not satisfied with their answers then, consider a second option. Take your old photo’s and operative report with you to the consult. Best,

Gary R Culbertson, MD, FACS

Gary R. Culbertson, MD
Columbia Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 9 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.