Nose Bridge Swelling or Permanent Hump?

I fractured my nose two years ago. Following septoplasty one year ago, I was unhappy with the broadness of my nose and what appeared to be a small bump to one side of my dorsum. I then had an infracture 3 weeks ago where the bump was found to be the roof of my nose so no rasping was needed. I am now worried about the asymmetry of my bridge. The bump has gone but now the other side of my nose looks to form a hump. Could this be swelling or does it look to be permanent?

Doctor Answers 7

Could be swelling....

The type of contour irregularity that you describe is very common following rhinoplasty surgery. During this procedure the nasal bones are filed and the nasal cartilage is shaved to reshape the nose. It’s not unusual to have residual boney irregularity, cartilaginous irregularity, scarring and swelling following this procedure.When these bumps occur, they can usually be felt, but no seen.In some cases, they may be visible as well and this can be a major source of anxiety for patients.
In the vast majority of cases this problem resolves without secondary surgery as the soft tissue swelling disappears and the underlying structures undergo remodeling.In many cases this can be facilitated with gentle massage.In some cases these deformities persist and secondary rhinoplasty is necessary.
It’s important to wait at least six to twelve months before proceeding with revisional surgery.During this time, scar tissue softens, swelling resolves and underlying structures remodel.The situation stabilizes and the surgeon is no longer trying to hit a moving target.
If you have concerns about contour irregularities following rhinoplasty surgery, good communication with your surgeon is essential. Your surgeon has probably seen this before and should be able to reassure you regarding your ultimate result.

Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Hump After Surgery

One month after surgery to evaluate subtleties in a rhinoplasty is too early. Swelling after rhinoplasty surgery can last a year. As always, if you are concerned with the look, I would speak with your surgeon about your concerns.

D.J. Verret, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews


It is difficult to say without seeing you in person. But, on the other hand it is way too early to tell if the nose has a problem. You have to wait for th swelling to dissipate.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Three weeks after surgery is no time for a post mortum.

At three weeks after surgery the swelling after rhinoplasty is just starting to resolve. For those who like numbers, 70% of the swelling still remains to be reabsorbed. So although one can start to make a judgment, even an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon may have little confidence in his opinion at this time. Unfortunately the waiting period after surgery is difficult and often trying. In a month from now you will be able to draw a firm conclusion.

Oakley Smith, MD, FRCSC
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Swelling in the nasal bridge or a permanent hump

The tissues of the nose are quite resilient but will fracture when subjected to great deal of force, typically more than 8 pounds of force. When this happens if there is minimal or no displacement of the cartilage or bones, you may experience swelling for a prolonged period of time but no permanent deformity. If the cartilage or bones are displaced, they may heal in this incorrect position and cause permanent deformity or a bump in your nose. Your best bet is to remember that the structures of the nose are fragile and they do require a significant time to heal. Allow your nose time to heal, approximately 10 to 12 months after a trauma or a surgery before considering a revision surgery to correct a deformity that you are noticing.

Pat Pazmino, MD, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Swelling after Rhinoplasty


An experienced surgeon would have difficulty evaluating your nose three weeks after surgery. Wait at least  three months and then discuss your appearance with your surgeon. Good luck! 

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Postoperative Nasal Swelling

Thanks for your question, Lizzi. It is really difficult to determine whether this is a case of postoperative swelling after nasal surgery. If it is swelling, you should be able to press on that spot for a few seconds and "press out" some of the edema. If this area feels firm and pointed then it is probably asymmetry in bone or cartilage. Thicker swelling can lead to scar formation so this should be looked at by your surgeon.

Postoperative swelling in the supratip area is not uncommon in patients with thick skin or in patients who had large volume reduction rhinoplasty. This swelling may persist for several months and even up to a year! If this occurs, I try to reduce it with steroid injections. These injections are very effective at reducing the fullness in the supratip or area just above the tip (ball) of the nose.

Henry Daniel Sandel IV, MD
Annapolis Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 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.