Will my smile return to normal after rhinoplasty?

I had an open, rib graft, rhinoplasty 14 days ago, they removed a scar on my philtrum from my cleft lip, did a maxillary labial frenuloplasty, and lip fat graft. The rhinoplasty was mostly just the tip and septum, so it healed very quick with minimal swelling/bruising. I'm worried because when I smile, my lip hangs over the front teeth and the philtrum feels very stiff, so when I smile, I have to fight it. Is it possible that the stiffness will persist forever? It feels structural. Thanks!

Doctor Answers 2

Rhinoplasty and a stiff lip

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Recovering from rhinoplasty is a healing process. Swelling can cause temporary stiffness of the upper lip. Structural changes to the bottom of the nose for the purpose of supporting the tip can also create stiffness that is permanent. This may also create a change in your smile. I recommend talking with your surgeon regarding the potential duration of your upper lip stiffness. 

San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Stiff lip after rhinoplasty

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It sounds like you have a lot of work done to your lip as well as your nose.  It is great that your nose is healing quickly, but the lip scar excision, frenuloplasty and fat graft will take some time to heal!  The stiffness you feel is called induration, and it is the body's way of bringing attention to that area and recruiting cells that aid in healing.  It will take some time for that stiffness to go down.  You will notice it getting better in the next few weeks, but it may take 6-9 months for that tissue to feel totally soft again.  Be patient, it won't be that way forever

Best of luck

Dr Rodman

Regina Rodman, MD
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 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.