When Will the Swelling Stop After Rhinoplasty?

I have broken my nose 3 times. The third time I smashed half of it flat. I had rhinoplasty/septoplasty almost 2 months ago. He didn't have to break the bone, but my septum was at a 90 degree angle.

I see a huge difference, and I can breathe better; however, I think it still doesn't look normal. How long does it take all the swelling to go down and until I'm back to looking 'normal'? I think, right now, it looks like I have a tiny hump (witches nose, a little.) Is there still swelling? Will it go away?

Editor's Note: See related question, After rhinoplasty how long should the swelling last?

Doctor Answers 6

Swelling after a rhinoplasty will take upwards of a year to finally settle down

The swelling after a rhinoplasty will take upwards of a year to finally settle down. There is even very minor swelling and subtle changes that occur during the first five years after the surgery. The fact that you have broken your nose three times and had surgery means that the lymphatic drainage is altered within the nose. It will take a little longer than normal to settle down. Any little hump on the bridge can be adjusted through a touch-up procedure at least one year after the surgery.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Nasal Swelling in a Hockey Player

Hi hockey,

Three nasal fractures, you must be an aggressive hockey player.

Swelling after rhinoplasty may take from 6 to 12 months to completely resolve. Be patient, and come on, be a little bit more careful with that nose of yours.

Try using a face mask when playing hockey, and don't drop your gloves next time. Go Thrashers.

Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Majority of Rhinoplasty swelling within few weeks

If your nose is straighter and you can breathe better, then that is great!  The majority of swelling usually improves within a few weeks, but the nose may stay a bit swollen for 6 months to a year.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Rhinoplasty swelling may last up to one year

It seems that you had quite a difficult nasal surgery. The amount of surgical manipulation will be directly related to your swelling. In general 6-8 weeks for the outside nasal swelling (for the nose to start looking normal) but the nose continues to evolve over the following months up to one year or so.

Hope that helps!

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Swelling after Rhinoplasty depends on several factors

The amount of tissue edema and swelling after a rhinoplasty or septoplasty depends on a number of important factors. I advise my patients that the amount of swelling is dependent on the following factors:

  • Length of Surgery
  • Technique(s) used in surgery, including open vs. closed rhinoplasty, septoplasty, osteotomy, nasal bone fracturing, cartilage grafting.
  • Pliability and resiliency of the skin
  • Amount of native scar tissue
  • Postoperative Recovery
  • Bleeding time (A function of your body's bleeding ability).
  • Postoperative dressings
  • Postoperative activity

In absolute terms, there are several phases of swelling post rhinoplasty, including the immediate postoperative period of 7 days, the late postoperative residual edema lasting 1 to 2 months, and the final phase lasting up to 1 year.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

It can take up to a year for the swelling to go down.


It can take up to a year for the swelling to completely resolve. However, after a few months the majority of the swelling is gone. Have you been back to see your surgeon? If you post a picture, we may be able to give you more specific advice.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 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.