Bulbous Nose and Retracted Nostrils 3 Months After Rhinoplasty, Am I Looking at the Final Results?

It's been 3 months since my (tip deprojection) rhinoplasty and my nose is bulbous as compared to before rhinoplasty. I also appear to have some retracted nostrils. Attached are some before and after images. Would you agree that the nose is bulbous and the nostril is retracted? How much of this would be due to swelling as it's been 3 months already and how much due to bad nose surgery. I was under the impression from reading other posts that 80% of the swelling dissapates within 3 months.

Doctor Answers 11

Bulbous Tip and Retracted Nostril 3 Months After Rhinoplasty

I tell this to ALL my rhinoplasty patients and you will hear it from almost ALL plastic surgeons:  Do not look at your nose for the first 8 months after your surgery.  It will take that long to get a sense as to how it will ultimately appear, and it will take 12-18 months to fully heal.  Take comfort in the fact that nothing can be done about it right now - just be patient.

Paramus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Early but....

You DO need to be patient - final results will not be for a year or more! Go back and express your concerns to your surgeon, sometimes careful injection of dilute steroids can help the swelling. 

That being said, you do seem to have a bit of a "pollybeak" or excess tissue just above the tip. That can be from excess cartilage in that area, scar tissue, or over aggressive removal of the dorsum. Combined with the retraction of the nostrils, I am guessing you may be having excess scar tissue forming and contracting. See your surgeon.

J. Charles Finn, MD
Raleigh-Durham Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Bulbous Nose and Retracted Nostrils 3 Months After Rhinoplasty, Am I Looking at the Final Results?

At hree months post Rhinoplasty, surely some residual swelling still exists however, the tip won't rotate upward during the remaing healing phase but the tip itself may thin out, with time.  The shape of the nostrils will not change IMHO.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Results three months after rhinoplasty

It is too soon to be concerned about the final appearance of your nose.  At three months after a rhinoplasty, you are still in the early stages of healing, and swelling in the tip of the nose typically requires the longest amount of time to resolve.  You should expect to see continued resolution and changes to the contour of your nose over the next six to nine months.   

Corey S. Maas, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews


You are still early in the healing curve and the tip is the last to really change. It appears to me that you have had an open tip procedure. This will result in longer tip swelling and temporary collumela protrusion

David A. Bray, Sr., MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Bolbous tip

From the pictures you submitted it appeasr that you have thick skin on the tip. Very tricky to work with this, as the changes done underneath to the cartilage will not reveals through a thick skin "envelope". You also have some nostril retraction, this may be from several factors.

Due to the timing of you surgery, and without a personal exam, it  will be hard to predict what the final result will be.If the skin is as thick as it appears once the swelling has mostly gone (about 9 months or so) and the tip still appears bolbous, more cartilage not less, will have to be added to refine the tip appearance and fix the nostrils.

Best of luck,

Michel Siegel, MD
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 113 reviews

3 months post Rhinoplasty

Yes, you are right. By 3 months around 80% of the results should be finall. I can conclude from your question, that you had a bulbous nose before surgery and you wanted a projected tip( not deprojected), if I could understand you question right, i think you got some results from your surgery, your nose is smaller ,and the tip is more defined than before. Howevere, more could be done to define the tip and reduce the alar fullness and reach more tip definition .The r the naso labial angle you have post op from the profile view is less what it should be in woman, more ( if any ) had to be done to retract the hanging  columella and lift it up to get the appropriate angle and the same time reduce the allar show.

Fatema S. Alsubhi, MD
UAE Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Bulbous tip

You still have a considerable amount of edema in your tip. If your nose was significantly deprojected then you will have excess skin which needs at least a year to fully contract. Be patient and work with your surgeon.

Michael L. Schwartz, MD
West Palm Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Bulbous Tip 3 Months Post Rhinoplasty

You are not looking at the final result 3 months after rhinoplasty. Swelling, especially in the tip, will continue to decrease over the next 9-12 months. Having said that, you do have a bulbous tip and retracted nostrils. Be patient!

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Final results from rhinoplasty can take a year

It is hard to tell from your photos how things will end up, and for most the final results after rhinoplasty will take up to a year for all the tissues to soften and the details to show through. You are off to a good start and it is best at this point to be patient.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 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.