Chances of Scar Tissue and Other Complications from Rhinoplasty?

Hi, I was wondering what the chances are of scar tissue build up and other complications after Rhinoplasty.

I have heard several stories of individuals who have gotten scar tissue build up. Another story of an individual who was happy with his rhinoplasty for 15 years and suddenly the nose started taking on a weird shape.

This is my biggest concern and no doctor has answered this question fully. Considering Rhinoplasty is a complicated procedure and nose can be totally altered, wouldn't it take stranger shape after so many years due to genetics?

Doctor Answers 10

Potential complications of Rhinoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}


Rhinoplasty is a complicated procedure that takes a true professional to perform correctly. A good surgeon will be familiar with the way the nose may respond to the surgery, and plan for how the nose will look for years down the road. What may look good on the table immediately following surgery may not look good 15 years later and further. Shrink wrappage of the skin and three dimensional healing can alter the future shape of the nose especially if an aggressive surgery was initially performed .

Scar tissue is a natural result, and it will build up more with further procedures. Genetics themselves do not usually play a role in how the nose will respond to surgery, but it is safer to say that every individual will have a different response to rhinoplasty and experience different healing times and results. Regarding complications, every surgery has its risks and it is important to do your homework when choosing a surgeon, and make sure to communicate all of your needs. Thank you, and best of luck.

Dr. Nassif

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Possibility of scar tissue after rhinoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Rhinoplasty can be a difficult operation to perform, and you need to make sure your surgeon has performed thousands of rhinoplasties when doing your research. The revision rate or touch-up rate for rhinoplasty is approximately 10% to 20% depending upon the surgeon’s qualifications and abilities. The most common area for scar tissue to build up in the nose after a rhinoplasty is in the supratip area, which can be addressed through multiple cortisone injections, which, if not effective, can then be surgically excised. It most commonly occurs in patients who have thick, olive, oily skin who tend to develop keloid scarring.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Complications after Rhinoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Complications are possible after any operation. Scarring after rhinoplasty may occur, but this is rarely a significant problem when done by an experienced surgeon. Remember, all body parts change during the aging process. Occasionally, I'll see senior citizens who want a revision of a nose that was done many years before. I recently saw two relatively young women whose noses I did 25 years ago. These two friends still looked good, but there may be changes as they age.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Scar tissue other complications from rhinoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

With any surgical procedure, there are always chances of complications. The degree of subcutaneous scar tissue that develops leading to prominence, especially in the region just superior to the nasal tip, is unpredictable. Subcutaneous scar tissue is usually treatable and does not present as a serious problem. There are numerous other potential complications from rhinoplasty that may include breathing problems and disfigurement. Extraordinary bleeding is also a potential problem. Although problems and complications may occur even in the best of hands, the more adept and experienced rhinoplasty surgeons tend to experience fewer complications.

Long term complications of rhinoplasty are rare

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

There are very few complications of rhinoplasty such as infection, bleeding, etc. The aesthetic complications show up in the first 1-2 years. The better the surgeon, the fewer complications like these he will have-but all surgeons have them. As the nose ages we loose fat and there is thinning of the skin and we then can see the more irregularities. This happens to all noses.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Thin skin and strong nasal cartilage can lead to tip irregularities after your Rhinoplasty Surgery.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Scar tissue forms in everyone after Rhinoplasty Surgery. This is the main reason why Revision Rhinoplasty is such a difficult operation. I have seen some patients that developed thick scar tissue (seen at Revision Rhinoplasty) after their original nose job.

When you refer to irregularities in the nose seen years after surgery, this is typically seen in white patients with thin skin, and firm tip cartilage. It's not scar tissue, but irregular cartilage. I have found this "shrink-wrap" phenomenon, can be permanently corrected often without surgery. The use of Injectable Fillers in the nose to camouflage previous Rhinoplasty irregularities (Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty) is one of the most rewarding procedures for my patients and me.

I've attached a link to my Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty photos for your perusal.

I hope this is helpful for you.

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 435 reviews

Scar tissue after rhinoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Excessive scar tissue after rhinoplasty is something that I have never encountered. I suppose that it could occur with placing grafts that can warp or curl if not properly placed. But, actual scar tissue from a non-grafted nose, I have never seen unless there was some underlying medical condition that could cause nasal erosion.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Complications after rhinoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Your concern with complications following rhinoplasty surgery are certainly valid. There are both short and long term complications associated with the procedure and your surgeon will make you aware of these. We take these complications very seriously even if they are only minor and spend a great deal of time during surgery to insure that they do not occur. I have treated many patients for revision rhinoplasty and although there can be some bad initial work performed, people heal with slight differences in spite of excellent work.
Scarring is often times unpredictable but, a good rhinoplastic surgeon will stabilize your nose so that there are very few post operative surprises. If the nose is destabilized I suppose that complications could arise even 15 years after surgery, but, a great deal can happen to an individuals nose that are entirely unrelated to the procedure in that period of time.

Philip S. Schoenfeld, MD, FACS
Chevy Chase Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Rhinoplasty Changes are Rare After 1-2 Years

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Assuming that your Rhinoplasty is performed by stabilizing the various parts of the nose with cartilage grafts, then the result should be stable after 1-2 years. What you see in a few months will almost certainly remain that way for your lifetime.

I have not seen noses spontaneously "collapse" 15 years later. Did this other individual have skin cancer? Need facial radiation? Use cocaine? Sometimes we don't know the whole history of the stories that circulate on the internet.

Michael C. Pickart, MD
Ventura Plastic Surgeon

Rhinoplasty Complications Over the Years

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

HI Kenzo,

As with any surgical procedure there are risks and complications associated with rhinoplasty.

The key to avoiding late, long term changes in the nose ("shrink-wrap " pinching after a few years being most common) is to maintain strong, stable support of the nasal boney and cartilaginous skeleton at the time of the surgery.

Some patients are more prone to scar tissue formation than others. Those with thick, oily skin are more likely to develop scar tissue than those with thin, dry skin.

Once rhinoplasty is performed properly, "genetics" should not be able to overcome the surgical result.

Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 39 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.