2.5 weeks post rhinoplasty: deviated septum or internal swelling? (photos)

Hi doctors, I am 18 days post open rhinoplasty. Upon looking in the mirror to clean more closely today, I saw that my left nostril has something "sticking out" more than the right. I got worried as I saw that deviated septi also look like this - could my surgery have created a deviated septum (I had to sneeze a couple times after surgery, about 10 days post op) or is this asymmetrical internal swelling? I had no osteotomies done FYI.

Doctor Answers 11

Swelling along columella

This is probably related to swelling this early in the postoperative period. It is unlikely that the surgery caused a deviated septum. I would make sure that you address these concerns with your rhinoplasty surgeon. Best of luck.

Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

2.5 weeks post rhinoplasty

Thank you for your question and pictures.  It is not uncommon to have swelling and possibly some asymmetries early in the post rhinoplasty recovery phase.  It is usually six months before you will see the end results.  At that time, any concerns should be evaluated with your Facial Plastic surgeon. Best of luck

Michael Sullivan, MD
Columbus Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

2.5 weeks after surgery

You are way too early in the post-op period. Give the nose time to settle down and for the soft tissues to heal. 

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

2.5 weeks

Give it some time as you are very early in your healing process.  At 6 months to a year, if everything looks good overall and your scar is fine, I would leave things alone.  Best wishes. 

Jules Walters, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews


This could represent a deviated caudal septum that protrudes a bit into your R nostril cavity.  Since you are so early in the recovery period, I would not advise you undergo any revision as of yet.  If the nose looks good overall, the columellar scar improves significantly, and your breathing is normal, you may not require a revision.  Best wishes, Dr. T. 

John Michael Thomassen, MD
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Too early to tell

Thanks for your question. During the stage you're at there can be subtle asymmetries--most of the time these will resolve as the healing process continues. Try to remain patient, but be sure to communicate your concerns to your surgeon at your next follow up appointment. Good luck!

Mark Been, MD
Barrington Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Deviated septum after rhinoplasty

Thanks for your question. Based on your photos I would not be worried yet. It's very common to have swelling and some asymmetries immediately after rhinoplasty. This healing process can take 3-6 months, and the final result will take a year. While it is difficult to say without looking inside your nose (where a deviated septum is more likely to be found), there does not appear to be a noticeable deviation. You may want to ask your surgeon to look in your nose to make sure everything is ok. Good luck!

Satyen Undavia, MD
Philadelphia Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Asymmetric Rhinoplasty Swelling

Asymmetric swelling is very typical after rhinoplasty.  With you being only 3 weeks post-op, your swelling has only begun to decrease.  Make sure to follow up with your surgeon when instructed, but bring up your concerns at your next visit.  A full nasal exam will be able to tell if swelling is the cause of your asymmetry or if your septum has shifted to one side.

Good luck!

Clyde Mathison, MD
Knoxville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Rhinoplasty Recovery

Thank you for your question.

At 2.5 weeks out, you are still very early in the recovery process.  You likely have quite a bit of swelling and scar that will settle with time.  I would continue to follow closely with your surgeon and follow their recommendations.


Dr. Michael Epstein

MAE Plastic Surgery

Northbrook, IL

Michael A. Epstein, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Swelling post rhinoplasty

Thank you for your pictures! It is still too early to determine whether the surgery may have caused a deviated septum (which is highly unlikely).  Nasal swelling after rhinoplasty resolves asymmetrically, unfortunately.  Things will continue to improve over the coming months, and don't be suprised if you start noticing swelling appear in other areas while it resolves in the area that concerns you the most at present.  This process is dependent on a few things - how involved the procedures performed on your nose were, whether the surgery was open or closed (yours will take a little longer than a closed rhinoplasty to resolve in swelling), but also how your body naturally heals.  The entire process can take up to a year, that being said, you will be in great shape in a few weeks.  When in doubt, keep your doctor in touch about the ongoing changes.  They will be your best guide.  I hope this helps!

Miguel Mascaro, MD
Delray Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 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.