I've Had a Closed Rhinoplasty 3 Months Ago, It is Puffy & Numb. Will it Change Much?

I've had a closed rhinoplasty 3 months ago. The tip was reshaped and a dorsal hump was removed. I am not satisfied with the size and width of my nose. My doctor says this is only 60% of the result due to swelling. Also, I dont smell or breath as good as I did before the operation. I want to know how swollen is it by now, how much will it still change? And when can I have a revision rhinoplasty if I am considering one. Thank you in advance.

Doctor Answers 9

It is three months after rhinoplasty. It still may be normal for the tip of the nose to be puffy and feel numb.

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There is no question that at three months, for some people, the work of Nature is not finally done.  Give it some time.  If the tip is still numb, then, that is a tip off that Nature has not finished the job.  You are an attractive lady now, and I predict it will continue to get better and refine itself with time. 

Regarding the issue of smelling or breathing, if it is not as good as it was before surgery, that calls for reevaluation by your surgeon.  A good examination inside the nose should give some hints as to why you are having these problems.

Finally, if you are considering or wondering about having a revision rhinoplasty, based on what you tell me, and the typical time parameters, it would not be appropriate for at least 6-9, or 12 months, perhaps, after the original procedure.

We have to respect Nature's often slow, but reliable, healing.

Robert Kotler, MD, FACS
Facial Plastic Surgeon

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Puffy nose

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You have a great result so far and are only just seeing the beginning. Your nose is going to look different in another 3 months and then again in a year. Enjoy the journey and don't stress about revision.

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

I've Had a Closed Rhinoplasty 3 Months Ago, It is Puffy & Numb. Will it Change Much?

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At 3 months post Rhinoplasty, your nose is not fully healed.  Give it a couple more months and then if it still isn't what you wanted talk with the Rhinoplasty surgeon that did your Rhinoplasty about a revision.  Revision Rhinoplasty can be done at 6 months following the previous one as a general rule. 

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

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Not Satisfied with Rhinoplasty Results at 3 Months

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Residual temporary swelling is present in some patients 3 months after rhinoplasty, especially in those with thicker skin. Be patient and share your concerns with your surgeon.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
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Post-rhinoplasty swelling

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At 3 months it is very common to have siginifcant swelling. It will take at least a   year for the swelling to resolve completely.

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

Revision rhinoplasty

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Any rhinoplasty, closed or open approach, will take a year for the swelling to resolve.  This is also dependent on skin type, a thin skinned person will be mostly healed at a year, but a thicker skinned person can see further changes particularly around the tip during the second year after rhinoplasty.  You need to be patient and stay in contact with your surgeon.  Surgeons who do a lot of revision rhinoplasty will normally not operate until a full year after the previous procedure.

Douglas J. Kibblewhite, MD
Vancouver Facial Plastic Surgeon

Rhinoplasty 3 months after

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It takes about 3-4 months for all the swelling to completely resolve, but by 3 months, you should be starting to see the final shape.  You should wait for almost a year before you have any revision.  Regardless, I would continue speaking with your surgeon so he/she can help support you through the healing process.  If for some reason you decide to see someone else, I'd recommend you seek consultations with a surgeon experienced in revision rhinoplasty.

Dr. Catherine Begovic M.D.

Swelling is normal after rhinoplasties

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Thank you for your question!

It is understandable that you are concerned. Changes after rhinoplasties vary with every patient and what you are experiencing is normal especially that swelling takes time to subside as it masks the results of your surgery.

It is important to keep in mind that it is early to pass a judgment. Usually, a year is required before formulating how your nose will be, but longer with a thick skin. Even then, your nose will keep shaping itself to complement your face for better results in the years to come.

My best recommendation at the moment is to be patient, allow nature to take its course and edema subsides for better results and easier breathing. There is no doubt that once the swelling resolves, more definition and shape will be achieved and you should be happier with the results.

Also, it is important that you keep communicating with your surgeon and work as a team together to achieve the best results possible.

Congratulations on your surgery and remain positive!

Ali Sajjadian, MD FACS

Ali Sajjadian, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
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Numbness after rhinoplasty

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In general, almost all noses are numb right after a rhinoplasty. In most cases its the tip that is numb, but this numbness can extend down to the upper lip, and in rare cases some of the teeth. There are nerves that are cut and stretched during a rhinoplasty, and it takes a long time for those nerves to start working again. This is true of an open as well as closed rhinoplasty, although it tends to be more extensive in open rhinoplasty. This could also be more extensive if a septoplasty is performed at the same time. This, along with the swelling, gives you a stiff, plastic type feel, and can give you an odd smile. However, the nerves will start working and again, and your nose stiffness will go away with time. As the nerves grow back, you may feel some tingling, itchiness and on occasion pain. This takes in most cases months, but can take years in rare cases. Extremely rarely, the numbness is permanent, although I have never seen such as case.
Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

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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.