Tip of my nose concerns me after surgery. Will it improve?

I just had Rhinoplasty/Septoplasty with turnbinate reduction on Sept 6, splint comes of tomorrow. I have wanted this my whole life. I realise it has only been a week but the tip of my nose scares me. It looks huge! I have been reading on this site similar concerns. I don't understand why it has to look so so big. I thought the point of the surgery is to get it smaller. Also, why does it take a year for the tip to resolve itself? Feel scared because I don't want to feel self concious. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 4

Nose tip post op swelling

The postop swelling of the nasal tip concerns you in part because you would like temporary swelling to resolve as soon as possible, but you also fear that the tip may permanently remain more swollen than you would like. Let’s talk about temporary swelling first [which is most likely your situation]:

Of course there is temporary swelling after any tip surgery and as a general rule it is greater and longer lasting after open rhinoplasty as compared to closed. Leaving room for individual variation, there should be about 70% improvement in three weeks and 90-95% by two months and the last resolution of edema may take a year [this is my experience with closed technique, which is my preferred method]. In the first three weeks post op you should not do exercise or anything that would get your pulse or blood pressure up which causes more swelling. If you are touching your nose or talking a lot or washing too much or applying makeup aggressively; you will swell. In rare, and I mean rare [as in an upcoming wedding], circumstances I have prescribed a solu-medrol steroid dose pack to more quickly resolve temporary swelling.

In regards to the possibility of permanent widening, it can be the result of over reduction of the supporting structures, especially if you have thick tip skin. In cases where the pre-op tip is relatively flat [under projected] and the skin is thick and we are creating [usually with septal cartilage grafts] a stronger more projected tip...these patients actually look more narrow in the tip when we take off the splint at one week. If you had a significant set-back of the projection of the tip and the skin just can't re-drape to the new contours in a narrow and refined manner...you may have a swollen or wide looking tip that will not resolve on its own. If that is the case, your doctor would consider perhaps a tip graft after six months to take up the slack of the skin, narrow the end point and give a more refined tip light reflex.  

Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Large Swelling after Rhinoplasty

Swelling is normal part of healing after a rhinoplasty procedure. The healing process for each patient is different and some patients have more or less swelling than others. There are measures that you can take to reduce swelling after surgery and your surgeon will be able to advise you regarding taping your nose and the use of anti-swelling medicines. The swelling you are seeing is your body healing itself. It will take a few weeks to see the majority of the swelling go down. To enhance your healing process, I recommend sleeping on 2-3 pillows to keep your head elevated and using a cold compress. Be sure to follow the post-op instructions provide by your surgeon as well as each measure can help reduce your swelling faster

Julian De Silva, MD
Birmingham Ophthalmologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 148 reviews

Early post op, some advices:

Thank you very much for enquire.Swelling after a rhinoplasty depends of the surgery complexity.
In this regard, the nasal swelling Post-op It can last from two weeks to two months.
To reduce this swelling, I recommend you perform delicates daily lymphatic drainage massage therapy over the face (around the nose) avoid sun exposure, and take pain/inflamation pills, as your surgeron precribe you.
Kind regards, 
Dr. Emmanuel Mallol Cotes.-  

Emmanuel Mallol Cotes, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 270 reviews

Nasal tip swelling

Immediately after surgery the nasal tip can look really big, but keep in mind that you have a lot of swelling right now, and it is often magnified while the splint is in place. As the weeks and months go on you will see a decrease in size and improvement with the contour. Swelling takes so long because there are not a lot of conducive drainage pathways on the tip and even small amounts of swelling on the nose makes the nose look big. Add to that the natural fullness that takes place as the skin is healing back upon the bony-cartilaginous skeleton of the nose. These processes simply take time to complete as your nose naturally heals.

Mark Been, MD
Barrington Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 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.