Unhappy with Rhinoplasty Results After One Month - What Should I Do?

I had rhinoplasty surgery one month ago, and I just don't like the way my nose looks. It looks worse, not better. What should I do about my rhinoplasty results?

Doctor Answers 13

When in doubt ask your rhinoplasty surgeon

First and foremost, do not panic. Early changes after rhinoplasty are influenced by swelling and do not necessarily reflect the end result nor what was done during your operation. Trust your instincts and talk to your doctor about your concerns. There may be a perfectly good explanation for what you’re seeing.

Sometimes, reassurance is all that is needed. Once the cast comes off your nose, the natural tendency is to stare in the mirror for far too long- looking for the smallest of changes. This is precisely the most harmful thing to do because it will not change your healing and will only make you more nervous.

You may have to 'look through' the early swelling to try to get a glimpse of the changes to come. Remember that your nose will look bigger and wider in the first few weeks. You should try to concentrate on the general shape of your nose after the cast comes off.

  • Is it straight?
  • Did your surgeon seem to address your goals and concerns, such as taking down a bump or narrowing your tip?

If you press gently on your skin, you can get a sense of how much swelling has yet to come down. It's not uncommon to see a little asymmetry in healing from one side to the other, so don't be too concerned about that. If you generally like what you are seeing but would like to see it even smaller, have no fear.

As the swelling decreases, the refinement will follow. If, on the other hand, things look overdone or very crooked early after surgery, this is not likely to improve substantially and may even get worse with time. You will want to address these concerns with your surgeon earlier.

You will find that you are more swollen in the morning, when you are more active, or after laying down for long periods of time. This is because blood and fluid pools in the area of your nose and cheeks. Aside from that, healing happens in drips and drabs.

You may not notice any changes for a few days, and then suddenly see a big reduction in swelling. There is a range of ‘normal’ healing. Don’t be alarmed if you are on the edge of that range. Your surgeon should let you know if anything unexpected is happening. If in doubt, ASK!

A good and honest rhinoplasty surgeon who is serious about getting you a satisfying result will be perfectly candid after surgery. He or she should be able to give you clear explanations for what was done, what is happening, and what can be expected.

If you don't like what you hear, or if you are still unhappy at six months or a year, it may be time to talk about your options for improvement. Your original surgeon is still the best place to start with this conversation, if he or she still has your trust. If not, consult a surgeon who has an experienced practice in revision rhinoplasty to see if this is a good option for you.

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

One Month Rhinoplasty Result

One month after surgery it is impossible to determine the final result. Even if you are correct, and the nose will not satisfy you or your surgeon, nothing can or should be done until the swelling has resolved. At this time, be patient and share your concerns with your surgeon. 

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Waiting for results in rhinoplasty

In another post I discuss the three phases of healing after a rhinoplasty. In short, the first phase is 2-3 weeks, then 2-3 months, and finally up to one year. You are just getting through the second phase. Your nose is still very swollen. You need to remain patient (not easy to do) and allow more time to see the real results.

It can take up to a year for all the swelling to go down. Don't be quick to judge the results. And definitely do NOT rush into a revision. Give it a full year. If you're not happy at that point you can safely proceed with a revision to address your concerns. Until then, be patient and allow the healing process to complete.

I hope this info helps!

Adam Rubinstein, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

At this point, reassurance from the surgeon's...

At this point, reassurance from the surgeon’s standpoint is most important. Remember there is still a large amount of swelling present in the nose even after one month and full healing has not even begun to take place yet. Consult your surgeon about cortisone shots in the nose tip to decrease swelling, and reevaluate often with your surgeon for the first year. Do not consider revision rhinoplasty for at least a year after the surgery.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews

Communication and Patience are the keys

The first step is to seek clarification from your surgeon on his/her expectations are of the results and at what stage in recovery you are.  One month in most cases is very early in the recovery phase and you are probably experiencing significant swelling. Work with your surgeon but realize that you should wait about a year before considering revision surgery.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

1 month after rhinoplasty

You need to wait at least a year after rhinoplasty before considering any sort of revision.  This allows time for swelling to resolve and often things that bother you now will also improve by that time.  Let your surgeon evaluate you to make sure nothing else is going on that may need urgent treatment.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon.

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Unhappy with results after one month

Basically, without some form of photo documentation the best I can do is give some broad guidelines. I assume you've spoken to your doctor and he has reassured you that you have some swelling and you need to be patient and allow healing to take place. However, if we assume that you do in fact have a significant problem that will require further surgery to correct then is is incumbent upon you to bring up your concerns regarding further treatment in a hopefully non-confrontational way to your surgeon. Even the best of surgeons cannot guarantee 'perfect' results in all patients. If you trust your doctor and have maintained a good relationship with him then work with him to address your concerns or at least explain why he doesn't think there is a problem. In some cases the problem is an excessively perfectionistic patient. After a couple more months, if you are still having concerns see another surgeon or two for an assessment to get a 'reality check' against what your current surgeon is telling you. Best of Luck  Dr Harrell

Jon F. Harrell, DO, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Rhinoplasty Results After One Month

Hopefully your rhinoplasty surgeon reviewed the recovery process with you prior to having undergone the surgery and you are just seeking some reassurance. Rhinoplasty healing can be frustrating for some patients as the nose goes through various phases of healing. In most cases, it takes about 10-12 months for the nose to evolve into its final shape. Judging your rhinoplasty results at the one month mark is simply premature. Give it more time to morph and heal. Intervening this early in the rhinoplasty healing process is just not prudent.

John M. Hilinski, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

What to do if I'm unhappy with my nose?

   Be patient you are still very swollen. Talk with your physician and let him/her know that you are unhappy. Try to explain the things that are bothering you and see if the explanations given seem logical to you. You should not have surgery for at least 6 months to see where your results will finally land. If after the facts your physician is not very cooperative seek a second opinion. 

Good Luck

Carlos Wolf, MD
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Rhinoplasty recovery, 1 month

It is still too early to tell what your final results will be. Some portions of the nose will take longer to heal then others, and the type of techniques used to improve your nose will vary in how long they take to heal. I would suggest that you return to your surgeon for further advise as he/she would know what was done to the nose.

The link below will take you to a rhinoplasty recvoery video journey that will show you one patient throughout her recovery process.

Jacob D. Steiger, MD
Boca Raton Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 62 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.