5 Months After Revision Rhinoplasty (Swelling or Cartilage)?

Im 5 months post op im still unhapy, the top of my nose is feeling normal again however the2/3 of my nose more than half of it is still very stiff the 2/3 of nose looks a little puffy so im hoping its swelling my doc wasnt very helpfull all he said "maybe its cartilage or maybe swelling" (great) when i push it down it stays down for a few seconds. How can I know if its swelling or cartilage and is massaging it good? I have thick skin , im getting extremely depressed, I would hate to do it again.

Doctor Answers 5

5 months after revision rhinoplasty

Swelling can linger for a longer period of time following a revision rhinoplasty. From what you describe, it sounds like there is a good amount of swelling still present. And patients with thicker skin will be swollen longer, and may not always achieve the level of definition they desire. It can take 18-24 months to see the final result of a rhinoplasty. 70% of the swelling is resolved after the first 3 months, and the remainder goes down over time. Factors that influence swelling may include: Whether the procedure was open or closed, whether tip work was performed, whether the procedure was a revision, and whether or not the patient has thick skin. It is important to be patient throughout the healing process, as it can take some time. I would recommend speaking with your surgeon about any post-operative concerns and any specific guidelines they may ask you to follow after surgery.  

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

It takes a long time for swelling to resolve after revision rhinoplasty

After revision rhinoplasty, swelling can take longer than following primary rhinoplasty. Additionally, with thick skin, swelling seems to be more marked and take longer to resolve. It's difficult not to but you need to try not to jump to any early conclusions about the result.

At 5 months following revision rhinoplasty, you will still likely have swelling present in the nose and more so in the lower half of the nose including the tip and supratip (area just above the tip). Swelling in the lower half of the nose can also cause it to feel firmer. As swelling resolves, the tissues will soften.

Recovery after rhinoplasty will vary based on the person, characteristics of the nasal tissues and what was done during surgery. It can take somewhere in and around 12-18 months to see the final results. For revision rhinoplasty, it can take longer for all of the swelling to subside. The areas with thicker skin in the nose such as the tip, alar rims and radix will require longer to settle. Also there appears to be a linear decrease in swelling for the first several months followed by a period where the swelling fluctuates (sometimes little or no swelling and other times more swelling) before the nose settles.

Jamil Ahmad, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

5 months after revision rhinoplasty (swelling or cartilage)?

Hello, and sorry to hear you are not happy with your surgery. The fact that you mentioned the nose "stays down for a few seconds" when you push it down is a key indication that you are experiencing swelling. In regard to massage, I would recommend precisely following your surgeon's guidelines. You also mentioned that you have thick skin. Patients with thick skin generally:

1) Do not always get the nose as defined as they may like
2) Have swelling that lasts for a longer period of time

5 months is too soon to judge the end result, and you really need to give it a little bit of time. I would recommend reassessing after you hit the one year mark. I hope this helps, and good luck with the remainder of your recovery!

Jonathan Kulbersh, MD
Charlotte Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Nasl Fullness Secondary to Swelling or Cartilage Graft?

If the fullness is stiff and temporarily improves with pressure it is probably secondary to swelling which will resolve over the next 6-8 months. I'm sorry but you will have to be patient as healing progresses.

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


A stiff nose after rhinoplasty is most likely form swelling. It may take a year or more for this to go down.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 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.