Will Incisions on the Side of the Nose Causes Permanent Scaring? (photo)

Hi Doc, These are the photos 7 days after the stitches are removed post rhinoplasty surgery. From the photos, you can clearly see the cut lines. Will this lead to permanent scaring? What should be done? Please advice. Thank You.

Doctor Answers 10

Will Incisions on the Side of the Nose Causes Permanent Scaring?

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  The incisions appear to be from an internal Weir procedure to reduce the size of the nostrils during your Rhinoplasty.  Incisions will be red, then pink and after a period of time become similar color to the skin.  Two weeks is very soon for this process that takes a few months to complete IMHO.  You can discuss this with your Rhinoplasty Surgeon if you're concerned.  

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Scarring Following Incisions on Side of Nose

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There is always a scar after any skin incision, but the goal is make that scar acceptable and inconspicuous by placing the incision where it is hidden or is located in a natural skin crease whenever possible. The appearance of your incisions will continue to improve as healing progresses over the next 9-12 months.. You are only about 2 weeks after surgery.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

All Incisions Leave Scars

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Your incisions appear to be healing appropriately at 7 days. During the early healing process, it is not unusual to have swelling and pinkness in and around incisions. These usually fade and become thin white lines. All surgical incisions leave scars. The goal is to place the incisions in inconspicuous areas and use good surgical technique to minimize the visibility of these incisions. Be patient and discuss your concerns with your surgeon.

Douglas L. Gervais, MD
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

Appearance of Scars From Nostril Base Narrowing

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While it is initially distressing to see the incision lines very early after surgery, do not confuse that appearance with what the final scar appearance will be . Almost all nostril base excisions turn into scars that are hardly noticeable later. This is a process that will take months and you will see that by the summer of next year the scar lines are unlikely to be of any concern.

All incisions leave scars

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Any incision placed in the skin will leave at least some degree of scarring.  The ultimate visibility of the scar varies significantly depending on skin type, color, and character.  However, the scars noted at 7 days will most likely fade significantly with time.  As has been mentioned, sun block is important in preventing permanent discoloration of the scar.

Scott K. Thompson, MD
Salt Lake City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 113 reviews

Any incision leaves permanent scars! But, they will fade.

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Certainly you must have discussed with your surgeon the planned incisions and resultant permanent scars needed in order to achieve certain desired and requested changes in your nasal appearance. All incisions result in permanent scars, but the pinkness and puffiness you see now will resolve and fade over many months to a fine, nearly imperceptible scar that is skillfully hidden in normal anatomic creases.

For now, avoid any ultraviolet exposure that could darken the scars permanently, making them more visible. Scar preparations such as ScarGuard or Mederma may also be helpful, but clear this use with your surgeon first--I generally advise nothing at all for 3 weeks to allow scars to become durable; otherwise, premature "fussing" over them may stretch and widen them.

Inflammation of any kind (infection also) can worsen any person's natural scar tendencies, so following your surgeon's wound care protocol is important. Do NOT use peroxide on your scars, or apply daily antibiotic ointment unless your surgeon recommends this--these can actually stimulate more scar tissue or allergic reactions that "look" like infection, causing more scar tissue. Just let things heal and stay out of the sun!

Best wishes on your new look!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Scar visibility post-rhinoplasty

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The scar you see 7 days after stitches are removed, in the setting of postoperative swelling, is not the same scar you can expect when the area is fully healed. It is normal for scars to appear reddish or pink early in the healing course. I recommend using sun protection at all times while the scar is pink. This will help prevent hyperpigmentation of the scar, which would make it more obvious. I recommend using a silicone scar gel with sun protection (such as Biocorneum) twice daily while the scar is healing. Scars tend to fade with time, and as the pink fades and the swelling goes down, the scar will likely be much less noticeable.

Anita Patel, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Scars at final appearance

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Alar base incision scars usually heal very well.  At one week they will look swollen and sometimes irregular. GIve it time.

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

Will Incisions on the Side of the Nose Causes Permanent Scaring? (photo)

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Agree with Dr Aldea. I ALWAYS tell my personal patients the risk of scarring with any external skin incision. If fact my informed consent from ASPS outlines these risks. 

Nostril Narrowing Scars are permanent

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An unfortunate fat of surgery is that every incision results in a permanent scar. The sole exception being rare surgery done on fetuses in the mothers' wombs.

You appear to have had nostril narrowing surgery with Weir excisions. The visible scars you see at one week after surgery will NOT be the scars you see at one year aftyer surgery. Although the scars will fade greatly and be very hard to see in most cases they will always be there.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

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.