10+ months post Septorhinoplasty, tip of nose still very swollen, what gives?

I had an open rhino + septo on Janurary 4th.. so it's been over 10 months and the tip of my nose is still pushed out significantly. It's still fairly hard and stiff. Almost looks like a bubble on my nose. This is very frustrating and I'm concerned if I'll need to have a revision or if I'm still not close to being fully healed. Any thoughts/suggestions? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 4


Thank you for the question but without preoperative and post operative photos it is hard to say what is going on other then to tell you to communicate your concerns to your surgeon

Dr Corbin

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Swelling seems a bit long

Although it takes from 1-2years to see final rhinoplasty results, at 10 months you should see softening of your tip as the swelling subsides.  Before and after pictures would be most helpful to evaluate the tip.  However, factors that could lead to prolonged swelling include smoking, thick skin, and use of grafting in the tip.  Best of luck.

Jeffrey Joseph, MD, FACS
Lafayette Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Hmm. Ten months is a long time...

After ten months, if the nose is still *far* from the goal, then something's going on. You didn't post any photos, but seems to me that the main question is whether the tip is big and hard because of the size and position of the cartilages in the tip, or whether it's scar tissue, or swelling. If it's the cartilages, then perhaps not enough was done to your nose in the first operation, and a lot of improvement is possible in a revision.

If it's scar tissue, then again, another operation could help. If it's swelling, then you need more time, but that would, frankly, be unusual after this long.

I usually make computer morphs when I'm answering questions like this, to show the changes that are possible for your nose with a rhinoplasty, but you didn't post any photos. See the "Web reference" link, just below my post. At the *very* bottom of that page is a link to instructions on taking photos that are most useful for online consultations like this, in case you want a better evaluation. 

Also, be sure to read the "More plain talk" section on how to determine whether your primary surgeon should perform your revision.

Steven M. Denenberg, MD
Omaha Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Recovering from rhinoplasty: evaluating your result at 10 months

Recovering from rhinoplasty is a healing process. Part of that process is waiting for swelling to go down to see your result. Patients with thicker skin, revision surgery, rib grafting, extensive tip work may experience prolonged swelling.

In the first 6-8 weeks the majority of swelling will go down. Over the next 6-9 months you'll experience a downward trending rollercoaster of swelling going up and down depending on your exposure to heat, sun, or salt. At one year, you're close to your final result; however, the nose is known to continue healing and refining by very small amounts for years after that. 

The swelling commonly goes down in an uneven way. First one side and then the other goes down, which may give the appearance of a crooked nose until the other side catches up. The tip is the very last area to settle down. I would schedule a follow-up appointment so your surgeon can track your progress toward a safe and happy outcome. Safety comes first. 

Victor Chung, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 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.