15 days post op of Rhinoplasty, the tip of my nose is very swollen, numb, and a bit hardened. Is this normal?

I had a rhinoplasty done, to fix my deviated septum and reduce my dorsal hump. When the splint came off my profile was perfect, but now I am noticing that it's becoming slightly raised where the bump once was. When I press down on it gently, it goes down, so I don't know if this is still swelling or something that might need revision. It's been 15 days since surgery. The tip of my nose is very swollen still, it's numb and a bit hardened.

Doctor Answers 3

Numbness after rhinoplasty

In general, almost all noses are numb right after a rhinoplasty. In most cases its the tip that is numb, but this numbness can extend down to the upper lip, and in rare cases some of the teeth. There are nerves that are cut and stretched during a rhinoplasty, and it takes a long time for those nerves to start working again. This is true of an open as well as closed rhinoplasty, although it tends to be more extensive in open rhinoplasty. This could also be more extensive if a septoplasty is performed at the same time. This, along with the swelling, gives you a stiff, plastic type feel, and can give you an odd smile. However, the nerves will start working and again, and your nose stiffness will go away with time. As the nerves grow back, you may feel some tingling, itchiness and on occasion pain. This takes in most cases months, but can take years in rare cases. Extremely rarely, the numbness is permanent, although I have never seen such as case.
Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

15 days post op of Rhinoplasty, the tip of my nose is very swollen, numb, and a bit hardened. Is this normal?

It is always difficult to assess the final result so early in the healing process.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Swelling and Numbness After Rhinoplasty

Dear malgorzata93~

Thank you for your question. The splint helps to reduce swelling in the early postoperative period, and it is common for the nose to get temporarily more swollen after the splint comes off. Fifteen days is very early in the healing process, and it is much too early to determine your final result as your nose is probably still very swollen from the surgery.

After about a month you should start to see the general shape, and the majority of the swelling should resolve gradually over the next several months. It can take a year or longer for swelling to fully resolve after a rhinoplasty, and the tip usually stays swollen and firm the longest.  The numbness should also improve with time as the swelling resolves and the nose heals.

If the raised area reduces in size when you press gently, that is a good indication that it is probably related to swelling (rather than underlying bone or cartilage). Rest assured that the swelling should improve with time, and please follow-up with your surgeon with any questions or concerns.

Best wishes for your recovery!

Amy Hsu

Amy K. Hsu, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 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.