How Long Does Swelling Last After (Cosmetic) Septorhinoplasty?

I had Septorhinoplasty 2 weeks ago and although I can see that my nose has really started to take shape, the tip still looks quite bulbous. The main purpose of the surgery was to reduce the bulbous tip, so I am quite upset. How long does it take for the nose to fully take shape after this procedure? I have read on this site that the tip holds on to swelling for months. Is this the case? Do you think I should expect the tip to reduce over the coming months? Many thanks Rachel Rachel

Doctor Answers 3

Tip swelling takes a long time to resolve

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After rhinoplasty, tip shape is typically the last thing to settle before seeing the final result; this can take 12 months or longer. During this time you will notice that the size of your tip decreases as swelling resolves and subtle details and tip definition appear. Additionally, you may notice that your tip derotates (drifts downwards) and deprojects (drifts backwards) depending on what was done during surgery and more importantly how much support was restored or added to counteract these forces that are commonly present during the healing period.

At 2 weeks following rhinoplasty, you are still very early in your recovery. With regards to your concerns about the size of your nasal tip, it is just too early to draw any conclusions-but certainly you still have a lot of swelling which is normal.

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. 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.

It's hard but important to stay patient during your recovery and to be diligent attending your follow-up appointments with your surgeon.

How long does swelling last after septorhinoplasty?

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2 weeks is still soon after surgery, and there will be swelling present that will influence the appearance of your nose. In general, 70% of the swelling following surgery is resolved after the first 3 months and the remainder goes down over time. Swelling can be influenced by thickness of the patients' skin, whether the procedure is open or closed, whether the procedure is a revision, and whether tip work is performed. It can take up to 18-24 months for the final result to be evident. The tip is usually the last to come around, and your nose will continue to change as you heal. I would recommend communicating any concerns to your surgeon, as they know the details of your procedure. I hope this helps, and I wish you the best of luck with the remainder of your recovery.

Paul S. Nassif, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

How Long Does Swelling Last After (Cosmetic) Septorhinoplasty?

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           The nose could still be maturing for up to a year or more.  I would follow with your surgeon for an exam at this stage to address your concerns.  Swelling will depend upon the nature of maneuvers employed, operative time, presence of grafts or implants, thickness of skin, open vs closed etc.  In my patients, about 80% of the swelling is gone at about a month or so.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

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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.