How Long Does Tip Swelling and Hardness Last?

I had an open primary rhinoplasty four months ago to refine my tip (ps used sutures and strut graft) but it doesn't look any smaller than before. It's big, hard and even overprojected looking. My doctor said if its hard then it's still swollen. Will it eventually soften up and decrease in size? Or, should I consider a revision after it's done healing? It's hard to beleive that my tip is 40% still swollen.

Doctor Answers 20

Tip swelling after rhinoplasty

Tip swelling is very common and expected after rhinoplasty.  I explain to my patients before surgery that they should expect 75% of the swelling to come down the first month, 85% by 3 months, and the remaining 15% should persist for a full year.  Of course, everyone is different and depending on the amount of work and grafts placed into the tip, one can have swelling and hardness for a prolonged period of time.  Tip swelling and hardness can be associated, however, hardness can also occur as a result of grafting to the tip.  If the surgery was 4 months ago, I would continue to be patient and allow the remainder of the swelling to subside and stay in touch with your surgeon during this time to discuss your progress before making any plans for a revision.  All the best. 


Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Generally, healing following nasal surgery takes as long as 12-18 months.

Generally, healing following nasal surgery takes as long as 12-18 months.  After it is completely healed, the nose will feel soft and quite natural.  Because of this, if the tip feels “hard” still, it is likely still swollen with healing that is ongoing.  It will definitely soften up to feel more natural, ultimately, and will very likely decrease in size. 

Occasionally, injections of Triancinalone into the soft tissue of the tip will help speed up the resolution of any soft tissue swelling and edema.  I would certainly wait at least 12-18  months before even considering any revision surgery.

Michael R. Macdonald, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Tip swelling and firmness

Depending on the degree of tip work done and how aggressive the surgeon was, I would expect tip swelling and firmness for 6-12 months. After that things should be getting back to normal

Open rhinoplasty and swelling

In general, the tip of the nose will take more time for the swelling to resolve.  Swelling is part of  the body's mechanism of healing, and essentially it is water in the tissues (much like a full sponge).  Because the tip is at the lowest part of the nose, water will preferentially "roll downhill."  An open rhinoplasty adds incisions that disconnect the normal drainage, thus requiring a longer time for the swelling to resolve.  This varies with individual skin quality, but 6-12 months is not unusual. 

Ricardo Izquierdo, MD
Oak Brook Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

How Long Does Tip Swelling and Hardness Last?

Open incision rhinoplasty has tip swelling for up to a year. After that you can consider revision. Best of luck from MIAMI Dr. Darryl j. Blinski

Tip swelling

Swelling can really vary depending on the patient. It can take several weeks for the initial swelling to occur, then months for it to subside. Swelling in the tip generally takes longer to subside. Please wait a few months before evaluating your results. Best of luck!

Swelling following tip rhinoplasty

It is common to have significant tip swelling following open rhinoplasty with grafting.  The firmness you describe suggests that there is still substantial swelling present in your nasal tip.  I would usually expect that swelling would have decreased by four months post-op but you may have some swelling or the tip for up to 18 months.  You may want to visit your surgeon to evaluate whether steroid injections or similar techniques may hasten resolution.

Mark Beaty, MD
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Tip swelling

After a rhinoplasty it is normal to stay swollen and the tip stay hard sometimes as long as a year after the procedure.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Tip Swelling

Depending on how thick your skin is, tip swelling after rhinoplasty can last more than 16 months.  I have treated patients on African, Latin, and Asian decent who required steroid injections into the tip of their nose to make the swelling go down faster.  Bottom line, I would not panic,  give everything time.  If you surgeon is comfortable and feels it is in your best interest, you may consider a very small dose steroid injection if the swelling is severe.  I typically do not consider revisions prior to 12 months. 

Julius W. Few, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Tip swelling and hardness after rhinoplasty.

Tip swelling and hardness after rhinoplasty lasts 12 months. Each nose is different and it takes that much time--no revision until then.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 32 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.