My Swelling Has Never Gone After Rhinoplasty???

I had Rhinoplasty 20 years ago, but the swelling result of that has never gone! The amount of swelling is different each day. It's more on my tip nose and around my nose. So many years I took different exams, but all results were negative. then I gave up, but now when I have swelling around my nose, I look older. I need to do something. Before surgery my nose was longer, but after that it's short with no tip. I wonder if it might be a problem in lymphatic circulation? Please advice me.Thank-you.

Doctor Answers 11

Intermittant Nasal Swelling 20 Years after Rhinoplasty

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A swollen appearance with lack of definition is possible 20 years after rhinoplasty when an excessive amount of tip cartilage has been removed. I've done many revision rhinoplasties over the past 35 years, but I have never seen a patient who described "intermittant" swelling. Schedule an appointment with an experienced revision surgeon for an examination and evaluation to diagnose the cause of your problem and determine what can be done to improve nasal appearance.

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Swelling years after rhinoplasty

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The fluctuations that occur in the nose after the healing process are related to fluid retention and scar formation. This is made worse by thick olive oily skin, salt intake, altitude air pressure changes, and hormonal changes. Occasionally, cortisone shots are placed in the thick oily skin, which can help manage the swelling and fluid retention.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Swelling 20 years after rhinoplasty

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It is very unlikely that the swelling is directly related to the surgery.  However, your description of your nose leads me to believe that you had a reduction rhinoplasty involving modification of the cartilaginous framework.  The skin can only contract so much around a reduced framework.  Therefore, normal fluctuations in facial skin tone from dependent blood flow, dietary influences, or perhaps lymphatic flow, could be magnified somewhat.  You should see an experienced revision rhinoplasty surgeon in person to evaluate your nose. 

Matthew Bridges, MD
Richmond Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Nasal swelling

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I have never heard of a nose having intermittent swelling for over 20 years.  If a foreign body was used during your rhinoplasty perhaps this is infected, and causes a low grade inflammatory reaction?

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

Continued long term swelling after rhinoplasty

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Hi Tara,

While problems with lymphatic circulation, changes in blood flow, and long term scarring of the layers deep to the skin can be related to what you are experiencing, another potential cause has to be considered.

You mentioned that your nose is "short with no tip".  This implies that an aggresive reduction of the structural framework of the nose has been preformed.  The end result of this may be a refined and "smaller" appearing nose, but in caes of excessive reduction, the skin and soft tissue cover of the nose may be left deflated.

This deflation can result in more visible variation in the skin resulting from the numerous causes of facial skin swelling such as allergies, skin sensitivity to environmental irritants, sun exposure, sinus conditions and so on...

I would suggest an examination with a rhinoplasty surgeon in your area to asses weather a revisional procedure to replace lost volume in the nose may help to have a more acceptable appearance as well as providing a strech of your skin to help even out the normal variations in skin and tissue swelling in your nose.  While there may be some swelling with a revision surgery, the end result may be therapeutic for the problem you are experiencing.

Good luck,

Dr. Torkian - Lasky Clinic, Beverly Hills

Behrooz Torkian, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Unresolved nasal swelling after rhinoplasty.

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Swelling from a rhinoplasty goes away in 1 year. @0 years and it is still "swollen" means something else is going on since I have never seen this in 35 years of doing rhinoplasty revisions. See an experienced revision rhinoplasty surgeon for an exam and opinion.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Swelling always resolves after rhinoplasty

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After rhinoplasty, swelling will resolve within the first week of the procedure. The stiffness due to healing will last about six months to one year. It is very unlikely that any swelling is present after 20 years, and perhaps a revision of your surgery is in order if you are unhappy with the result.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Lymphatic swelling of nose

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I assume you are speaking about lymphatic circulation as I could not identify the term "lanphetic Circulation." It is more likely that you are experiencing scarring more than swelling. However, swelling could be due to a variety of causes including impaired lymphatic circulation associated with sinusitis or secondary to old scars. Lymphatic circulation can be improved with manual lymphatic drainage. You may want to attempt this under the supervision of a skilled massage therapist.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Swelling after rhinoplasty

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Most swelling occurs immediately after rhinoplasty and gradually subsides with time, although this process may take several months, especially in the tip. If you are experiencing chronic intermittent swelling, you should seek in person evaluation to determine the underlying cause, although it may not be related to your initial surgery.

Olivia Hutchinson, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon

Swelling Has Never Gone After Rhinoplasty after 20 years!!!!

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Thanks for the posting but I also have NEVER heard of this situation before. Seek in person evaluations to try to understand these issues. Best of luck. 

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.