Is it normal for my nose to not move at all when smiling or making faces 3 months post op after Rhinoplasty?

I had a rhinoplasty 3 months ago and noticed my nose is in a perpetual state of immobility. When i make faces or smile my upper lip stretches and my tip stays up unnaturally. Is this normal? Will it go away?

Doctor Answers 6

Rhinoplasty Recovery

It is not uncommon to have such issues for several months after your rhinoplasty.  As always, It is best to address these issues with your physician for guidance.  In most cases the nose will continue to "settle" into its new appearance for several months and even up to a year after your surgery.

West Palm Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

3 months post op, some advices:

Thank you very much for enquire.Swelling after a rhinoplasty depends of the surgery complexity.
In this regard, the nasal swelling Post-op It can last from two weeks to two months.
To reduce this swelling, I recommend you perform delicates daily lymphatic drainage massage therapy over the face (around the nose) avoid sun exposure, and take pain/inflamation pills, as your surgeron precribe you.
Kind regards, 
Dr. Emmanuel Mallol Cotes.-  

Emmanuel Mallol Cotes, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Nose not moving

You are likely still very swollen and therefore very stiff. Best to give it time to heal and settle down. It may take a year or more for the stiffness to go away.

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

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Recovering from rhinoplasty: stiff nose.

Recovering from rhinoplasty is a healing process. It is typical to have a stiff and numb nose for months after surgery. The nose will get softer with time. Depending on the techniques performed in surgery, the nose will vary in how much it will soften and move.Revisions, rib grafts, tip reconstruction, and caudal septal replacement grafts will result in a stiffer nose, affecting your smile/upper lip. I like to tell my patients about this potential before surgery to avoid any surprise. I recommend speaking with your surgeon regarding the immobility that you describe. 

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


Thank you for your question.It is important to consult with your surgeon about any questions or concerns you may have as they know your medical history and surgery best. I would schedule an appointment to have a physical examination of your nose performed by your surgeon. You are still early in your recovery period and your appearance will continue to refine.  It may take up to a year for all swelling to resolve and for your nasal appearance to settle to a final outcome. Your doctor may prescribe you a Medrol dose pack (steroid) to help reduce the swelling. Healing is often unpredictable and one side my even heal quicker than the other and sometimes even nasal bones may shift in healing.  The outcomes may not be as expected.  In some cases a revision may be recommended to refine your outcomes, but I would wait at least 12-18 months so you are fully healed before considering a revision. I hope this helps.
Best of luck in your recovery!
Sincerely, James Fernau, MD, FACS
Board Certified ENT
Board Certified Plastic Surgery
Member of ASPS, ASAPS, ISAPS, The Rhinoplasty Society, AAFPRS, OTO/HNS, ASLMS, International Federation for Adipose Therapeutics & Science

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Stiff nose after rhinoplasty

Thank you for your question. It is normal for the nose to feel stiff after rhinoplasty and it is also normal for upper lip to feel stiff as well. Over time, the upper lip should soften and feel more normal. Of course, we don't know the details of your surgery so mention it to your surgeon but what you're experiencing is commonly seen and should resolve. Good luck

Jeffrey Jumaily, MD
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 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.