4 Months Post-op Rhinoplasty Nose Tip Still Bulbous, Could it Still be Swollen?

I had a bump shaved as well as bulbous tip refined. I am please with my nose however I find that the tip is still a little bulbous. Does it truly(in all cases) takes a full year for all the residule swelling to dissapate? Could this still be swelling? Is there anything I can do to reduce swelling, massaging? any steroid injections? Also I find that my nose is usually more bulbous in the morning and starts to feel smaller as the day goes on? Is this normal?

Doctor Answers 9

Swelling 4 months after Rhinoplasty

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I hear and read this question alot.  There is a difference between swelling and "shrink wrapping"  The swelling goes a way after 3 months or so.  But, the skin takes a much longer time, a year or two, before it contracts around the underlying cartilages.  That is what takes a very long time.  You may hear and read that the "swelling" can go on for a year, and in some cases, where the nose appears bigger in the am than the pm that is the case, the vast majority of the time it is simply that the nasal skin has yet to maximally contract.  I hope this helps you.  Best, 

Dr. Miller

New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Bulbous Nose Tip After Rhinoplasty May Take A Year For Final Result

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Thank you for your question.

The tissues of the nasal tip hold fluid for a very long time after surgery. Also, the skin of the tip of the nose must gradually shrink after surgery to refine a bulbous tip.

It is very true that most experienced Rhinoplasty surgeons recommend waiting a year to see the final tip result. If you wait you may be pleasantly surprised.

The fact that you are more swollen in the morning suggests that fluid build up is a problem.

Ask your surgeon about massage and taping to improve the process.

Bulbous Tip 4 Months Post Rhinoplasty

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With all due respect to my colleagues who have answered this question, the tip may not technically be swollen, but it will decrease in size as healing progresses. The fact that it is bigger in the morning and shrinks during the day when you're upright and active indicates that have not seen the final result. What you're experiencing is normal.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Bulbous nasal tip post rhinoplasty

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Swelling in the tip is the last portion of swelling to dissipate in the nose. While most swelling, approximately seventy percent dissipates in the first three months post surgery the final thirty percent takes an entire year to fully dissipate. Steroids usage is dependent on the case and their particular healing process. Your surgeon will discuss this option with you if he/she feels this would be helpful in your healing process. If you feel you have more swelling in the am versus the pm then try and sleep elevated and watch your sodium intake and see if this helps your situation. Best regards!

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 218 reviews

Bulbous tip after rhinoplasty

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I suspect that there is still some swelling present, especially if it changes throughout the day, as you describe. A steroid injection might help regardless. Check with your surgeon.

Nasal tip healing after rhinoplasty

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The tip is no longer swollen, though there is scar tissue as the tip fully heals and the skin conforms and it really can take up to a year. As long as there is stiffness in the tip, the scar is not mature, and as it does the tip will continue to improve and shrink in over time.

Best of luck,


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


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 It usually takes 1-3 years for the swelling to fully go down after a rhinoplasty. The tip takes the longest time to heal and mold to the new framework because it is the thickest skin of the nose. The skin over the profile is thinner than the skin over the tip. Patience is required during this healing phase. Some alternatives can help with swelling like a steroid shot and anti-inflammatory medicine. Consult with your board certified facial plastic surgeon to see if this an option.

All the best, 

Deepak Dugar, MD
Scarless Rhinoplasty Expert
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Deepak Raj Dugar, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Tip still Bulbous Post Rhinoplasty

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Each rhinoplasty procedure can lead to the buildup of more scar tissue inside the nose. The final results form a rhinoplasty can be related to the surgeons experience and the technique used to perform the rhinoplasty.

Gary Motykie, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Tip of my nose still too big.

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The fact that your tip is larger in the morning proves that it is still swollen.   The tip of your nose is likely to shrink dramatically during the next several months as swelling further subsides.  My recommendation is against massaging and/or steroid injections at this time, but a double dose of patience will likely help.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 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.