4 Months Post Rhinoplasty: Tip Swelling

I had a rhinoplasty to correct a large dorsal hump and a twisted septum on Dec. 28 2010. I have noticed some swelling going down but my tip seems to be lacking definition and is still quite hard. It was an open procedure.

Doctor Answers 20

Tip Swelling Takes Time

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While the profile typically takes on its finished appearance in weeks or a few months, the front view of the tip can often times take years to finalize.  You had an open approach which tends to make tip swelling worse since that incision temporarily removes one of the lymphatic drainage paths.

Thick skinned individuals are definitely more susceptible to this problem.  If your skin is porous or oily, you probably have thick skin.  Most thick skinned people who had an open tip approach can see swelling improvement for years after the surgery.

I would certainly be patient with this issue.  If the nose is way to wide at the tip one year after surgery, that is a bad sign.  If it is just a little wide, I would expect that in another year or two it should be nice.

Austin Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

4 Months Post Rhinoplasty: Tip Swelling

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I have to thanks you for posting the photo series. I agree in part with waiting at least 6 to 9 months following the rhinoplasty operation to allow tip swelling/edema to subside. But based upon my viewing of your photos to me you tip needs additional refinement or a tip plasty. Just my opinion. 

Persistent Tip Swelling after Open Rhinoplasty

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Your surgeon did a nice job with your nose.  The swelling in the tip will continue to subside with time.  When you can wiggle the tip of your nose and it doesn't hurt or is not stiff anymore, then you can start analyzing it.  Prior to that time you're still healing.  As far as your tip definition, I've seen tips refine over 3-4 years, so I would NOT revise it; your nasal skin looks normal to thick and any revision would not guarantee a thinner tip.  Make sure you discuss your concerns with your surgeon.

Ramtin Kassir, MD

Ramtin Kassir, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 180 reviews

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Tip swelling with open rhinoplasty

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Tip swelling and stiffness will take at least six to twelve months as a rule after open rhinoplasty. The improvements in softness progress so slowly it can be hard to notice on a daily basis. Love the sunglasses in your photos.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
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Tip swelling

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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 the longest to subside. Please wait a few months before evaluating your results. Best of luck! 

Prolonged tip swelling and firmness are normal after open rhinoplasty

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As frustrating as it is, I think you need to be patient a little longer with your results. Tip swelling can be persistent anywhere from 6-12 months following an open rhinoplasty. In addition, it is quite normal for the tip to feel hard at 4 months after surgery. If you are not pleased with the appearance of your tip after a year from surgery, that is when you should start thinking about a revision. Make an appointment with your surgeon to discuss your concerns. Good luck!


Sarmela Sunder, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Tip swelling post open Rhinoplasty

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Thank you for posting your photographs. You appear to have a nice natural rhinoplasty result that seems to fit your features well. There is still some residual swelling in the tip and this will dissipate slowly over the next three to six months. Your surgeon will know exactly how refined your tip was done and what your expected result should be. So please confer with your surgeon as well and this should provide some insight to your full recovery period and expected result. Best regards!

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

The final result make take up to a year

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You have very natural result and just wait. You will be fine. The tip will take time heal. As long as you have hardness, there is some swelling .

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Swelling after rhino

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Relax, as all the other plastic surgeons have reassured you, it's still early.  12 months is the usual time for swelling to resolve after an open rhino so you aren't even half way there yet.  Be patient. Dr. Schuster from Boca Raton.

Tip swelling after rhinoplasty

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4-5 months following open rhinoplasty, there is STILL enough tip swelling to obscure your final expected tip size and definition.  This swelling resolves, and the tip continues to shrink and heal for up to 18 months after your procedure, and perhaps even longer.

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.