Is it normal to still have significant swelling 1 year post-op (rhinoplasty)? (photos)

Hello! I'm currently sitting at 11+ months post-op (closed rhinoplasty). I had a osteotomy done, along with bridge shaving and a good amount of tip work (I had a bulbous tip). My surgeon did an amazing job and far exceeded my expectations, and when I saw him at my 6-month post-op appointment, he told me I still had a lot of swelling in my tip, which makes it project a little bit, and this reassured me a lot. I'm just wondering if it is normal, 6 months later, to still have significant swelling.

Doctor Answers 4

Tip Swelling One Year Post Rhinoplasty

An examination would be helpful but it is possible you still have some residual swelling a year after reduction of a bulbous tip with very thick skin. I'd recommend that you be patient for another 4-6 months and monitor any changes with serial photographs. 


Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Swelling at 11 months

Typically the worst of the swelling has resolved by 6 months. It is true that a small amount of swelling can persist even up to a year and a half after surgery. Typically the swelling decreases each month a small amount. At 11 months, you might get a little more definition of your cartilages but I would assume that your overall profile is going to be stable. That being said, with endonasal rhinoplasties, it is quite common for the tip to drop over time as many of the ligaments and soft tissue support structures are injured during surgery. This dropping of the tip occurs over the course of 6 months to 2-3 years. Whether or not this occurs depends on how your surgeon supported your tip after surgery. 

Aric K. Park, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Swelling After Rhinoplasty

Thank you for your question.

It's possible that you still have some swelling this far out.  In actuality, nose shape continues to evolve after rhinoplasty as the skin conforms to the underlying structures even when the swelling is gone, so patience is key (sometimes difficult, but necessary).  I would continue to follow closely with your doctor and follow their recommendations.

Best,

Dr. Michael Epstein

MAE Plastic Surgery

Northbrook, IL

Recovering from rhinoplasty and swelling at 6 months

Recovering from rhinoplasty is a healing process. Part of that process is waiting for swelling to go down to see your result. Revision surgery, rib grafting, extensive cartilage grafting, extensive tip work, and infection can all prolong swelling.

In the first 6-8 weeks the majority of swelling will go down. Over the next 6-9 months you'll experience a downward trending rollercoaster of swelling going up and down depending on your exposure to heat, sun, or salt. At one year, you're close to your final result; however, the nose is known to continue healing and refining by very small amounts for years after that. 

The swelling commonly goes down in an uneven way. First one side and then the other goes down, which may give the appearance of a crooked nose until the other side catches up. The tip is the last area to settle down. It's important to follow your surgeon's instructions and keep your follow-up appointments so your surgeon can track your progress toward a safe and happy outcome. Safety comes first. 

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