How can I tell if my nose is still swollen or if this is the final shape? (photos)

I know these pictures are at different angles and can cause size to look different, but they're both slightly from the side. I had a large hump removed from my nose. One is a week post op where I was happy and it looked very small. The other is almost 2 months, where it looks like it dropped and looks rounder almost bigger at the tip and just in general. Is the due to swelling? I don't get why right after surgery it felt small and great, and now it feels bigger and more bulby almost

Doctor Answers 7


At two months you are likely stills swollen. It can take a year or longer in some cases for the swelling to subside. Best of luck.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Swelling , 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 256 reviews

Swelling after a rhinoplasty

Thank you for your question and photos. The swelling after rhinoplasty can last up to a year after surgery. In the first few days, the cast and tape compresses the swelling so it appears without swelling. After a few days, you start noticing swelling along the sides and especially the tip and columella. The swelling then slowly desipates over days to weeks. Be patient and let is heal. Your surgeon should keep an eye on it as it heals. Occasionally, we inject some steroids in the tip area to hurry it a long a little bit but that is on a case by case basis. Good luck with your recovery.

Jeffrey Jumaily, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Swelling after rhinoplasty

Swelling after rhinoplasty fluctuates.  It will fluctuate according to your body's retention of water.  The fluctuations in swelling will slowly diminish over time.  No two patients heal the same or within the same amount of time.  At two months after surgery, it is still far too early to discern the long term results.  

Anthony Bared, MD, FACS
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 70 reviews


Thank you for your question and photographs.

It is important to consult with your surgeon about any questions or concerns you may. You are still early in your recovery and your nose is still healing and changing, this will continue over the course of a year to year and a half before it settles to its final shape. It takes 6 months for 90% of the swelling to resolve after a rhinoplasty. During this waiting period, several treatment options can reduce the swelling. First, post-operative taping is imperative to decrease swelling and mold the shape of the nose. This can be performed for a minimum of 2 weeks with recommendations commonly for 3 months. Second, a short course of oral steroids (Medrol dose pack) can be beneficial in the early stages to decrease swelling and pain. Third, I commonly use a dilute solution of Kenalog with Marcaine to decrease swelling of the nasal tip. If after 12-18 months, you are still unhappy with your results, I would contact your surgeon or another board certified plastic surgeon for a revision.
Best of luck in your recovery!

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 75 reviews

How can I tell if my nose is still swollen or if this is the final shape?

Rhinoplasty is an interesting surgery because the final result showing the refinement of the procedure takes up to a year. If you see something that is not aligned with your expectation than you should certainly discuss with your surgeon, however you will expect to see additional swelling reduction over the next several months.

Richard Zienowicz, MD
Providence Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Nose Swelling

Thank you for your question, and the pictures.

At only 2 months, there is still swelling present that will obscure the final shape. It's best to allow about a year to let the swelling subside and the final shape of the nose to be revealed.  Patience can be difficult, but necessary with rhinoplasty.  I would continue to follow closely with your surgeon and follow their recommendations.


Dr. Michael Epstein

MAE Plastic Surgery

Northbrook, IL

Michael A. Epstein, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 48 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.