Is This Much Swelling Normal when Cartilidge is Added?

I had a rhino performed exactly 4 weeks tomorrow. Prior to my surgery, I had a small "dent" on one side of the the tip. My surgeon added what he said was, a "very small piece" of cartilidge to help correct since it was not on the other side. That side where he added the cartilidge is visably more swollen than the other side...for this amount of time that has lapsed, is that still considered normal for this type of thing? What happens to that cartilidge that is added (internally speaking)?

Doctor Answers 5

Normal Swelling 1 Month after Nasal Cartilage Graft Placement

It is normal to have swelling over the site of the tip graft placement 1 month after surgery. This should resolve over the next 6-12 months. This graft will become incorporated into the surrounding tissue as living structure.

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

Swelling over cartilage graft and Rhinoplasty

  You didn't mention if the surgeon placed the cartilage graft, on the tip, as an isolated procedure or during a Rhinoplasty.  Isolated swelling for the former is completely normal but not so much in the latter as the tissues were all dissected at the same time.  Cartilage can be placed by laying it on the tip cartilages, glued or sewn into place to prevent the graft from moving or shrinking over time.  Ask your surgeon more about your particular case to be sure you don't have a stitch that's causing swelling and inflammation as this can cause the cartilage graft to dissolve unevenly if left unattended..

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Normal swelling after rhinoplasty

It is very acceptable to be seeing swelling over a cartilage graft for several weeks to months after rhinoplasty. The soft tissue around the cartilage is swollen and may feel firm.  It can take up to a year to see the final results, although the swelling anfd firmness should slowly dissipate in the next few months.

If you have redness and tenderness over the area where the cartilage was placed, you may have an infection and should see your surgeon as soon as possible.

Sumit Bapna, MD
Columbus Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Noses should be symmetrical after surgery but small temporary asymmetries can occur

If you were symmetrical before, you ideally should be symmetrical now.  The problem I have in answering your question is that I don't know what else your surgeon did--surely more than grafting one side of your tip.

I always hope to see symmetry, even swollen symmetry, when I remove my dressings at a week.  Some temporary asymmetries--slight ones--do occur in the situation you describe but  go away.

Ask your surgeon at your next visit.  Good luck.

Mark B. Constantian, MD, FACS
Nashua Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Nasal cartilage graft and swelling

It is normal to still have some swelling after 4 weeks. Such grafts will have a thin layer of scar  form around them. They otherwise usually stay  much the same as when they are placed. You should stay in contact with your surgeon. After waiting at least 6 months the prominence will be gone or you surgeon can recommend some type of revision.

Ernest D. Cronin, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 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.