Is It Normal for the Nose to Look Better (Smaller and More Refined) After the Cast is Removed Than 2 Weeks Later?

Had a closed rhinoplasty almost 3 weeks ago and upon the removal of the cast my nose looked perfect. The next day my nose was significantly more swollen and continued to swell over the next few days (Mostly around the bridge and tip) Now my nose is larger and less refined and doesn't look as good as it did the day of cast removal. Will it return to the way it looked that day?

Doctor Answers 10

Rhinoplasty and splints

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The swelling is variable after rhinoplasty surgery and certainly after the removal of the splint, the nose can look more swollen. You really have to give it a good 6 months to  a year to see the improvment.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Swelling Is Hiding Your Results

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This is very common. The cast compresses the tissues of the nose to keep swelling down, and when it is removed the swelling can no longer be controlled and it can dramatically appear. This swelling can take months to subside, with the tip being affected for the longest.

Swelling once the splint is removed after a rhinoplasty

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The splint acts as a garment and squeezes the soft tissues.  Once the splint is removed then the soft tissue tends to swell.  So this is a normal response after rhinoplasty.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Nose looks larger 2 weeks after cast removed following Rhinoplasty

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 I have performed Rhinoplasty for over 20 years and one of the main reasons, I use a cast after a Rhinoplasty is to control the swelling.  Once the cast is removed, the nasal tissues are free to swell without restriction and certainly do so.  I instruct all, of my Rhinoplasty, patients that once the cast comes off...the nose will swell and can do so unevenly where one side swells one day and the other side swells the next.  This is all normal healing after a Rhinoplasty but you should speak with your Rhinoplasty surgeon if you're concerned.

 I teach all of my Rhinoplasty patients how to perform manual lymphatic drainage, on their nose, beginning 1 month after their Rhinoplasty.  This is performed daily and pushes the nasal swelling out in about 3-5 minutes.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Swelling after cast

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The nasal splint or cast controls swelling. When it is removed any residual swelling will now freely happen. This is one of the reasons rhinoplasty healing takes so long. Your nose should return to the appearance you had right after removal and become even beter with time.

David A. Bray, Sr., MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon

Rhinoplasty recovery: swelling and splints

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  • As your activities increase after surgery, swelling can increase as well. With time, the swelling should resolve.   During the first week, the splint reduced swelling and you hopefully limited your activities.   Now that the splint is off and you are on the go, a mild amount of swelling could develop.
  • It is important to address this issue with your surgeon so you can be sure it is not something else more serious.

Michael Suzman, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Nasal splint compresses swelling

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If you were happy with your nose right after the splint came off, you will most likely be pleased with your results in the long run as well.  The splint will compress any swelling, but when it comes off the nose will look wider and less defined.  Do not worry, this swelling is only temporary and most of the swelling is gone in a month.  All the best.

Jason Lichtenberger, MD
Bellingham Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Swelling after splint removal

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It is not uncommon for the nose to increase in swelling after the splint is removed. You are in the confusing time post operativly when doubts arise. Try to be patient and give your nose a chance to finish healing. Keeping your head elevated on several pillows at night is still a good idea. Your doctor may also recommend massaging your nose. Good luck.

William H. Gorman, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews


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You answered your own question -- the splint minimizes the swelling - when it comes off the nose can swell up again. It will go down. Be patient and talk to your doctor.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Swelling after splint removal

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The external splint resists edema or swelling in that area. It is not uncommon after removal to see swelling. This will resolve but takes time. It can take a full year but it usually looks very good at 6 weeks.

Richard Dale Reynolds, MD
El Paso Plastic Surgeon

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.