Post Rhinoplasty: Why Does my Nose Look Bigger Than Before Surgery?

i had an open rhinoplasty 1 month ago and im so worried and upset about the results the tip looks really big and my profile looks really long! longer than it was before surgery is this normal?? can someone please give me some advice???

Doctor Answers 15

In short... Swelling.

It’s not unusual for patients to experience significant nasal swelling following rhinoplasty. This swelling can cause the nose to look much larger than it did pre-operatively. Most patients will note severe swelling for 2 to 4 weeks following surgery. This swelling gradually resolves and most patients are able to resume normal activities and go out in public in 2 to 3 weeks following surgery.
Several factors, including the use of open rhinoplasty, fracture of the nasal bones, thickness of the nasal skin and a previous rhinoplasty have been associated with prolonged swelling.
Swelling will persist in most patients for at least one year following surgery, with the nasal tip being the last site to experience resolution. For this reason, revisional rhinoplasty should not be under taken for at least a year following the original procedure. In the immediate post-operative period, nasal splints, elevation of the head and ice can be used to minimize swelling.
It’s important that you maintain good communication with your surgeon. Your surgeon should be able to reassure you and alleviate your anxiety.

Still swollen

In general, swelling after rhinoplasty takes months and months to fully resolve, and it's apparent that your nose is still quite swollen. You should wait at least a year before considering revision rhinoplasty.

Too early to get the final results

Thank you for your question!

It is understandable that you are concerned especially with the large nose tip. Changes after rhinoplasties vary with every patient and what you are experiencing is normal especially that swelling takes time to subside as it masks the results of your surgery.

With the pictures posted, the lack of surgical details and the inability to perform a physical exam it is not possible to provide you with a definitive medical answer.

It is important to keep in mind that it is early to pass a judgment. Usually, a year is required before formulating how your nose will be. Even then, your nose will keep shaping itself and to complement your face for better results in the years to come.

My best recommendations at the moment is to be patient, allow nature to take its course and edema subsides for better results. There is no doubt that once the swelling resolves, more definition and shape will be achieved and you should be happier with the results.

Also, it is important that you keep communicating with your surgeon and work as a team together to achieve the best results possible.

Congratulations on your surgery and please remain positive!

Ali Sajjadian, MD FACS

Ali Sajjadian, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 185 reviews

Post Rhinoplasty recommendation

One month is only the beginning of the healing process. There can be excessive swelling for months and you have to have patients and give your nose time to heal. The healing process will take one year to reach the final results. You need to continue to have checkups with your plastic surgeon to discuss your concerns and the present instructions from your doctor. I believe that it is essential to discuss your concern with your doctor because he is the one that performed the surgery and has the understanding of what was done. Seeking a second opinion is fine but make sure you have your surgery records with you so the attending doctor is familiar with your case.

Alfonso Gonzalez Cepeda, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Nose looks larger 1 month after Open Rhinoplasty

I can tell you that your nose can be quite swollen 1 month after an Open Rhinoplasty, so don't panic quite yet.  I would ask your surgeon, if the bridge was reduced and if the tip was thinned as it's hard for me to know what was done during your Rhinoplasty.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Post Rhinoplasty: Why Does my Nose Look Bigger Than Before Surgery

Thank you for submitting your question. Your very early in your recovery from a rhinoplasty. Swelling after a rhinoplasty, with tip work will last for a year. Discuss your concerns with your surgeon and follow his/her advise. Best wishes

Big nose

A relatively large amount of the bride was lowered. The tip with its thick skin cannot really shrink. 
So with the low bridge, the tip looks more prominent.

Dennis Barek, MD
Great Neck Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Postoperative swelling after rhinoplasty

Persistent nasal tip swelling can be one of the most frustrating consequences of undergoing a rhinoplasty!  But fear not, the edema (swelling) eventually subsides, giving you a more refined appearance to the nose.  Due to the fact that your nose on the preoperative profile view was slightly flat; therefore, your surgeon had to "build up" your nose. Your nose will achieve its final appearance around 1 year.  If you are still unsatisfied, then relay your concerns to your plastic surgeon and they will devise an appropriate plan.

Your nasal proportion has changed.

Noses look good because they have shape (created by the underlying cartilage and bone, not the skin), and because they are well--balanced--proportionate. Your surgeon has reduced your bridge and tip so that your soft tissues now have less support and less shape.  That is why reduced noses can look larger than they did before surgery, and why augmentation can give noses more shape and reduce apparent nasal size.  It may seem counter-intuitive but the principle always holds.  Reduction does not solve all nasal problems. Once things have healed, you may benefit from a secondary correction.


Your bridge line now begins lower than it did before surgery.   Thus your profile proportion has changed--making your tip (also rounder than before) look larger.  It isn't larger, but the same skin is now distributed and supported differently.  I wish you well.

Mark B. Constantian, MD, FACS
Nashua Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Nose Looks Bigger 1 Month Post Rhinoplasty

The nose may look bigger 1 month after surgery secondary to temporary swelling, especially in a man with thick skin. This should improve dramatically over the next several weeks and then more gradually for 10-12 months.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 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.