After getting the splint off, my nose is getting bigger after Rhinoplasty?

I had reduction Rhinoplasty to make the nose smaller. After getting the splint off, I was happy cause my nose seemed small but everytime now I look in the mirror it seems to be getting bigger. Is this normal and will it go down again?

Doctor Answers 9

Swelling from rhinoplasty may take 6 months or more to fully resolve

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Swelling from rhinoplasty may take 6 months or more to fully resolve. In your particular instance, when the splint is removed any swelling that was controlled by the splint now fills your nose. What you saw immediately after the splint removal is approximately 80-85% of your final result. The remaining 15-20% of swelling will take the time mentioned above. Be patient. The nasal skin is thick and holds swelling for a longer time.

Oak Brook Plastic Surgeon

Swelling after surgery

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The size of your nose is most likely affected by swelling at the moment. Swelling is common in the months after surgery, and will gradually subside. Keep your head elevated to keep swelling to a minimum. You should sleep with your head slightly elevated as well. 

Be Patient, Your Nose Should Improve With Time

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Be patient. Rhinoplasty results can take time to become apparent. The amount of swelling and how long it persists after rhinoplasty depends on several factors such as the surgeon's technique, open versus closed approach, whether the nasal bones were broken, and the number of prior nasal surgeries.

Patients in whom open rhinoplasty techniques were used, cases in which the nasal bones were broken, and a history of one or more previous nasal surgeries often will have more prolonged swelling.

The nose will look swollen or puffy for sevearl months and it usually takes a full year for the final result be apparent.

C. Spencer Cochran, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 149 reviews

Normal healing

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Initially the nose does look smaller as soon as the cast comes off because of the compression the cast places on the nasal bridge. This does not allow fluid retention in the nasal sidewalls while the cast is in place. As soon as the cast comes off, fluid retention, lymphatic edema occurs over the tip and the bridge, which takes a full year to settle down and go away. It tends to take longer in thick-skinned olive and oily skinned people. If it happens in the tip, cortisone shots can be performed routinely to make the lymphatic edema go away faster.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 155 reviews

Yes, it is normal after Rhinoplasty

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It is a great sign that you were happy with the result when the splint came off. However, swelling in the nose is very very common after Rhinoplasty. I am not sure how long ago the procedure was done, but you will steadily see an improvement in the swelling in a few months. It may take 4 to 6 months for most of the swelling to diminish. Be patient and give it some time. Good luck.

Sirish Maddali, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon

Yes it will.

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 The swelling is temporary and usually takes 6-12 months to recede. There is nothing to do to make it go away faster than more time.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Swelling usually improves with time after Rhinoplasty.

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Dear Angel,

How long has it been since your surgery? You may notice some slight swelling that is more pronounced in the am, but this shouldn't be worse than the day you had your dressing removed.

Please visit your surgeon for a thorough examination, and photos. Seeing before and after pictures will demonstrate your progress.

I hope this helps, and best regards.

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 432 reviews

Expected swelling after a rhinoplasty

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One must always expect some degree of swelling and bruising after a rhinoplasty.  The splint, since it compresses the soft tissue will keep some of the early swelling down.  Once this compression is removed the entire nose can swell.  Do not be discouraged, the swelling will gradually improve over the next few months.  Other than ice and elevation there is not much you can do to speed the process along.

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

Swelling After Rhinoplasty Will Lessen With Time

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The swelling you are concerned about is completely normal after having a splint removed. A full recovery from a rhinoplasty can take up to a year. Our body has to go through the healing process, so I would give it a good amount of time and attend every post op appointment. If it has been more than a year and you area still feeling that way I would recommend discussing it with the surgeon who performed your procedure. “Dr. D”

Edward E. Dickerson, IV, MD
Fayetteville Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 127 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.