Nose Looks More Bulbous and Round After Rhinoplasty

I had an open rhinoplasty three weeks ago, and I'm concerned about the current results. My goal for the surgery was to remove the side and front humps around my eyes and raise the tip. While I'm very satisfied with my new profile, and the bone is much slimmer around my eyes, the bottom 2/3 of my nose seems much more bulbous, and my tip appears way rounder (maybe kind of droopy too) than even before the surgery. Can I expect this to adjust with time? Is this still swelling? I don't regret having had it done, but I just hate that after all this, I still feel self conscious about my nose. Thanks!

Doctor Answers 16

Time is your friend

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It has been about a month since you posted your question. Although I typically advise my patients that it may take 6 months to achieve your final rhinoplasty shape, usually at about 1-2 months my patients are 75% of the way there.

You have likely noticed significant improvements in the swelling. This should continue to improve over the next 2 -3 months.

Good luck!

Swelling Following Rhinoplasty

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                  The most likely explanation for your rounded bulbous nasal tip following rhinoplasty is severe swelling. It’s not unusual for patients to have significant swelling following rhinoplasty surgery. This swelling lasts for up to a year and has a dramatic impact on the nasal tip. The nasal tip is the last area to have resolution of swelling following rhinoplasty.

                  Nasal tip swelling can be especially pronounced when rhinoplasty is performed using an open technique. This procedure interrupts the lymphatic drainage of the nasal tip and causes prolonged swelling.

                  Massage and taping can help minimize swelling following this procedure. It’s important that you discuss this issue with your surgeon who can provide you with reassurance. 

Nose looks more bulbous 3 weeks after a rhinoplasty

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 Since it has only been 3 weeks since the rhinoplasty, the nose is still very swollen. Full healing takes at least a year for all swelling to subside. Steroid shots in the tip of the nose can help reduce the swelling and edema if present.   Make sure you eat a low-salt diet, and any allergies or not bothering you. Blenderm  Tape can be applied across the bridge of the nose at night for the first 6 months to help prevent accumulation of fluid in the skin of the nose

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Swelling of the Nose After Open Rhinoplasty

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Hi Gorgeous,

The swelling of the nose after open rhinoplasty takes longer to settle than swelling after endonasal (internal incision) rhinoplasty. This is because the entire skin-soft tissue envelope was elevated off of the underlying cartilage and bone. It takes an extra few weeks for the swelling to resolve, and most of it accumulates in the tip. You should expect improvement with time. Do stay in close contact with your surgeon, and let him/her know your concerns. Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Open Rhinoplasty swelling can last for up to 18 months.

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You look great and swelling of the tip after open rhinoplasty can last for up to 18 months. Relax and watch the healing take place.

It depends

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After open rhinoplasty, approximately 80% of the swelling resolves within the first two weeks. The remainder takes months to completely dissipate, particularly in the tip. If the fullness, however, is firm, it may represent scar formation under the skin (that would warrant a steroid injection at about this time) or the top of the septum that was not removed during surgery. Fullness above the tip is know as a pollybeak deformity and the most common cause of this is inadequate reduction of the septal cartilage that makes up the lower part of the bridge.

Hope this helps.

Best wishes,

Dr. Ahn

Min S. Ahn, MD, FACS
Westborough Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 35 reviews


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The tip of the nose is the last part of the rhinoplasty to heal. The reason that it is puffy is because it is very swollen. It takes 1-3 years for the swelling to fully go down after a rhinoplasty. The tip takes the longest time to heal and mold to the new framework because it is the thickest skin of the nose. The skin over the profile is thinner than the skin over the tip. Be patient and trust your doctor. 

All the best, 

Deepak Dugar, MD
Scarless Rhinoplasty Expert
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Deepak Raj Dugar, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

It's early in your recovery after rhinoplasty

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After rhinoplasty, tip shape is typically the last thing to settle before seeing the final result; this can take 12 months or longer. During this time you will notice that the size of your tip decreases as swelling resolves and subtle details and tip definition appear. Additionally, you may notice that your tip derotates and deprojects. 

At three weeks following rhinoplasty, you are still very early in your recovery. Recovery after rhinoplasty will vary based on the person, characteristics of the nasal tissues and what was done during surgery. Around the 4-6 week mark, most patients are able to appreciate most of the changes from surgery as a significant amount of swelling has resolved. However, it can take somewhere in and around 12-18 months to see the final results. The areas with thicker skin in the nose such as the tip, alar rims and radix will require longer to settle. Also there appears to be a linear decrease in swelling for the first several months followed by a period where the swelling fluctuates (sometimes little or no swelling and other times more swelling) before the nose settles. Again, after 4-6 weeks, although you will continue to notice changes in your nose, they are subtle and imperceptible to most other people.

Bulbous Tip 3 weeks after Rhinoplasty

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It will take some time for the swelling to dissipate. I would wait a good 4 to 6 months. If by that time you still don't like what you see, you may want to ask your surgeon what he or she suggest. You also might want to get a second opinion.

Swelling and Changes after Rhinoplasty

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Thank you for your question. The reality with rhinoplasty is that swelling takes weeks to months to resolve completely. While the majority of the swelling (for a primary case) will resolve in the first three or four weeks, the rest may take up to 6 or 9 months.  And the final result, after all the settling, etc., is generally between 9 and 12 months. Along the way, massage or even small injections of a steroid can help with swelling. Please stay in close touch with your surgeon, and rest assured that this is normal. Best of luck!

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.