Does nose swell during the Rhinoplasty operation? Does ear cartilage Grafts swell during surgery?

Doctor Answers 9

Swelling During Rhinoplasty

There is considerable swelling that occurs in the skin of the nose during and more so after rhinoplasty. (the cartilage and bone do not swell) The external splint helps keep some of the swelling in check but it is a process of months after for it to go away completely. Your question may be based on whether enough swelling occurs overall in surgery for the surgeon to have a good idea how the changes are looking as they are being done...and the answer is not significantly.

Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

The nose does well during the surgical procedure

 The nose becomes swollen from the injections are placed in the nose to numb up the nose to stop the bleeding. The nose does swell  Even more when surgery is started. Ear cartilage grafts do not swell during the surgery.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 146 reviews

Does nose swell during the Rhinoplasty operation? Does ear cartilage Grafts swell during surgery?

The nose does swell during rhinoplasty and after removal of the nasal splint. The grafts themselves do not swell. However, rhinoplasty that requires alot of grafting also requires alot of surgery which can result in additional swelling. The ear itself, if ear cartilage is needed, tends to look pretty good as soon as one week following surgery. I hope this information is helpful.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon

Stephen Weber, MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 129 reviews

The nose does swell during rhinoplasty

It is a fact that the nose does indeed swell during the rhinoplasty procedure, and usually the surgeon gets and hour and half to "see" contours clearly before swelling begins to set in. The can be important in closed rhinoplasty where the surgeon judges by external appearances and less so in open techniques where structures a seen. Cartilage grafts do not swell and the shape and size is stable though out the procedure and healing process. 

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Swelling Post Rhinoplasty

Cartilage does not swell. You will, however, experience some swelling after your Rhinoplasty as with any surgical procedure cosmetic or not.

William J. Welsh, MD
Nebo Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Swelling after Rhinoplasty

Dear flowers, thank you for your question.It may take several months for swelling to subside after rhinoplasty. Here in San Diego, we follow our patients for one year to follow their healing. Consider following up with your surgeon to monitor your progress and see if any intervention is necessary. Rarely a second opinion may be in order. Best of Luck.

Roy A. David, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Rhinoplasty and swelling

Yes, as in any surgery, the body part operated on usually swells as part of the healing process. The nose is no exception. Good luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews


The nose swells up of the rhinoplasty, particularly after the cast is removed. That is why we usually recommend massaging the nose to prevent that from happening. Your harvest sides can be sore after the operation, some pain medication may be necessary. Usually this wedding is not too bad particularly if mattress sutures have been used.

Vartan Mardirossian, MD
Jupiter Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Swelling during Rhinoplasty surgery

Dear Flowers9,

If you have surgery anywhere on the body there will be swelling in that area post operatively. For nasal surgery, noticeable swelling typically lasts until about 2-3 weeks post op, and then there is minimal residual swelling that could last anywhere from 6 weeks to a year or longer. That is why most surgeons say not to judge the final result of surgery for 1 to 2 years after the procedure. I hope this helps!

Richard A. Bartlett, MD
Brookline Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 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.