Nose is Too Upturned/REALLY Swollen After Rhinoplasty

I had a septo-rhinoplasty along with turbinate reduction four days ago. Today, I went in to get my splint removed. From the front, my nose is too upturned and the whole tip looks REALLY swollen. I look like a mix between Lon Chaney as Dracula and a pig. I know they over-correct droopy tips on purpose, but I'm just really down and need reassurance that I won't look like a freak forever. How long until my swelling goes down enough to see close to the final result? I'm very worried and depressed.

Doctor Answers 11

Appearance After the Splint Comes Off

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Although none of us can render an opinion about your nose (because we can't examine you), I can tell you that ALL noses look very swollen for 6-8 weeks after rhinoplasty.  When the tip is rotated up (because it does not have enough rotation before surgery), then it will almost always appear too rotated as well.  It is my opinoin that this view is a combination of your perception (because you are used to your old nose) and a little bit of over-correction by your surgeon.  The reason this over-correction occurs is to allow some of the natural process of de-rotation to occur, thus landing your nose in the proper position.

Waiting is no fun, and all of us who write on these boards and perform rhinoplasty can tell you that we take patients through this process on a daily basis.  For you (and most patients), it is scary and brand new, so looking in the mirror can provoke a lot of anxiety and even an obsession with your nose (and those around you).

The key is to learn to tell yourself to be patient, let the process happen.  The surgery is over and you must now heal in order to see your results.  No amount of looking at your nose is going to help it.

I know it is easier said than done.  If you are still concerned, make an appointment to see your surgeon and discuss your concerns.  Most often, this will make you feel better and give you more ability to wait.  All the best to you!

Phoenix Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

To soon to be worried with rhinoplasty results

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First of all I am sorry that you are so depressed and I hope this helps put your mind at ease for now. You are relatively early in the post surgical phase and you have stated that you are really swollen so give this time to go down and try not to stress yourself to soon. Sleep elevated, stay away from a high sodium diet, possibly take some arnica for bruising and swelling, discuss all the things you can do for your best recovery with your surgeon and follow that plan. Swelling in the nose will last for an entire year. Most of the swelling about 70 to 80 percent goes down in the first three months and then the last 20 to 30 percent slowly dissipates in the next three months. With that said typically when the splint is removed the nose should not be so over corrected as you said that it appears pig like in any way. I consider myself an expert in rhinoplasty surgery and have performed thousands and thousands of rhinoplasty procedures. My patients are thrilled the day the splint is removed and they have a good idea how their nose will look in time. In the next few weeks as the swelling goes down discuss your concerns with your surgeon and hopefully he/she can give you some piece of mind. If you would like to send any photographs to my website or email I would be happy to give you a further opinion. Best regards!

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 218 reviews

Swelling after rhinoplasty

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Four days post- operatively you most certainly still have some swelling.  The tip of the nose can stay swollen for up to a full year after surgery!  Allow yourself time to heal.  As time passes, you should see gradual change.  Discuss your concerns with your surgeon as well.

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4 days post-op

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Four days post surgery is still very early for you to judge the results of your surgery - be patient and follow up with your surgeon - it is very normal for the tip to be swollen and overly up-turned

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

Tip rotated

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Stay the course.  You are swollen and jolted by the sometimes face altering effect of rhinoplasty. Talk to your surgeon who has the best knowledge of what was done and what to expect. Most tips will drop as swelling goes down

Michael L. Schwartz, MD
West Palm Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Nose upturned after Rhinoplasty

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4 days after a Rhinoplasty the nose is swollen, distorted and may not resemble the final result at all.  I say, trust your initial judgement and stay the course with the plastic and cosmetic surgeon that did your Rhinoplasty.  Hang in there for the next few things should get better.  Ask your surgeon these might make you feel better.

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

Nose swelling after rhinoplasty

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All noses have swelling following rhinoplasty, and it may take over one year to see your final result.  In the weeks following your surgery, it is likely that the tip will come down slightly.  You should share your concerns with your surgeon, but you should also be patient.  David Stoker, MD  

David Stoker, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

4 days really

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imagine you were in an accident and your nose took the brunt of it, would you expect it to be normal after 4 days. of course not. can't be in a rush here. have to ride it out. generally the first two weeks is the worst.

Rafael C. Cabrera, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon

Upturned nose

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You have one of the most common complaints after surgery. Rotation of the tip will drop after the swelling starts to decrease, usually about 7-10 after surgery. This may not apply to some cases if the position of the tip was fixated to the septum. Pictures would be helpful to asses the degree of rotation. If the tip is not excessively over rotated and the columella was not sewn to the caudal septum, your tip should drop in the next several weeks. Michel Siegel, MD

Michel Siegel, MD
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 113 reviews

Nose too upturned after rhinoplasty

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Unfortunately, there is no way to assess this without seeing what it looks like.  Tip swelling is the usual situation.  Very rarely, the surgery will have over-corrected the tip, and when that happens, it may be appropriate to fix it within the first week or two.  As I said, that is a very rare situation, and I have not seen it personally, but I have seen it reported.

Your surgeon is your best resource here.  Ask if there is any chance they may have overcorrected, and whether there would be an advantage to fixing it early if they have.

James Nachbar, MD
Scottsdale 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.