Noticeable Cut Under Tip After Rhinoplasty?

I had my cast taken off yesterday, and the cut under the tip (where the doctor say's he cut in order to insert the cartridge to raise the tip) now looks really noticeable. My doctor says it's due to swelling and scabs, that it will go away within a month, and the cut won't be noticeable. Is that true?

Doctor Answers 11

You are only a week after surgery

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Keep in mind that you are only a week after surgery. All incisions go through a maturation phase during which the incision will look worse than it will once it is matured. That said, open rhinoplasty does involve an external incision and closed rhinoplasty does not. However, closed rhinoplasty may not have been indicated for you. My best advice is to get on with your life and try not to obsess about the incision. In two or three months take another look and you will be very surprised. The worse thing for you to do is to sit for hours in front of the mirror and watch your self heal. Good luck with your recovery.

The scar usually fades with time

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

This scar will usually fade with time, but it may take longer than the month that your surgeon suggested. Avoiding sun exposure during this healing process also helps, as the sun can turn these fresh, healing incisions a bit dark.

In general, however, these incisions will fade very nicely, so I would recommend being patient and giving your body time to heal.

Shahram Salemy, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Most likely

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The scar will go through many changes before it settles down. It will get raised, lumpy & bumpy, and firm, and red before it settles. This may take several months to a year or more for the wound to mature.

In the unlikely event that an unfavorable scar results, a revision is always a possibility. Try to relax, and let the healing continue.

Incision will take several months to heal

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The patient has had a classic open rhinoplasty. It does not appear that the surgeon was forthright in telling the patient that they were going to have an incision placed on the external portion of the nose. This incision will take several months to heal, and be red, tender and swollen for the next several months until full healing takes effect. It should pave the way to a very minimal scar over time. An open rhinoplasty takes longer to heal with more swelling noted in the tip in the postoperative phase.

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

Open rhinoplasties do have a downside

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The cut you describe on the columella is necessary to open the skin up to directly see and treat the nasal tip. Closed rhinoplasties do not allow for this type of surgical vision and precision.

The downside is increased swelling and the potential for visualization of the scar. The scar in your case is too soon to make any judgements regarding quality. Just be patient and wait a week or two more before freaking out!

Robert M. Freund, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Cut after Rhinoplasty should gradually fade

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}


At one or two weeks after surgery, there is some scabbing and pink discoloration of the open rhinoplasty scar. That is common, and the usual process is for the scar to fade very well and be hardly noticeable at a year. I also suspect that by one or two months it will have started to be much less noticeable as the swelling and scabbing disappear.

Ask your doctor about any scar creams he/she may recommend once you are healed. Good luck as you recover.

Francisco Canales, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Most likely will not be noticeable after a few weeks

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The swelling immediately following surgery definitely exaggerates the incision line. Don't worry, it will get better very soon. Typically, this incision heals quickly and is unnoticeable after a few weeks.

Ask your surgeon if he/she recommends any scar massage and, if so, when you can start. I usually allow my patients to do some gentle massage with Vitamin E oil after a couple of weeks, once the scar is fully healed (no scabs) to help the healing process along. Even if you don't massage, it should be fine.

Thomas T. Nguyen, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon

Open rhinoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
The incision used for open rhinoplasty typically heals very well over time.  You can see after photos on the link below.

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 229 reviews

This will likely disappear over time

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

At this point in your recovery it is too soon to worry about the scars as they will likely disappear fro view over time. Hang in there and try not to worry!

Scar under nose

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Usually this scar results in excellent healing and is not typically noticeable unless pointed out to someone. These scars tend to be red & raised intially due to the healing process. They generally will fade and diminish with time.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 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.