Swelling after two weeks. Is this normal?

Hi, tomorrow I will be two weeks post op. When my bandage was initially removed 5 days ago I was quite pleased with the result. However, now I'm feeling quite down because my nose seems large and really looks the same. My family and boyfriend can't see a difference. Any friends I've met that I didn't tell about the surgery have mentioned nothing about my appearance. Is this normal, or cause for concern? For reference I had a droopy tip rotated and my nostrils and bridge narrowed. Thanks for your help.

Doctor Answers 9

Swelling is normal two weeks after rhinoplasty

Two weeks after a rhinoplasty, it is very common to still have some swelling. Swelling following a rhinoplasty can last for several months, with the last 10% of swelling sometimes remaining for up to a year. Since you are still so early into your healing process, there is no reason to be concerned. Be patient and wait for the swelling to go down, and you will likely be pleased with the results. Do not expect everyone to notice your new nose, especially if you didn’t tell them about it; rather concentrate on your healing process. I hope this helps.

Charlotte Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Post op rhinoplasty

Swelling is very common after a rhinoplasty. In fact, swelling may stay around for several months to a year before you see the final results. Be patient because it takes time for healing to occur.

Susan Kaweski, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Swelling Post Rhinoplasty

You will have residual nose swelling for weeks or even months. Very minor residual swelling can linger for up to 15 months, for this reason your results will not fully refine and finalize for a year or more. However, your nose will continue to improve in appearance throughout your recovery. It may take longer if you have thick skin, are male, or are having a revision rhinoplasty. Follow up with your surgeon to evaluate your nose.


Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Swelling after rhinoplasty

Swelling after rhinoplasty may last up to 6 months (80%) and up to 1 year for near full resolution of swelling.

Arian Mowlavi, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Swelling after 2 weeks

What you are describing sounds very typical after this type of surgery.  Often the bandages covering your nose can help to minimize swelling immediately following surgery.  Once these dressings were removed 5 days after surgery, it allowed for the swelling to temporarily increase in the surgical site.  That is likely why you initially were very pleased with the results before the swelling had time to increase.  A large percentage of the swelling should go away within the first few weeks, however it can take a full 6-12 months for the final result to be apparent.  If you were pleased initially after bandage removal, you will likely be very pleased when the swelling resolves with time. 

Adam Bryce Weinfeld, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Swelling after rhinoplasty

Thank you for your question.  It is very normal to have residual swelling 2 weeks after rhinoplasty.  As a general rule, 80% of the swelling has abated by 2-3 weeks, 90% by 2-3 months after rhinoplasty.  When 80% of the swelling is down, people won't be looking at your nose and wondering what you had done.  When 90% of the swelling is down, its starting to look really good.  That last 10% may take up to a full year to go away and it fan fluctuate from day to day.  It is not uncommon to make fairly significant changes to your nose, but other people not to notice (unless you tell them), so don't use that as a gauge of success.  Its likely that in the next couple months, you will notice very significant reduction in swelling and the new shape of your nose will be revealed.  All the best!

Sirius K. Yoo, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Post-op swelling

Thanks for your post. Even though two weeks probably feels like an eternity following surgery, you are still in the very early stages of healing. Try not to draw final conclusions regarding the shape of your nose right now because it can take months for nasal tip swelling to subside. And be sure to follow-up regularly with your surgeon who may suggest conservative interventions for the swelling. Good luck!

Mark Been, MD
Barrington Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Swelling after rhinoplasty

It is normal to have quite a lot of swelling in your nose, particularly the tip, for several weeks following an open rhinoplasty. Swelling can actually increase after the splint and bandages are removed.
Even after 6 to 8 weeks you will still have swelling that can vary quite a lot from day to day. This is especially true if you have thick skin.
For now, don't worry about it. Just give it time for everything to settle in. Good luck.

Robert S. Schmidt, MD
College Station Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Swelling of nose two weeks after a rhinoplasty

 Thank you for your question. After the splint  is removed swelling can start to set in. We like to provide splint therapy for a minimum of two weeks and use Medrol dose pack's  to help alleviate this early swelling. Also it is prudent to tape the nose after two weeks with camouflage brown paper tape especially over the bridge of the nose or swelling can often persist for up to 12 months. In a recent study at our rhinoplasty symposium,  3-D imaging revealed that 95% of the swelling is relieved that six months. This implies a lot of patience in the part of the surgeon and the patient. Best of luck in your recovery. 

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 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.