Post Op Swelling or Just Wider Nose? (photo)

I had my procedure done 6 weeks ago, and had a dorsal hump removed and no tip work done. I am very confused as to why my nose looks so wide especially when I smile. I know I still have a lot of swelling, but I can't figure out if its mainly the swelling playing a huge role in the wide appearance or if my nasal bones just shifted apart and now il be stuck with this wide nose appearance :( which I'm not happy about. I will really appreciate any advice...thank you!

Doctor Answers 4

Reasonable expectations after dorsal hump reduction

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The nasal bridge appears the same width in your before and after pictures, however, the mid portion of your nose (middle vault) and tip appear wider. Dorsal hump removal can usually be done via a closed approach through incisions within your nose, whereby the nasal tip is not manipulated. You should have minimal swelling in your nasal tip after a closed rhinoplasty, but any swelling there will take longer than anywhere else in the nose to fade away. If the nose was opened via incisions on the bottom of your nose then there will be residual swelling in the tip that will last up to one year and you merely need to be patient for this swelling to subside.

Another possible reason your middle vault and nasal tip may appear wider is that when dorsal hump removal is performed, osteotomies are often done at the same time to bring the nasal bones together so that the "open roof" is closed and your bridge does not appear wide. If these osteotomies were not performed in the appropriate manner (should be low and hugging your face rather than being too high on the nasal bones) this can leave your nose appearing wide especially in the middle vault area that accentuates when you smile.

In any case I would wait for the swelling to go down. If the problem persists at 6 months have an honest discussion with your surgeon to see what solutions are available and if a reasonable outcome could be achieved with revision surgery.

Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Post Op Swelling After Rhinoplasty

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I think the correct answer is that you have both post op swelling and the appearance of a wider nose.  6 weeks is still too early to see the final result after a rhinoplasty.  Edema (swelling)  takes at least three months to settle down and can easily take up to 6 months.  So it is too early to say for sure.

You are correct though, that the tip appears wider.  That doesn't mean it is wider.  If you look carefully at the first preop and post op pictures it appears that the dorsum of you nose is narrower and has more defined lines.  Since that has changed it may be making your tip look wider.  Sort of an optical illusion.

I wouldn't rush to change anything now.  I would wait at least another few months.  Express your concerns to you plastic surgeon.  Best wished to you.

Al Rosenthal, MD
Lawrenceville Plastic Surgeon

Tip swelling of the nose after a rhinoplasty

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It is common to have swelling of the dorsal tip of the nose for 4 - 6 months after surgery.  Time to relax and let nature take its course.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Post-op swelling after rhinoplasty

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Swelling after a rhinoplasty is common.  It will take several months even up to a year for it to resolve.  

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 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.