Does Taping the Nose Raise the Tip After Rhinoplasty?

Hello. I had a procedure done to take out a little piece of cartilage from my nose due to a previous surgery done 10 yrs ago. I explained to the doctor that I loved my nose and did not want to change anything, just wanted to get that extracted.

A couple days after, I see my nose tip with a tape on it. Now the nostrils are lifted up and I look like I have a snout. When you look from underneath, it looks like it was totally modified to a triangle when it used to be a little rounder. I read in previous discussions that they tape your nose that way so the tip won't drop later.

But my question is: if I didn't want to have the tip of my nose touched, why did he have to tape it up? I complained and he insisted that he didn't touch it. Shouldn't it be "hanging free" while the rest of the nose is taped since he said didn't touch it? I am desperate! Started to consider that the tip of my nose was changed without my permission. Please advise, I'm very sad and regretting this decision very much. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 8

Tape and Splint After A Rhinoplasty

Some surgeon will tape the nose and nasal tip, even if the tip was not directly addressed.  This is to help minimize edema and swelling to the nose.  

Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 163 reviews

Taping the tip of the nose after rhinoplasty helps prevent tip drop.

I would reassure you that it is unlikely that your tip will be different if the doctor told you he only removed the excess cartilage you wanted removed.

To gain access to the extra cartilage that had to be removed, the doctor had to go through some ligaments that support the tip of the nose.

Taping the tip gives these tissues a chance to heal during your recovery. If they do not heal properly your tip will drop and the bump caused by the dorsal cartilage will reappear and you will feel that more cartilage needs to be removed.

Once the tape is removed your tip will return to normal if the surgeon did not operate on the tip.

If the doctor didn't touch the tip it will return to normal.

Very often we tape the tip to prevent swelling. If the doctor only taped the tip up, you can relax as it will return to normal in a few weeks.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Relax, you just had the surgery

The tip should fall after the tape is off. Relax -- you need time to heal. Ask your physician these questions --- that is what you paid him for.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Taping alone will not change nasal tip shape

Hi Guitar Barb,

It sounds like the tip tape is still on your nose. Many surgeons place tip tape routinely when they place the nasal dressing and splint at the end of a rhinoplasty procedure. If your surgeon did nothing to your tip, then taping the tip will not cause any permanent change in the shape of your nasal tip.

If the shape of your nasal tip is different once your tape is off, and your swelling has resolved, then you will need to discuss this with your surgeon.

Hopefully it is just taped, and once the tape is off all will be well. Your case emphasizes how important it is to have clear communication with your surgeon prior to surgery. Good luck, be well, and please let us know how your nose turns out.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Tape not always due to tip treated

The tape may be there for support even if the tip wasn't treated. You can always ask for your surgery records from your surgeon to see what exactly was done.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Rhinoplasty and tip

Taping the nose aft er a rhinoplasty is common. The tape is used to support the tip and protect the skin from the nasal splint. Usually the tip drops a bit after surgery and after the swelling subsides. If there was extensive work done on the tip to elevate it, then it probably will not drop as much.

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

Depends on where the removed cartilage was


I don't see that you mentioned exactly where the piece of cartilage was removed from or why you wanted it removed. If the piece was in the tip, then you should expect to see some change in your tip shape. If the piece was nowhere near the tip, then expect the tip to be unchanged and everything you see now is swelling and dressing. Talk it over with your surgeon. Good luck!

Kenneth R. Francis, MD, FACS
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 47 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.