2 Months Post Septoplasty/Rhinoplasty: Is it Normal to be This Swollen?

I am 2 months post-op & nose is large, droopy, lost shape, and not healing evenly. I know there is swelling but I have yet to find photos on internet that look this scary. I went in to fix a deviated septum and on deviated side I now feel a large bump where it was filled. Inside the nostrils I feel hard spots where work was done. I'm desperate for outside advice. Have you seen patients this swollen? What do I ask at 3 month follow-up? If 6 months & still bad is there revision hope?

Doctor Answers 8

Swelling Expectations

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After looking at your photographs, I have to agree that your nose is quite bulbous at the tip, much more so than pre-operatively.  I have to believe that your surgeon did not do anything to purposely make your tip larger and therefore I expect that you will see the size decrease as swelling resolves.  You also appear to have what is referred to as a polybeak when viewed in profile.  I would hope that your surgeon is using steroid injections to try to improve the situation.

I would be disappointed if my nose looked like this at two months.  Having said that, I would not give up hope.  Some types of skin can do this and it can take a long time to go down.  Certainly you should do nothing but be patient for now and allow your surgeon to use steroid shots.  While one year is often times referred to as "healed", some skin types will hold swelling for even longer.  It may be that a revision is necessary, but in no case should you do so prior to one year.

Swelling after rhinoplasty

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It is perfectly normal to have swelling 2 months after a rhinoplasty. As most experienced rhinoplasty surgeons know, it can often take 6 months, and even a year, for the majority of swelling to resolve. This is due to a number of factors, such as skin thickness and surgical technique. It is important to understand that all patients heal differently as well. I reviewed your photos, and while there is some normal post-surgical swelling, your tip does appear to droop. There is also excessive width throughout. Keep in mind that my assessment is limited, and only based on review of non-clinical photos. I think it would be worthwhile for you to seek a surgeon's opinion with a consultation. While I do not advocate performing a revision this early after a surgery, a plan can be formulated and it is helpful to see the changes that occur while anticipating revision surgery. I hope this helps.

Ryan Greene, MD, PhD
Fort Lauderdale Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 83 reviews

Swollen 2 months after Rhinoplasty.

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You mention a septoplasty but that alone would not be able to create external swelling to your nose.  If you had a Rhinoplasty, swelling can be there for up to 9 months but should not cause the tip to be rotated downward.  You should ask the surgeon these questions as only he/she knows what was done during your Rhinoplasty.

Postop Swelling

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It is often frustrating having to wait for swelling to improve or resolve. Your nose does appear to have some areas of concern and I would address these with your surgeon. Some swelling can and should be actively treated in some patients and in others it is prudent to wait. 

Possible revision rhinoplasty option

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Dear rhinoplasty patient from Florida,
I did review your before and after pictures. I agree with you that there is some swelling, but your nose should not look larger and droopier after a septorhinoplasty. You must talk to your surgeon and see if he is able to perform a revision rhinoplasty for you in 6 to 9 months from now. You may also want to get a second opinion. Good luck and good healing.

Consultation Needed

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It takes 1-3 years for the swelling to fully go down after a rhinoplasty. The tip takes the longest time to heal and mold to the new framework because it is the thickest skin of the nose. The skin over the profile is thinner than the skin over the tip. However, if you are feeling any pain I would advice a post op consultation. Your doctor will be able to fully evaluate the large bump you described. 

All the best, 

Deepak Dugar, MD
Scarless Rhinoplasty Expert
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Deepak Raj Dugar, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

2 Months Post Septoplasty/Rhinoplasty: Is it Normal to be This Swollen?

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Thanks for the posted series of photos. If you are this unhappy now I doubt waiting 9 months to a year will satisfy you. Yes plan a revision after 6 to 9 months. You can always cancel the revision if the swelling decreases enough to make you happy. Best of luck. 

Time is needed for final results to be obvious

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Thank you for your question!

It is understandable that you are concerned. Changes after rhinoplasties vary with every patient and what you are experiencing is normal especially that swelling takes time to subside as it masks the results of your surgery.

It is important to keep in mind that it is early to pass a judgment. Usually, a year is required before formulating how your nose will be, but longer with a thick skin. Even then, your nose will keep shaping itself to complement your face for better results in the years to come.

My best recommendation at the moment is to be patient, allow nature to take its course and edema subsides for better results. There is no doubt that once the swelling resolves, more definition and shape will be achieved and you should be happier with the results.

Also, it is important that you keep communicating with your surgeon and work as a team together to achieve the best results possible.

Congratulations on your surgery and please remain positive!

Ali Sajjadian, MD FACS

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.