Recovering from Minor Rhinoplasty Revision

I am just shy of 3 weeks post-op. I had a minor revision in which the doctor removed a very small amount of cartilage from the bridge of my nose to make it smaller and removed some excess scar tissue. Should I still expect the swelling to last for up to a year? Also, should I only expect to see swelling on the part of the nose that was operated on, the bridge? Or, is it normal for the entire nose to be swollen?

Doctor Answers 9

Minor revision

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Although a revision is minor and focused in nature, it may still take about 1 year for swelling to resolve so that you can fully appreciate the changes. Although one area in specific may have been addressed, you may notice that adjacent areas appear swollen as well. These will also take time to settle.

Swelling 3 weeks post minor revsion rhinoplasty

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In this case the length of postoperative swelling is likely to be only about 6 months if the endonasal approach was used, It depends in part on the thickness of your nasal skin as well. I would try to be patient and trust your surgeons advice.

Harrison C. Putman III, MD
Peoria Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

How much swelling to expect after minor revision

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Even with minor work there can be fairly prolonged swelling. A lot of the swelling is related more to accessing the area. Even with using all hidden incisions swelling will develop in the area of dissection and surgery.

Obviously, there shouldn't be as dramatic swelling as with more extensive surgery. Your surgeon should be able to guide you as to the swelling in your case.

Thomas A. Lamperti, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Less swelling after less invasive Rhinoplasty

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I have performed Rhinoplasty for over 20 years and the less invasive the Rhinoplasty, the less bruising, swelling and residual swelling after the Rhinoplasty.  With a limited tip plasty, the swelling often resolves within several months.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Minor rhinoplasty recovery

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Three weeks post surgery is still very early for you to judge the results of your surgery - swelling can last up to a year or more, even with a minor rhinoplasty

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

Swelling after rhinoplasty

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Each person is different. If what you had was minor as you say it will likely resolve faster then a full surgery. Don't be worried however if it does persist longer. You just can't control how the body responds. 

Michael L. Schwartz, MD
West Palm Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Swelling after minor revision rhinoplasty

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It is normal to get swelling even from a "minor" revision rhinoplasty procedure.  Sometimes it can even be quite extensive.  It could swell where the work was performed or on the nose in places where seemingly nothing was done.  Although in most cases a minor revision creates less swelling that persists for a shorter time, that is not always the case.  Sometimes it can still take entire year for all the swelling to subside and healing to take place.  Be patient and hang in there.  Good luck.

Adam D. Stein, MD
Raleigh-Durham Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Swelling after a revision rhinoplasty

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The amount of swelling depends on the amount of surgery done, the approach used in the corrective surgery, and the extent of any underlying scarring. If it was just a minor revision done without an external incision, the swelling should dissipate faster than with a full rhinoplasty. In most nose surgery, the majority of swelling goes away in the first three months, but the final few percentage points remaining can take up to a year to go away or two years in cases of major revision. Talk with your surgeon about what he/she anticipates in this area and try to be patient.

Russell W. H. Kridel, MD
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Swelling after revision rhinopolasty

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Even a small amount of surgery can cause significant swelling, particularly when going through old scar tissue. It is unlikely that swelling would be limited to just the immediate area where surgery was performed. I would expect that even the tip of your nose would be swollen after dorsal revision.

Results from revision should begin to be visible within 3-4 weeks. Even after the swelling has resolved it can take as long as a year for the scar tissue to mature. Discuss the use of massage with your surgeon. Sometimes massage can help scar tissue remodel as it matures.

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.