Revision Rhinoplasty Recovery

I had Revision Rhinoplasty 12 weeks ago. At least 3 times a week, my nose from the bridge to the tip turns red and then the color disappears a couple hours later. My surgeon took cartilage from the bridge to build up the tip, where it had formed a dent. It is still very swollen and the bridge still hurts at times. Does revision take longer to heal? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 24

Is recovery longer after revision Rhinoplasty?

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Yes, recovery is often longer after revision Rhinoplasty. The surgical area is no longer natural and untouched. The surgery is more difficult and often complex. Skin color changes are common and usually resolve with time.

Revisions take a lot longer to heal

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One of the most difficult things when counseling revision rhinoplasty patients is setting appropriate expectations. I especially emphasize with my patients that revisions will take a much longer time to settle, contract, and take on the final nasal appearance.

While we commonly cite a one-year time-frame for primary rhinoplasty (i.e., the initial rhinoplasty), revisions can easily take 18 months to two years...or many patients for healing to be essentially done.

This prolonged healing phase is probably the result of several factors such as impaired blood supply, impaired lymphatic drainage, more dissection trauma, additional fibrous tissue formation, etc.

Hope this helps,


David C. Pearson, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon

Recovery after a revsion rhinolpasty

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Recovery after a revision rhinoplasty can take up to one year or longer. At 12 weeks you are still very early i the healing process. Hang in there and give the nose some more time to heal.  

Gary Motykie, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Revision Rhinoplasty - Prolonged Healing Time

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There is no one standard Revision Rhinoplasty and therefore there is no one standard Healing Time. However, the addition of grafting material does seem, at least in my opinion, to cause more prolonged firmness in the tip. The more heavily scarred the nose is - the more prolonged the swelling is as well. Some primary Rhinoplasty patients take longer to clear swelling than other secondary Rhinoplasty patients so there is not always a clear correlation between the number of surgeries and the amount of healing time involved.  In your case the intermittent redness may simply be the result of healing of the nerves that control blood flow to the skin. Typically, infections of the nose are very rare but if one did occur it might present with redness but it would also probably be associated with increasing tenderness and pain and would be constant. If you've seen your surgeon and explained your concerns and he did not feel that anything was wrong then just give it time and expect it to improve. Best of Luck

Revision Rhinoplasty Healing Time

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This is not an unusual occurrence after revision rhinoplasty, due to changes in the skin- it seems to be associated more commonly with cold temperatures although this varies. In general, you need to give things at least 3 to 6 months before expecting this to moderately improve, and there are laser treatments that can help.

Jeffrey Epstein, MD, FACS
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Recovery After Revision Rhinoplasty Can Take Longer

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Recovery after a revision rhinoplasty can take longer than the after the first surgery. Generally, the nose will be more swollen and the swelling will persist longer. It is not uncommon for patients to have slight discoloration of their skin after a secondary (revision) surgery because the skin has been traumatized by the multiple surgeries.

Fortunately, with time these problems should resolve. Visit with your surgeon so he or she can reassure you that what you are experiencing is normal for this phase in the recovery period.

C. Spencer Cochran, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 149 reviews

Revision Rhinoplasty healing time

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Revision rhinoplasty usually takes longer to heal as compared to primary rhinoplasty because of many reasons.  There is scar tissue from the previous surgery that may make the current swelling difficult to regress.  Usually it is difficult to know what's underneath the skin before the rhinoplasty so if the nose was made smaller during the initial rhinoplasty (very common) then support has to be built in with the revision with grafts and more cartilage which increases the swelling and healing time as well.  Patient with thicker, oilier skin usually swell more as do patients with darker skin types.  

The redness over the nose is unusual but not uncommon.  It occurs from the increased bloodflow required for the healing and it may take up to 18 months for this to subside.  It is an unintentional side effect of revising a nose.  Sometimes, steroid injections to the area can help.  

Mike Majmundar, MD
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Revision Rhinoplasty Recovery

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Your nose will be swollen and will remain so for several weeks. In fact, it takes at least one year for all swelling to subside.

Jose E. Barrera, MD, FACS
San Antonio Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Healing After a Revision Rhinoplasty

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Revision rhinoplasty can be very complex, and therefore the healing can take a bit longer than your primary surgery. Your nose has been through a lot during each surgery, so the concerns that you express don't sound abnormal given the time-frame. Every patient heals differently, however one commonality is that there is nothing that you can do to get your final result any sooner. It takes anywhere from 1-2 years for all the internal swelling to resolve, and I know how hard it is to wait. In the meantime if you have specific concerns or something doesn't feel normal,remember that you can always contact your surgeon or schedule and post-op appointment to get things checked out. Best of luck and happy healing! 

Babak Azizzadeh, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Normal postoperative swelling after revision rhinoplasty

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It is normal to have swelling of the nose following rhinoplasty. The tip tends to be most affected by swelling due to the thickness of the skin and soft tissue. After primary rhinoplasty, it takes about 12 months for swelling to completely resolve and after revision rhinoplasty, it can take even longer in many cases. In the first few months after surgery, resolution of swelling tends to follow a more linear decline (starts swollen and becomes less and less swollen), however, it is common for patients to report that the soft tissue swelling fluctuates after the first few months (sometimes more swollen, sometimes less swollen) and this can go on for a number of months until the skin and soft tissues stabilize and all of the swelling resolves. Patients will report that their nose appears more swollen when it is hot likely due to more oil and sweat production and may also report swelling after eating high salt meals. Additionally, there may be some discoloration such as purple or redness that is intermittent due to changes in the circulation of blood in the skin. The nose can also be sensitive especially to cold weather. These problems tend to resolve once the nose is completely healed. This will likely take over a year to occur.  

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.