Rhinoplasty and Polly Beak

My daughter is 7 days post op and upon removal of the cast her nose resembles many on this website that are referred to as having a polly beak. Could hers just be swollen still or can this deformity have already developed?

Doctor Answers 11

Rhinoplasty and Polly Beak

Supratip or Polly Beak deformity is very hard to diagnose at this early stage in her recovery. Based upon the so kindly posted photos I agree you should be concerned but wait at least 4 to 6 weeks before sounding the alarm. I'm sorry for being so direct but the photos show a concern to me. Nice to see the before photos also if possible. 

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Polly Beak After Rhinoplasty

A true "polly beak" means that the cartilage portion of the nasal bridge has been over-reduced and the skin cannot adequately shrink so the space fills with scar tissue. It is more likely with and under-projecting nasal tip. At one week after surgery, there is a lot of swelling and it is too early for a polly beak. You will need to wait several months to know if the height of the bridge and the projection of the nasal tip are appropriate. Be patient and don't be tempted to jump in and do anything too soon.

Joseph Fata, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Polly beak

At one week you are still swollen,also it depends on the type of  rhinoplasty open/closed. Having said that it appears that the tip is a bit large  but there is plenty of time to see what happens regarding the swelling.

Jay M. Pensler, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Pollybeak deformity after a rhinoplasty

The term “pollybeak” deformity is used to describe a nasal contour that has excessive fullness in the profile just superior to the tip of the nose. The true nature of this deformity can be related to several different factors. There can be scar tissue, swelling or remaining cartilage after a rhinoplasty that can cause excessive fullness in this area of the nose. This deformity can also develop if the tip of the nose drops due to aggressive nasal tip cartilage removal during surgery or the loss of nasal tip support over time following the surgery. The deformity is termed a “pollybeak” because the shape of the nose resembles that of a bird’s beak. 

At only 7 days after surgery, there will obviously be initial swelling in the nose that can resemble a temporary pollybeak deformity which will most likely resolve over time. However, the relatively low position of the nasal tip is somewhat concerning this early in the recovery period because it will most likely not elevate over time. Overall, “time will tell” and any experienced rhinoplasty surgeon will tell you to wait at least 6-12 months for the final shape of the nose to be revealed after a rhinoplasty procedure.

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

Pollybeak after Rhinoplasty

The diagnosis of "pollybeak" cannot be made 7 days after rhinoplasty because there is normal, temporary post-op swelling. A true pollybeak is caused by residual scarring with excess skin, too much septal cartilage above the tip, and/or lack of tip projection. It will take several months to evaluate your daughter's result - hopefully her present appearance will improve as healing progresses.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Polly beak

Normally at one week there is a lot of swelling ans you really have to give it a few months for this initial swelling to dissipate before worrying too much.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Polly beak

At this point you need to allow more time. Definitely ask your surgeon because, retapeing may help. The key to avoid polly beak deformities is to resect any hump appropriatey and then be sure adequate tip support has been provided

David A. Bray, Sr., MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Supratip deformity ("Pollybeak") is caused by skeletal reduction to which the skin cannot adapt

Supratip deformity ("Pollybeak") is caused by skeletal reduction to which the skin cannot adapt.  Any nose can reach this point: think of a child's nose with a small, undeveloped skeleton: many of them are minor variations of supratip deformity.

Without knowing what your daughter's nose looked like before surgery, this looks like supratip deformity.  It should improve as the soft tissue swelling decreases, but loss of swelling cannot make the shape change completely--just make the more-or-less the same shape, but a little smaller.

Once the tissues have healed, see an experienced surgeon who can show you photos of noses like your daughter's that he or she has corrected--and results that you like.  It should definitely be possible for her to have a better airway, straight bridge, and attractive tip.

Good luck.



Mark B. Constantian, MD, FACS
Nashua Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 25 reviews


A polly beak deformity could be from several factors. One of them, scar tissue will not show so early. However a pollybeak deformity from the septum being too high will not resolve even after swelling has subsided.

A close follow up with your surgeon is advise. It also appears that your daughter has thick skin, this will prolong  the swelling. 

Michel Siegel, MD
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 112 reviews

7 days post surgery

7 days post surgery is still very early for you to judge the results of your surgery - be patient and follow up with your surgeon.  Early supratip fullness is very common.

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 221 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.