Why Do Rhinoplasty Results Take So Long to Show?

Hello doctors. I had a septo-rhinoplasty a month and a half ago, my nose doesn't look much different to me than before but I'm still pretty swollen so I'm hoping that my nose heals the way I imagine it. I'm curious why results take a year or longer to show? Can my nose look totally different in a year than it does now? Does the nasal skin tighten? I would just like to know more about the healing process. Thank you!(:

Doctor Answers 5

Slow results from rhinoplasty

It takes up to one year for swelling to resolve after rhinoplasty.  The tissues "shrink wrap" around the cartilage framework during this time.  Your nose will continue to change over your life with or without a rhinoplasty.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Why Do Rhinoplasty Results Take So Long to Show?

There is a lot of disruption of soft tissues, cartilage and bone in reshaping a nose by rhinoplasty.  The edema (swelling), especially of the soft tissues, takes many months to settle, which is why I always tell patients that it can take up to a year or longer to see the final result.  After a month and a half, as in your case, most of the swelling of the upper nose should have resolved, but the tip will take much longer.  It is unlikely that your nose will look completely different in a year than it does now, but I would advise continued patience and hopefully you will eventually have the result you wanted.

James Bartels, MD
Manchester Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Rhinoplasty results take time

Because a rhinoplasty involves the alteration of the bones and cartilage of the nose it takes time for the skin to redrape and reshape over the altered structures.  There is really no way to speed the process along.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

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Swollen after rhinoplasty

Thank you for these questions. The nose typically has some soft tissue swelling after a rhinoplasty and a small residual amount that may take a year to resolve. This amount is usually quite small. Skin may tighten depending on technique used and intrinsic skin quality. Be patient and ask your surgeon. Good luck!

David C. Yao, MD, FACS
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Why Do Rhinoplasty Results Take So Long to Show?

         The nose after rhinoplasty can change quite a bit from 6 weeks to 6 months or one year. 



Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
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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.