Swelling from Minor Nasal Tip Refining?

I am scheduled to have an open rhinoplasty to slightly refine my nasal tip. Since I am only slightly refining my nasal tip, my surgeon said that after a few days, the swelling would merely make my nose look like it does now. Is this accurate, and how long will this last?

Doctor Answers 6

Swelling After A Rhinoplasty

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Swelling after a rhinoplasty, particularly an open rhinoplasty, is very important to understand as a patient.  It can have a variable response in different patients with patients with thicker skin demonstrating more swelling than those with thinner skin.  

Have the surgeon show a chronology of photographs from one week to one month to 6 months to one year to demonstrate the effects of swelling on the nose for his/her patients.

Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 180 reviews

Swelling can last a year.

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An open rhinoplasty will involve cutting the columella underneath the nose. This does not need to be done for a slight refinement of the nasal tip. Swelling due to open rhinoplasty will last approximately one year in the nasal tip and not just a few days.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Open tip swelling can last for a long time

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I agree with your surgeons. Tip swelling can last for a long time, but usually after the procedure, the early swelling will diminish quickly so that you will look the same as you do now.

Robert M. Freund, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Still will have swelling from minor tip refining

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You are still undergoing surgery and opening the nose up. So you will still have fair amount of swelling after the surgery.

No matter what, you results will take time to be apparent completely. Again, the rule of thumb is at 6 months you have significant improvement, but it won't be until 1 year out from your surgery before everything has settled.

Hope that helps.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Tip-plasty swelling may last up to 1 year

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Your surgeon's expectations are reasonable for tip-plasty. If the upper nose is not altered, most of the swelling will be focused within the lower third of the nose and may hide the true refinement for quite some time. Depending on skin type and thickness, it could be 9 to 12 months before you enjoy the final result.

Because additional blood circulation is interrupted and needs to be restored during healing, open rhinoplasty may lead to slightly more swelling within the tip. Usually, this is not noticable by the casual observer.

Best of luck

Frank P. Fechner, MD
Worcester Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Your surgeon should understand your rhinoplasty goals

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Dear lfp8,

Misunderstanding can be a source of disappointment in any cosmetic procedure. With good rhinoplasty the changes can be subtle but to make the procedure worth the effort the changes should be visible, even after the first week as the tapes and splint come off.

I would suggest you work with computer simulation or photos of a result and shape you hope to acheive. This helps you understand what is possible in your case, and help you anticipate the end result you are to see after healing. Words such as slightly refining are adequate if you are very confident with your surgeon. You will probably have better peace of mind if you explore the issue with you surgeon further before your procedure.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 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.