Do Rhinoplasty Results Really Take a Year to Show?

It's been 7 weeks after Rhinoplasty and my nose looks super swollen. Does it really take a year to see results? I think my nose looks the same, if not worst than before. I'm very tempted to pick my nose Will I ruin my results if I mess with it?

Doctor Answers 11

Rhinoplasty Recovery: Initial Results Seen Early, But Final Results Can Take a Year or More

Bruising and swelling are a normal part of rhinoplasty recovery. They are dependent on several factors related to both the surgical technique and the patient. Techniques that increase bruising and swelling include whether or not the nasal bones were broken (osteotomies), the extent of soft tissue dissection/elevation from the bony-cartilaginous framework, and whether the surgery was performed open or closed.

Swelling following rhinoplasty resolves at variable rates. For the initial two weeks, the nose is markedly swollen and noticable to anyone. After the second week, the swelling usually subsides such that it is not obvious to the casual observer that anything has been done to the nose; however, the nose will look "puffy" to the patient for several months. Usually by 4 months, the vast majority of the swelling will dissipate, but it may take a full year (or longer in some cases) for all of the swelling to resolve and for the final result to be achieved.

Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 146 reviews

Yes it can take a year

Seeing the final result of Rhinoplasty really does take up to a year or more! 7 weeks is too early to tell what the final result will be. Your surgeon could tell better on the O.R. table right after surgery was complete. I had a patient last summer planning her revision at 10 months; I told her to wait. At 1 year it was better but still a little swollen. 14 months following surgery she looked great and even sent three friends that month for consultations. So, give it time.

Steven J. Pearlman, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

Rhinoplasty; Pick Your Friends, Not Your Nose

Hi K,

Despite your urges, do not pick or "mess" with your nose as no "good" will come out of that.

Be patient with your healing process. Many times a nose looks great after 1 to 2 months, but all noses continue to "morph" over time. Giving your nose at least a year to evolve to best before having a revision rhinoplasty.

Good luck, be well, and I hope that your nose settles to your satisfaction.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

It depends on the surgeon and the extent of the surgery.

 It takes 6-12 months to see the final result from your surgery. Don't be worried--noses are often like yours at this time. You should see more  reduction of the swelling in the next 3 months.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Rhinoplasty results and swelling


Don't manipulate or pick your nose. You can potentially ruin the results.

Most swelling after rhinoplasty resolves within a month. The final 20% of swelling takes a much longer time to resolve, up to a year or longer after surgery. Fortunately, this final swelling is usually only evident to the surgeon and patient.

Rhinoplasty swelling varies greatly and is largely based on the areas of the nose treated, surgical approach to the nose (open or closed/endonasal), skin thickness, postoperative care, and your healing ability. The more extensive the surgery, the more you will swell and the longer the swelling will last. The tip of the nose holds onto swelling longer than the other parts of the nose. Open rhinoplasty, where there is an external incision at the base of the nose, swells more and longer than closed/endonasal rhinoplasty. Patients with thicker skin will also have more swelling.

Keep your head elevated, maintain the nasal splint/cast, use ice, use arnica montana, and follow your plastic surgeon's guideline may help reduce rhinoplasty swelling. Persistent swelling may also be reduced by steroid treatment into the nose. Don't hesitate to speak to your plastic surgeon about any swelling.

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Is nose less swollen than at 4 weeks? If not, recommend second opinion

Just saw one of our patients who is a bit more swollen than the average at two weeks, but she recognizes that the swelling is diminishing so she and I (and her mother) are not worried. She had a lot done: cosmetic surgery + surgery to improve her blocked breathing and sinus problems. Also required transplantation of tissue to give added strength to tip of nose. So, one would expect more swelling if " more" were done.

The question is whether things are moving in the right direction-- or not.

If you feel that there has been no improvement or very little in the past several weeks, it probably would give you comfort to have a "Second Opinion" or consultation with another doctor who is very experienced and specialized in nose surgery.

I am sure your doctor would not object and would welcome it. After all, "Two heads are better than one!

Finally, ask your doctor about medications that might help reduce the swelling; some are pills and even certain prescription sprays can be very helpful.

Robert Kotler, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Swelling can take time to resolve.

It’s not unusual for patients to be concerned about the size and shape of their nose following rhinoplasty surgery.This anxiety is normal and occurs for a variety of reasons.It’s important to realize that wound healing is a dynamic process that can take 12 to 18 months to reach completion.During this time the nose may be extremely swollen.Swelling takes time to resolve and the nasal tip is the last area to see improvement.
During this period, it’s not unusual for patients to be anxious and in some cases unhappy with their result.It’s safe to say that the majority of these patients are ultimately happy with their result once swelling has resolved and wound healing is complete.
This process typically lasts about a year following rhinoplasty.It’s therefore important to be patient following this procedure.When revisional surgery is necessary, it shouldn’t be undertaken until the swelling has completely resolved.This usually takes about a year.
If you’re concerned about the appearance of your nose, it’s important to maintain contact with your plastic surgeon.Your surgeon should be able to reassure you and alleviate your anxiety.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Swelling after Rhinoplasty

Yes it is true it takes six to twelve months to see your final results. You are still very early in the recovery phase and swelling should dissipate as time goes on. There is a saying do not put anything in your ear smaller then your elbow, well this applies to the nose as well! Do not pick it! Wishing you a speedy recovery and best regards!

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 208 reviews

How long is it really gonna take?

Rhinoplasty final results technically can take up to a year BUT you should see improvement immediately. Most of my patients start really liking their nose by 2-3 weeks and loving it by 2-3 months. Massage and an occaisional steroid injection can sometimes speed things up too. Swelling continues to resolve but again, tis doesn't mean that there should be so much swelling that you can't see something you like early on.

Ronald Schuster, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Swelling After 7 Weeks

What you have described, swelling at just 7 weeks post-rhinoplasty, is completely normal and expected. It is common for patients to be worried about the results of their nose job, but I always advise them to try to remain as patient as possible with the recovery. One year is the time frame during which nearly all of the swelling should subside. Your new nose should look more or less how you want it to look after this time. Also, do refrain from picking your nose as this can in fact interfere with proper recovery.

Sam Rizk, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 73 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.