Does Scar Tissue Softening Go Hand In Hand With a Decrease In Swelling?

I had my primary Rhinoplasty 10 months ago and my tip is still pretty hard/firm and swollen looking. I've heard that swelling will subside and scar tissue will eventually soften. Does that mean that I still have hope that as my nose softens, it will also diminish in size? I'm considering a revsion after a yr. and was wondering if I should wait even longer until my nose tip softens. I have a septal graft in between my medial footplates and sutures in my tip. My doctor says it will all soften.

Doctor Answers 3

Softening after rhinoplasty

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Swelling and tissue inflammation with scar are often interchanged in rhinoplasty. Actually the swelling will subside after several weeks. The tissue remains firm, as scar is laid during the healing process and will be slightly thickened. Over time the scar matures and thins and the nose will get ever so slightly smaller and most importantly gain definition. This 'biologic clock' for scar maturation runs about a year, so we tend to avoid revision until the time is up. For some the clock can run longer, perhaps a year and a half, or more. If you like the shape and can detect progress no matter how slowly, wait. If the aesthetics are just not you, a year may be long enough.

Best of luck,


Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Nasal swelling after rhinoplasty

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In general, hardness of the nasal tip is indicative of residual swelling. If you still have hardness of the nasal tip one year postoperatively, it may be advisable to delay surgery even more to allow all of the residual swelling to disappear.

Hope this helps - best of luck.

Softening and swelling

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Open rhinoplasty with grafts and sutures often creates a firm and hard tip which softens slowly and over a long time. Yours should continue to do better and I wouldn't rush into getting a revision. It can take up to 18 months for the tip to feel soft and pliable. If it doesn't and remains hard due to scar tissue getting a revision may only create more and increase the problem.

Michael L. Schwartz, MD
West Palm Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 12 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.