Scar Tissue Removal After 3rd Rhinoplasty. How to Tell if it is Swelling or Scar Tissue?

My surgeon removed scar tissue near the tip on the right side of my nose and did a right side osteotomy to push the bone in. After the splint came off, my nose looked absolutely excellent. There was great symmetry, the bone was straight and narrow, everything was great. The first two days after the cast was removed, I was very happy. From the third day (today it has been 2.5 weeks since surgery), the swelling got really bad. How can I distinguish between swelling and scar tissue?

Doctor Answers 6

Swelling After Revision Rhinoplasty

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It is very common to have swelling after Revision Rhinoplasty especially after the third time. There is a saying the "nose remembers" and in patients with trauma or multiple surgeries you will often see more post operative swelling. The splint helped in the beginning to keep the swelling in tact and after removal it is common to see more swelling. Keep away from foods with high salt content, exercise, excessive heat exposure, and sleep elevated with a few pillows behind you. All of these should help and then the best healer is time which is on your side. I can imagine with three revision procedures you are anxious so try and be patient and keep an open discussion with your surgeon so you may keep your mind at ease. I would suggest frequent follow up appointments to help with this process. Best regards!

Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 218 reviews

Swelling versus scar tissue from a rhinoplasty

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Swelling typically is more acute in nature occurring within the first two weeks of surgery. Scar tissue typically takes two to three weeks to develop. It sounds as if you may be in the grey area at this time so it would be difficult to give you a precise answer. I would discuss your concerns with your surgeon and follow his/her instructions accordingly. I am not sure if taping might help or not but you can ask your surgeon as well. Good luck.

Scott Trimas, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Distinguishing Swelling From Scar Tissue

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As a simple answer, scar tissue take some time to develop whereas swelling develops quickly and will subside as such relatively.

I advise you to be patient and to follow your surgeon's instructions, control your daily intake of salt, your exercise and protect your nose pretty well from any trauma.

Soon, swelling will subside as it is normal to develop it after the removal of the splints.

I recommend that you keep your surgeon in the loop of your progress.

I hope this helps and thank you for your inquiry.

The best of wishes to you.

Dr. Sajjadian

Ali Sajjadian, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 205 reviews

Scar Tissue Removal After 3rd Rhinoplasty. How to Tell if it is Swelling or Scar Tissue?

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It is still too early to know what your final result will be. Since you have been through this before you know very well that surgical swelling can take up to one year to go a way, but you will likely see most of that decrease within the first 6-8 weeks. Keep in mind that the splint does compress the skin and help decrease the swelling during that first week. When the splint first comes off it will look its' best and then the swelling begins. Just be patient. Give this time to settle down. It is still way, way, too early for you to be able to know if it is scar or not.

Richard J. Brown, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Swelling occurs quickly, scar tissue develops over time

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Scar tissue takes time to develop, but swelling can occur very quickly and can take a while to subside, as you probably know from your other rhinoplasties - sometimes even longer with revision rhinoplasty. Be sure to follow your surgeon's instructions and consult her/him if you very concerned. Hang in there!

Cory Torgerson, MD, PhD, FRCSC
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 170 reviews

3rd Rhinoplasty

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Scarring takes time to develop while localized edema (swelling) from surgery is usually acute and may resolve after several days to weeks, or longer.

Robert Shumway, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 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.