Scar Tissue or Swelling After Removal of Nasal Implant?

I'm a 24 year old Asian girl who had Rhinoplasty 4 months ago. I had an L-shaped silicone implant to increase the bridge height, and ear cartilage graft for tip projection.

I was unhappy with the results. The implant made my nose look big and unnatural. I took the implant out 7 weeks ago. However, my nose is still not back to its pre-op state.

My nose is still notably bigger and wider than it was pre-op, even though I have already taken the implant out. Is it because my nose is swollen or is it due to scar tissue and stretching of the skin? Will my bridge eventually return to its pre-op state?

Doctor Answers 6

Graft can make the tip look large and swollen relative to the rest of the nose.

After an L-shaped silicone implant has been removed, bridge height should return to its natural pre operative position. The ear cartilage graft, or tip projection, if that is still in place in the tip, will make the tip look large and swollen relative to the rest of the nose. The ear cartilage graft may need to be removed if the tip is still wide and swollen. Full healing is going to take one year to see the permanent results.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 146 reviews

Nose shape after implant removal

The implants placed in the nose leave a fibrous capsule.  This takes some time for the nose to start to regain shape.  In most cases the nose will regain most of the shape of the old nose over a period of months to a year.  Every fibrous capsule is different depending on the type of implant, thickness of capsule, etc.  

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 166 reviews

Scar Tissue in Nose After Removal of Silastic Implant

Hi Reason,

Often times after the removal of an implant there is residual scar tissue present that may or may not resolve.  Injection(s) of low dose Kenalog (a steroid) may facilitate the retreat of the scar tissue.  Discuss this with your surgeon.  Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

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

Rhinoplasty swelling can take a long time

It will be impossible to judge at this stage, if the swelling or scar tissue is the cause or is it a distortion of your nasal anatomy, as a result of the previous surgery. From this point, I would advise that you wait at least a year to establish if the problem is related to scarring or not. Then you can consider a revision that can address all of your concerns. Of course, as with all revision rhinoplasty surgeries, seek out a physician with lots of experience.

Robert M. Freund, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Nose will probably go back to original size

This is swelling and the nose should return to the original shape or almost. The tip graft however will still be there. You will get some augmentation of a small amount of scar tissue, but not much.

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

Nose will further change but may never return to preop look

Without being able to examine you I would estimate that by 4 months approximately 80% of swelling has subsided. Your nose may never look exactely as it did before your rhinoplasty. Silastic implants heal by forming a thick fibrous "scar" capsule around them which cannot return to "virgin" tissue.

Expect further small improvements though. In case you do consider another rhinoplasty, I would now wait at least for 1 year after the implant removal.

Frank P. Fechner, MD
Worcester Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 49 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.