2 Weeks Post Op Swelling Huge Bulbous and Numb Tip. When should I expect the swelling to go down? (photos)

I just had an open rhinoplasty 13 days ago. I had a bump smoothed out & did some tip work with my ear cartilage. I know that it is the early stage so the doctor did say that it is swollen- I can't help but be nervous that the tip is even bigger than before, bulbous and doesn't fit my face at all. It seems that the nostrils are uneven as well? I'm just concerned & wondering how much more swelling should I expect to disappear, or how different is a patient's nose at 2 weeks vs their final product.

Doctor Answers 3

Swelling after Rhinoplasty

You are early into your recovery.  The good news, in my opinion, is your swelling is not severe for 2 weeks postop, and it will get better with time.  Your profile is nice.  Your nose will definitely change over one year.    

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon


Thank you for your question and photographs.

You are still quite early in your recovery period and your appearance will continue to refine.  It may take up to a year for all swelling to resolve and for your nasal appearance to settle to a final outcome. Your doctor may prescribe you a Medrol dose pack (steroid) to help reduce the swelling. Healing is often unpredictable and one side may heal quicker than the other and sometimes even nasal bones may shift in healing.  The outcomes may not be as expected.  In some cases a revision may be recommended to refine your outcomes, but I would wait at least 12-18 months so you are fully healed before considering a revision. 
Best of luck in your recovery!

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Board Certified ENT
Board Certified Plastic Surgery
Member of ASPS, ASAPS, ISAPS, The Rhinoplasty Society, AAFPRS, OTO/HNS, ASLMS, International Federation for Adipose Therapeutics & Science

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Recovering from rhinoplasty and swelling

Recovering from rhinoplasty is a healing process. Part of that process is waiting for swelling to go down to see your result. 

In the first 6-8 weeks the majority of swelling will go down. Over the next 6-9 months you'll experience a downward trending rollercoaster of swelling going up and down depending on your exposure to heat, sun, or salt. At one year, you're close to your final result; however, the nose is known to continue healing and refining by very small amounts for years after that. 

The swelling commonly goes down in an uneven way. First one side and then the other goes down, which may give the appearance of a crooked nose until the other side catches up. The tip is the last area to settle down. At 2 weeks you're in the earliest stage of healing. It's important to follow your surgeon's instructions and keep your follow-up appointments so your surgeon can track your progress toward a safe and happy outcome. Safety comes first. 

Victor Chung, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 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.