Normal for One Side of Nose to Heal Better Than the Other One After Rhinoplasty?

Is it normal that on one side of my nose there is almost no swelling left but on the another one there is still pretty much swelling on, and the tip is also harder from one side that the other? I had my nose job done 6month ago to decrease the size of the tip and narrow the nostrils.

Doctor Answers 9

Asymmetrical swelling after rhinoplasty

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A little bit of asymmetry is not unusual in the first year after surgery.  Your swelling will come down at different rates in different areas, and some days you'll seem more swollen than others.  If you had more work done on one part of the nose than the other, then this would also account for your varied swelling.  I suggest waiting and seeing your surgeon when advised.  You can also ask him or her if you have concerns that the differences are very marked.  Good luck, /nsn.

Asymmetric healing after rhinoplasty

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It really depends upon what rhinoplasty techniques were performed to make an educated guess as to why one side is more swollen than the other. If a unilateral spreader graft and/or other tip cartilage grafts were placed on that side, it will remain more stiff, woody, and firm than the opposite side. It does take longer to heal if asymmetrical surgery was performed on the more involved side. 

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Asymmetry 6 Months after Rhinoplasty

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Six months after rhinoplasty asymmetries are possible, but  normally are subtle. Discuss with your surgeon and/or get a second opinion.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Unequal swelling

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It is certainly possible to have different responses in various ares of an operated area.  Just allow time to resolve these areas and especially in a rhinoplasty where swelling is very slow to resolve.  Adhere to your follow up schedule with your surgeon.

Enjoy your journey.

Dr. ES

Asymmetric nose healing is Uncommon

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I agree with Dr. Persky. Healing after nose surgery is slow, progressive and in the vast number of patients symmetric. At 6 months after the surgery you should be "rounding Third base and heading home" and should not have massive asymmetry. I would encourage you to consult your surgeon and see what he has to say.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Asymmetry of Nose Six Months After Rhinoplasty

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Six months after your rhinoplasty there should not be such a noticeable difference between the two sides of the nose.  Consult with your rhinoplasty surgeon.  Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

By 6 months most of the swelling should be reduced

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It is true that it can sometimes take years for all of the swelling and skin changes from a rhinoplasty to occur. But generally speaking this is usually fairly subtle after the first 3-4 months. It sounds as if you have something more significant then swelling go on, although it is impossible to know without performing an exam. 

Samson Lee, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon

Asymmetry in rhinoplasty healing.

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You can have a very small difference, but  it sounds like you have more than that. See your surgeon and if you are not satisfied with his answer, see an experienced revision rhinoplasty surgeon for another opinion.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews


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Not only could there be swelling thats asymmetric there could also be scar tissue thats asymmetric or the cartilage on that side could be larger or there could be grafts on that side or the suture may have come undone on that side (if you had any), etc etc etc.

Perfect symmetry is a goal but healing is variable and out of anyone's hands or control.  But the surgery could have been done poorly or asymmetrically as well.  But even if the surgery was perfectly symmetric and done well, you could see asymmetries such as this as you heal.  Talk to your doctor.

Shervin Naderi, MD, FACS
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 119 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.