6-weeks Postop Open Rhino - My Tip is Hard and Swollen but I Had No Tip Work Done?

I had an open rhinoplasty 6 weeks ago to correct a twisted septum, acute vestibular stenosis (using spreader grafts) and a dorsal hump reduction. However, while the swelling in my bridge is going down the tip seems larger and fuller than before surgery and hard although no work was done to change to shape of the tip. It there a chance that this is swelling? And if so when would it seem to resolve and to what extent?

Doctor Answers 10

Tip swelling is normal with open rhinoplasty

Even without 'tip work' the tip of the nose will be stiff and swollen after an open rhinoplasty. By design the skin is lifted over the tip to reach the bridge of the nose, and if the tip was changed or not, the healing will produce stiffness and swelling for weeks to come. Closed rhinoplasty is our preference when the tip needs no changes as the bridge can be adjusted and spreader grafts placed without disturbing the tip skin.

Best of luck,


Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

6-weeks Postop Open Rhino - My Tip is Hard and Swollen but I Had No Tip Work Done?

Thanks for the photo series, GREAT post. Yes it is swelling and will take a few months to decrease. Call your chosen surgeon to discuss in more detail./ From MIAMI Dr. Darryl j. Blinski

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Swollen nasal tip after open tip nose job (rhinoplasty)

An open approach uses an incision that compromises venous drainage of the tip making it more prone to postoperative swelling and edlema. It may take 6 mponths to resolve.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Open rhinoplasty and tip swelling

Anytime you perform an open rhinoplasty, there will be tip swelling whether you perform alot of work on the tip or not.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Tip Swelling and Firmness after Primary Rhinoplasty

It would be helpful to have pre-operative photographs to give you more specific advice.  That being said, it is not unusual to have tip swelling and firmness after open rhinoplasty - even at 6 weeks.  This is due to scar tissue and soft tissue swelling that develops during the healing process and this should slowely resolve over the next few months.

Daniel Reichner, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Open Rhinoplasty 6 weeks post-op


It sounds like your post-op progression from an open rhinoplasty is pretty normal. The tip swelling and numbness can persist for several months. However, it will eventually resolve if you had a typical open rhinoplasty procedure. Sometimes the surgeon may opt to inject a little Kenelog to help with the swelling. Massaging the tip also helps.



Oleh Slupchynskyj, MD, FACS
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 272 reviews

Tip swelling persists longer with open than closed rhinoplasty

Your tip swelling is normal.  If nothing was done in the tip, then what was done for the acute vestibular stenosis?  Your surgeon may have put grafts there to support your nasal valves.  Nonetheless wait at least 6 months to a year and then reassess with your physician.  I agree with massage but be careful with steroid injections into the nasal tip as if done incorrectly can thin your nasal tip skin and cause irregularities.

Ramtin Kassir, MD

Ramtin Kassir, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 143 reviews

Tip swelling after open rhinoplasty/nose surgery

Even if there is no tip work performed, by making an incision and lifting the skin off of the nose cartilage and bone in order to correct the underlying structures, there will always be swelling afterwards. In the nose, it is most commonly felt in the tip. This area has the thickest skin as well as the most blood vessels of the nose. As the tissue fluid or water drains from the nose, it usually collects in the tip region. With continued healing time, this will improve. One suggestion that I give my patients is to start a very low salt diet (less than 2000g a day) because extra salt will lead to fluid retention which can cause extra tip swelling.

Gregory J. Vipond, MD, FRCSC
Inland Empire Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Tip swelling after Open Rhinoplasty

It is very normal to have stiffness and swelling of the nasal tip after open rhinoplasty for several months. 

Open rhinoplasty involves lifting the skin and soft tissue off the nasal cartilages and bone.  Also the lymphatic drainage of the nose is disrupted with incisions. Both of these maneuvers cause the swelling and stiffness to remain for 6-12 months.

Sumit Bapna, MD
Columbus Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Tip of nose swelling after rhinoplasty should get better

I like to look at the nose in thirds; upper, middle, and lower (the tip).  When a deviated septum (the middle sheet of cartilage in the nose or fin) is made straight, the surgeon often has to work under the tip of the nose.  The plumbing that drains the nose swelling is also under the tip of the nose.  As a result, even though your surgeon did not work directly to change the tip of your nose, you can still have swelling.  Here is the good new, the swelling should resolve without much trouble.  The not so great news is it may take a couple of months or more.  Overall, the swelling is not typically that severe.  

Julius W. Few, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 11 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.