Why is Nose Tip Hard After Rhinoplasty?

I had Rhinoplasty only 2 months ago, i had it done because my nose had been smashed not broken for about 8 years, the doctors said i had to wait til i was a certain age for my nose to stop growing. I was wondering why the tip of my nose is a little hard? and will i ever be able to move it again?

Doctor Answers 10

The nose usually feels hard after surgery

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There can be many reasons why the tip of a nose feels hard after surgery. As everyone knows surgery causes swelling. In the case of a nose, this creates firmness. Of course this resolves with time. Secondary most times the delicate nasal cartilage is strengthened with surgery. This is due to adding cartilage as a graft. Cartilage usually from deep within your nose is transplanted along the columella, the fleshy strip between the nostrils to better support the tip. Other times the cartilage is placed over the tip itself to alter its shape. And finally the tip skin is numb from the surgery for several months and this can alter the sensation of hardness itself.

Swelling Causing Hardness

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It can take several weeks for the initial swelling to occur, then months for it to subside. Swelling in the tip generally takes the longest to subside, and it's generally this that is causing the hardness you're feeling. Please wait a few months before evaluating your results. Best of luck!

Hard Tip after Rhinoplasty

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Firmness in your tip is secondary to normal post-op swelling. The duration of the firmness will vary, but will continue to improve for a year. The good news is the fact that your tip will become more refined as this swelling decreases.

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

Hard on Tip of Nose After Rhinoplasty

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It often takes months for the tip of your nose to get back to feeling normal.  The "hardness" can be related to swelling and scar tissue that will resolve.  If grafting material was used in your nasal tip, it too contributes to hardness and stiffness.  You should be able to move the tip of your nose within a few months.

Enjoy your new nose and be well.

Dr. P

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

Nose tip hard after rhinoplasty

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Swelling, edema, blood residual, poor result are just a few of the possible causes. Seek opinions in your area. Also photos could help us.

From MIAMI Dr. B

Let me give you a "tip"

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Nasal tip "hardness", swelling can be very normal after rhinoplasty.  This "hardness" represents swelling and internal healing.  This will improve "soften" as time passing and the healing is complete.  Your tip will become more flexible.

Dr. ES

Stiff Nose Tip after Rhinoplasty

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The nose will always feel at least a little stiffer immediately after rhinoplasty surgery due to swelling of the tissues. Over time the stiffness should settle down. Scar tissue, cartilage grafts, sutures or stitches to reshape cartilage, or rib cartilage will also contribute to a rigid feeling nose. Rhinoplasty is not one operation, but rather many potential operations. Depending on the specific operation, the nasal stiffness that ones feels gradually improves over time.

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Induration is normal....

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The swelling that occurrs in the nasal tip after Rhinoplasty is called induration.  This is normal and will soften in 3-4 months.  Not to worry.

Dr. G.

Edward J. Gross, MD
Orlando Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

The tip support will soften with time

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The answer is the tip is firm from swelling and increased support that are expected during early healing.  And two months post op is still considered early.

The swelling of the skin/soft tissue envelope will feel rigid for a few months, so that might be settling soon.  But a bigger consideration is the structure that your surgeon rightfully restored.  If your nose was indeed smashed, that would have been a focal point of reconstruction.  That's because over time, with or without surgery, the tip tends to lose support.  To anticipate this dynamic, your surgeons neeeded to ensure that the reconstruction would hold up to normal healing patterns.  Thus as strong, structural tip.  It will continue to soften throughout your year of healing.   Most patients return to normal recoil eventually. 

Kevin Robertson, MD
Madison Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Nasal Tip Stiffness after Rhinoplasty

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Depending on the type of work that was done, tip stiffness can last a few weeks to a few months. If suture modification of your tip was performed, then it is reasonable to expect tip stiffness for at least 3 months. This should slowly soften over time.

Don't worry, your nose should move again with a little time.

Best of luck.

Richard W. Westreich, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 55 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.