Will Tip Swelling Reduce and Raise? (photo)

I'm 3 weeks post op after having open rhinoplasty. I know there is significant swelling for awhile. Prior to my surgery my tip was just fine. My surgeon wanted to raise my tip a bit but it seems as if it's dropped. It has a droopy look to it. The hump is gone and my nose is overall smaller. I'm just so concerned about the tip. I really do not like the tip. I hope it's just swelling.

Doctor Answers 4

Swelling affects the shape of the tip, not just it's size

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Immediately after surgery the entire nose is diffusely swollen and often this is 'molded' by the splint or tape. After a couple of weeks the swelling tends to move down the nose and hang in the tip. This is due to gravity and the lymphatic drainage of the nasal tip. The infra tip lobule tends to hold on to the fluid the longest and this can make the shape look different then it ultimately will (heavy). Over time it is not only that the swelling disappears, but that the wound will contract and often times this will have a 'lifting" effect on the tip. Given these tendencies I advise that you simply wait until your next appointment with your surgeon and bring up your concerns at that time. Nothing should or will be done at this time regardless. 
Often it will take greater than a year for the result to mature and I find it helpful to take photos along the way so that I can track the trend. If you are photographed now and then again in 4 months and you can see it's going in the right direction then you will likely feel reassured and allow nature to take its course. On the flip side; if there's been no change over a year then surgery might be warranted.

Swelling after rhinoplasty

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After 3 weeks, you will still have swelling present that can affect your result. In general, 70% of the swelling resolves after the first 3 months and the remainder goes down over time. It can take up to 18-24 months to see the final result, and the tip is usually the last to come around. Your surgeon should be able to answer any questions you have while you are healing, as he/she knows the details of your procedure. I hope this helps, and I wish you the best of luck.

Paul S. Nassif, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Postoperative Swelling After Rhinoplasty if Variable

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Hello Arod910,

It's hard to make conclusions on the overall shape of your nose only 3 weeks after rhinoplasty since swelling can be quite variable from person to person. It's best to talk to your surgeon regarding your concerns and he or she might be able to she some light on the techniques used and what to expect for your overall results.

Thanks and have a great day.

Michael M. Kim, MD

Michael M. Kim, MD
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

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Will Tip Swelling Reduce and Raise?

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I would have your surgeon examine you as he or she knows what particular maneuvers were employed. The nose can be swollen for up to a year or more. Swelling will depend upon the nature of maneuvers employed, presence of grafts or implants, thickness of skin, open vs closed, revision vs primary, etc.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

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.