I'm Unable to Smile After Rhinoplasty

I'm one week out from Rhinoplasty and a chin implant. I have numbness in lower lip due to chin implant and my top lip won't move due to rhinoplasty. I was not told this would be an affect, and I look freakish when I try to smile and my smile used to be very pretty and wide. Now my teeth aren't visible when I smile and I just look so weird! I'm literally having major anxiety over this as I'm worried this might be permanent. I'm regretting doing these procedures.

Doctor Answers 9

Unable to Smile 1 Week after Rhinoplasty

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Swelling of the upper lip, which  limit your smile, is not unusual 1 week after rhinoplasty. This will resolve. Numbness of the lower lip after placement of a chin implant is uncommon but can be present for a short time secondary to swelling or irritation of the sensory nerve to the lip during surgery.

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Numbness after Rhinoplasty

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In general, almost all noses are numb right after a rhinoplasty. In most cases its the tip that is numb, but this numbness can extend down to the upper lip, and in rare cases some of the teeth. There are nerves that are cut and stretched during a rhinoplasty, and it takes a long time for those nerves to start working again. This is true of an open as well as closed rhinoplasty, although it tends to be more extensive in open rhinoplasty. This could also be more extensive if a septoplasty is performed at the same time. This, along with the swelling, gives you a stiff, plastic type feel, and can give you an odd smile. However, the nerves will start working and again, and your nose stiffness will go away with time. As the nerves grow back, you may feel some tingling, itchiness and on occasion pain. This takes in most cases months, but can take years in rare cases. Extremely rarely, the numbness is permanent, although I have never seen such as case.
Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD


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One week is still very early to fret about results. Numbness from the chin implant usually resolves within a few weeks. Upper lip swelling may be contributing to decreased mobility. the swelling is secondary to the rhinoplasty and usually subsides within 2-4 weeks.

Rhinoplasty post-op

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It is quite common to have some swelling after rhinoplasty and chin implant. This may make your uppter lip swollen and cause it to be a bit stiff. This ussually gets better with time. As for the chin numbness, quite commonly this improves also as the swelling goes down.  If you are concerned, speak with your surgeon.

Numbness after chin implant and stiff lip after rhinoplasty

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Since it's only a week after your surgery, you may just be experiencing normal healing. When a chin implant is placed, the nerve that gives sensation to the lower lip can be stretched and may take a few weeks to be back to normal; permanent damage to that nerve is rare. Similarly, the upper lip can be stiff after rhinoplasty especially if a lot of work was done on the tip or columella or you could have had some oozing into the lip that needs to be re-absorbed. Follow up with your surgeon and try to be patient as the healing process takes place.

Recovery after Nose Surgery or Rhinoplasty in Los Angeles

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It is absoultely normal to have swelling of the nose, and the surrounding areas after a nose job. Most people notice that after rhinoplasty they can't make a full face smile for several weeks or months. this is normal. Also, if your nose surgery has been combined with other facial surgeries such as chin agumentation, then the swelling is even more.

Try to be patient

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One week is very early.  In a month you should notice definite improvement, but even then you may not be back to normal. 

Without knowing what your surgeon did, I cannot be sure, but for most rhinoplasty  procedures the smile returns to normal in a few weeks to months.

Try to be patient.  Worrying will only slow down your healing.  Good luck.

Mark B. Constantian, MD, FACS
Nashua Plastic Surgeon

Unable to Smile After Rhinoplasty

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one week post surgery is a bit early to make judgement on the outcome of the procedure..You need to wait patiently for several weeks for the swelling to subside.

Wait another week and then go back to see your surgeon

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Wait another week, hopefully by then the swelling will have subsided.  If not you should make an appointment to go back and see your surgeon.

Babak Azizzadeh, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 9 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.