Uneven Swelling 3 Weeks After Open Rhinoplasty, Should I be Concerned

Hello, My name is Keith and I had an open rhinoplasty on September 17th to reduce the tip of nose. Today is Oct 8th so I am officially 3 weeks post op and I am really depressed. My nose looked great when I first came out of surgery but now the tip has swollen up to the point where it is bigger than before I went under. The supratip area is also very undefined leaving my profile views uneven or asymmetrical. The front view looks good but the profile very bothers me is there anything I can do??

Doctor Answers 7

Uneven Swelling 3 Weeks After Open Rhinoplasty, Should I be Concerned

3 weeks a bit early but posted photo would have helped advise you if this is indeed a problem. Please seek opinions in person. 

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Uneven Swelling 3 Weeks After Rhinoplasty

It does take 3 months for all the swelling to be gone. Therefore, uneven swelling is not a severe concern at 3 weeks. By doing a mild massage and pressing on these areas will help stabilize the situation and also sometimes including a steroid shot.

John S. Poser, MD
Gainesville Plastic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Tip and Supratip Swelling Can Be Trying

The swelling in the nose after external (open) rhinoplasty is very typically the biggest challenge to patients during recovery.  You have described perfectly the usual pattern - swelling leaves the upper part of the nose first and the tip last.  The amount of swelling you have and how your final results look are also dependent on your skin thickness and the procedures performed.  In thick skinned individuals, I will typically inject a steroid into the supratip area at the 3 week mark in order to discourage scar formation in this area, which can lead to rounding.  

Communicate with your surgeon about this and possibly starting some gentle massage to encourage the usual fluid drainage systems in the nasal skin to re-establish themselves.  Be patient, the nose just swells a lot and takes a long time to recover...think about a marathon, not a sprint.

Hope this helps!

Paul K. Holden, MD
Phoenix Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Swelling 3 Weeks After Open Rhinoplasty...What to Do?

Hi Mr. Lonely,

The fact that your nose looked great initially is a very positive sign.  With open rhinoplasty there is often swelling that is longer lasting than with other approaches.  Be patient, share your concerns with your rhinoplasty surgeon, and look forward to the day when your swelling resolves and you can enjoy your new nose.  Ask your surgeon if strategic taping of your nose would be helpful.  Bromelene tablets and fresh pinapple can be helpful.  Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Uneven Swelling 3 Weeks After Open Rhinoplasty, Should I be Concerned

Uneven swelling is a common occurrence after any Rhinoplasty and even more so with an Open Rhinoplasty due to the added vasal tip dissection of that approach.  Wait several months for things to settle down before making any judgements of the final results.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Concern about nasal appearance at 3 weeks post rhinoplasty

Three weeks after a rhinoplasty is still very early in the healing process so that one can't make any accurate assessment of what the final result will be. Your description of the change in appearance of your nose over the 1st three weeks is a very common occurrence.

Be patient. It can take up to a year for the maximal amount of swelling to resolve with the tip usually being the last area to maximally improve.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Tip swelling after open rhinoplasty is normal

After three weeks, it is normal for the tip to be swollen from an open rhinlplasty to the point where it might even look bigger than before the surgery.  The fact that it looked great when you came out of surgery is the best sign that it will eventually be to your liking.  Patience pays off in this instance.

Paul W. Loewenstein, MD
Milwaukee Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 29 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.