5 Weeks Post Open Rhinoplasty and my Nose Still Looks Huge in Pictures

I had an open rhino abt 5 1/2 weeks ago. I am still not happy with my results.I can agree that my profile looks better than before (had a hump/droopiness/flared nostrils,). My front view looks huge and shapeless in pictures. Although it doess look smaller in the mirror, I still worry b/c I will graduate in Dec. 2011 and I would like for my nose to thin out and look smaller in pictures. I used to like my front view pre op..now I don't like it. Will my nose ever look better in pics?

Doctor Answers 7

Nasal swelling

There are many aspects of a rhinoplasty procedure that may cause a nose to have persistent swelling including skin type, length of the procedure, approach (open>closed), grafts, post-operative positioning, etc. Swelling is common for 6 months and we avoid pictures during this time. Manual lymphatic drainage may help if permitted by your surgeon 

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

The nose is swollen for a long time after rhinoplasty!

Hi anon,

The nose is swollen for a long time after rhinoplasty.  Depending on the type of rhinoplasty performed and what was performed, it may take 12-18 months for the swelling to resolve.  Now, having said that, the nose will shrink down a lot over the first three months and you should begin to have an idea of the final result by 3-6 months.  Try to be patient.  The waiting can be really tough at this point!

Good luck!

P. Daniel Ward, MD
Salt Lake City Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Large Nose 5 Weeks after Rhinoplasty

I've never seen your nose, but I assure you that the swelling will improve in the near future. Post -op swelling will vary depending on what was done, what techniques were used, and skin thickness. Be conscientious about followup with your surgeon.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Swelling and lack of definition 5 1/2 weeks after open rhinoplasty

It is common to have some swelling and distortion at this point after open rhinoplasty.  You might be able to get a better idea of what it will look like if you tape it up at night.  Also you may want to go over with your surgeon, exactly what was done and how long he/she expects it to be swollen.  Ideally, the majority of the swelling will be down by the time of your graduation but there can be subtle changes that occur longer than a year.

Kenneth L. Stein, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
3.4 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Swelling after rhinoplasty is normal for 6 months

This is one of the most common concerns that rhinoplasty patients have.  Swelling after rhinoplasty, especially in the nasal tip occur 100% of the time.  

While you may feel that 5 weeks is a long time, consider if you were to slam your hand in a car door.  5 weeks later you would not be making a strong clenched fist.  The same is true when the nasal skin is elevated over the nasal tip.

Be patient.  Trust you surgeon.

As time goes on you will begin to see more of the subtle changes in your nasal tip region.  This may take 6-12 months.

Jon E. Mendelsohn, MD
Cincinnati Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 119 reviews

5 weeks after rhinoplasty

At  5 weeks I would expect that you still are very swollen. You have to give it time to settle down. This may take 6 months or longer.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Nasal swelling after rhinoplasty is the rule - Most swelling should be resolved by Dec 2011

Nasal swelling after external rhinoplasty can persist for 12 months. Your graduation in Dec 2011 should take place around the time that most of your swelling has resolved. Your concerns are very common at this point in your post-operative recovery. While it's easier said than done, please be patient - the swelling will continue to improve.


Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Stephen Weber, MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 129 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.