Nose immediately after cast removal - worried about overall width. (photo)

I have attached a pic of my nose IMMEDIATELY after the cast was taken off at 1 week (so please excuse the sticky residue!). I hear docs say all the time that the nose right after removal is close to the end result because swelling hasn't kicked in yet. I LOVE the tip, but my overall width (from outside nostril to outside nostril) is no different. Does that mean it will stay this way, or could it be swollen here since cast doesn't cover that part? Will overall width (not just tip) narrow?

Doctor Answers 5

Post rhinoplasty Swelling

Dear ReeMarie, Keep in close contact with your surgeon for follow up appointments as he/she will know best where you are in the recovery phase and can provide you the best answers to your questions. At this early stage in the recovery you will have swelling and your surgeon can walk you through this and provide knowledge and comfort throughout the process. Best regards, Michael V. Elam, M.D.

Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 208 reviews

Post-operative Nose Swelling

Nasal swelling after rhinoplasty takes several months to fully subside. During that process, you may notice asymmetries of the dorsum and tip related to different rates of resolution of swelling. But I believe you are asking about "width (from outside nostril to outside nostril)," which is refers to the alar base. Unless you discussed with your surgeon about reducing the width of your alar base (ie such as by doing an alar base excision), you would not expect to have any change in the alar base width.  Your surgeon can describe the changes to your nose he expects after all the swelling subsides. Best wishes.

Amit Bhrany, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

1 week post rhinoplasty

Thank you for your question.  It is not uncommon to have swelling and possibly some asymmetries early in the post rhinoplasty recovery phase.  It is usually six months before you will see the end results.  At that time, any concerns should be evaluated with your Facial Plastic Surgeon.  Best of luck!

Michael Sullivan, MD
Columbus Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 88 reviews


Swelling starts actually during surgery and reaches a peak by 48 hours post surgery then gradually reduces over 18 months 

So no need to panic as you are seeing typical prominent swelling after splint removal - some gentle lymphatic massage of the tip and bridge two to three times a day will help as will time and just waiting - all looks fine

Width of alar base

Swelling must be playing some role in the width that you see.  Nonetheless, if the alar base was wide to begin with and there was no maneuver made to reduce the width it will still be wide.  This can be done afterwards in the office with minimal healing time if needed later.

Adam Bryce Weinfeld, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 57 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.