I just had rhinoplasty a week ago and today my surgeon removed the bandage, splint and stitches. I just tried smiling and realized that I can't smile. My upper lip stretches out and it looks really strange. I'm really, really worried. Will I be able to smile normally again? Will my smile look the same?
Will my Nose Job Permanently Affect my Smile?
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Doctor Answers 18
No, your smile will come back.
Pablo Prichard, MD
One week is a moment in the lifetime
At one week, your lip is swollen, your nose is swollen and your smile will feel unnatural, just as you have described. Relax and enjoy the good stuff to come!
Smile affected by nose job
It sounds like the muscles of your upper lip were freed up from the connections to the tip of your nose. This is the most common reason for the upper lip to hang down a little more than usual over your upper teeth, and also affect your smile following rhinoplasty.
We often times perform this maneuver during a Rhinoplasty when elevating the tip. By detaching the muscles, the tip of the nose is not pulled downward during the initial recovery period.
Fortunately, the effect on your smile should be temporary as the muscles reattach, and the normal function returns. In my patients it usually takes two to three weeks for the smile to return to normal. You should speak with your surgeon to find out exactly why your smile is different, and when you can expect it to return to normal.
Enjoy your new nose, and hopefully your old smile very soon. Be well.
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Your smile will return after rhinoplasty
It is quite common for the smile to be affected right after a Rhinoplasty.
There are muscles right beneath the tip of your nose that are sometimes affected by the surgery. In a few weeks, your smile will look more normal.
Facial Function Following Rhinoplasty
Loss of animation of the upper lip following rhinoplasty surgery is usually always secondary to swelling. In some cases, detachment of the lip muscles from the distal nasal septum may also contribute to this problem.
In the majority of cases, function returns within a week following surgery. In cases where the muscle attachments are divided, it may take as long as four to six weeks.
It’s important to be patient and maintain good communication with your surgeon. Your surgeon should be able to reassure you and ultimately make this a good experience.
Is a Smile Affected By Rhinoplasty
After rhinoplasty, especially if there is septal work done, there can be some numbness and swelling in the upper central lip area which usually subsides in 6-8 weeks. This can temporarily effect the smile. It is not permanent even when one releases the depressor septi muscles for a short upper lip.
It will probably be normal with time.
As you are very early into your rhinoplasty, there will be a large about of swelling still present in the tip and nasal base for several weeks to come. Just like a sprained ankle doesn't move well when it is swollen, neither does a nose. As the swelling comes down the motion should normalize. I agree with Dr. Persky that release of muscles at the base of the nose/upper lip region can affect your smile. As long as the muscles were not resected and only freed up, they should scar back down into a similar position. This should then result in fairly normal lip movement.
Be patient and good luck,
Try not to get overly worried at this point.
During a rhinoplasty procedure, structures can be altered/changed that could affect a smile, and sometimes this is desirable and planned. Having said that, I think that most likely you are still having some swelling in the area and should wait for the initial swelling to go down--don't get overly worried at this point. Finally, when I perform an external (open) rhinoplasty, I advise my patients to refrain from too much smiling the first few weeks. Hope this helps!
Heaviness of your upper lip with smiling may be expected after rhinoplasty, and typically resolves.
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.