Dr. Jason Litner, MD FRCSC (photo)

Swelling after Rhinoplasty

Swelling after Rhinoplasty

Posted by Dr. Litner and Dr. Solieman on April 28th, 2010

You often hear that it can take a year or longer after a nose job before you’ll see the final result. Many of you may be skeptical and a small number of you probably roll your eyes when you hear a statement like this. Does it really take that long to see results or are surgeons just telling you that so they can buy time in case you’re not seeing what you want to see after surgery?

The answer is that surgeons aren’t just feeding you a line. It really does take time for the skin to shrink down and wrap onto the new structure underneath. That’s not to say that you’ll be miserable for months. Our patients generally bound into the office for their 3 month visit ecstatic about their noses. Still, when we take photos, we can see that there is still some swelling that needs to settle so that more definition can show through. The photos below are a perfect example of just how much your nose changes over the first year after rhinoplasty. In cases of revision rhinoplasty, thick skin, or when the nose has been deprojected or brought in significantly, this process happens even more gradually.

Looking at these photos, you can understand why we tell our patients that it matters far more to us how their noses look at 1, 2, or 10 years after surgery than it does at 2 weeks after surgery. At 2 weeks, your nose will look good but puffy. If a surgeon is showing you photos that look absolutely perfect 2 weeks after surgery, be very wary. You can bet that those same perfectly cute noses at 2 weeks will probably look scooped and overdone at 2 years once the skin contracts. It’s important to make sure your prospective surgeon is showing you long-term results.

The young woman below underwent primary open septorhinoplasty with us at Profiles Surgery Center. Photos below (from left) show her pre-op, at 3 months, and 1 year after her surgery. Note how her 3-month photos still show some fullness and rounding while at 1 year we see a lot more definition.

three photos before and after Rhinoplasty - profile view

three photos before and after Rhinoplasty - oblique view

three photos before and after Rhinoplasty - front view

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