Increased Swelling 4 Months After Rhinoplasty – Just Swelling or Excess Cartilage?

Q: I’ve undergone Asian rhinoplasty and septoplasty about 4months ago to fix a deviated septum and to narrow/sharpen my bulbous tip, using my own nasal cartilage. 1-2 weeks ago, I had a cold and there were mucus & congestion. I blow my nose rather heavily sometimes and pick my nose several times throughout. Now I noticed increased swelling at the lateral sides on the nasal tip area, making my tip look rather bulbous now. Swelling? Cartilage fell off to the side? How can I know the difference?

A: For an entire year after your surgery, your nose is continuing to heal and take on its final appearance.  During that period of healing, it’s not unusual to see your nose fluctuate in size and the amount of swelling.  You manipulated your nose quite vigorously, so that is the most likely explanation for the sudden increase in swelling.  It’s unlikely that at 4 months out cartilage would have been displaced, but also a possibility.  Give the swelling some time to settle down before you start worrying about cartilage shifting, and try to be more gentle blowing and picking your nose.

About Donald B. Yoo, M.D.

Dr. Yoo is a board-certified surgeon, fellowship trained in facial plastic surgery with extensive experience in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. He specializes in rhinoplasty, revision rhinoplasty, facial rejuvenation surgery (including blepharoplasty and facelift), and Asian cosmetic surgery (including Asian rhinoplasty and Asian blepharoplasty/Asian eyelid surgery). His office is located at: 120 S Spalding Dr Suite 315, Beverly Hills, CA 90212, 310-275-2467.
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