Rhinoplasty: Swelling, Scar Tissue and Healing

The After Effects of Rhinoplasty

It’s no secret that swelling occurs after rhinoplasty and that noses can take a long time to heal. All surgeries create clean, controlled wounds that are repaired by the body in the weeks following the procedure. A nose job is no exception.

Swelling is a natural, expected part of the healing process and it will take a while to subside. Since the nose is formed of cartilage, skin, and bone, healing from surgery may take several months. Patience is a virtue during this time, focus on the results and keep looking forward.

Read on to understand more about why swelling occurs, how you can reduce it and help your nose along on its healing journey.


Why Does Swelling Occur?

Swelling occurs after rhinoplasty and is a result of tissue fluid (oedema) building up in the soft tissue of the nose after surgery. Although a lot of the swelling goes down by around the 3 month mark, the nasal tip can remain swollen for over a year.


How does Swelling Affect Scar Tissue Formation?

The problems that can occur if the nose stays excessively swollen for too long is that scar tissue can build up under the surface of the skin. This prevents the skin from shrinking and conforming to the new shape of the cartilage underneath. This can lead to: lack of nasal tip definition, poly-beak deformity, nasal tip deviation and asymmetry.

Don’t fret, there are ways to reduce swelling and scar tissue formation which include both taping and steroid injection.

The application of the tape is one of the most important things to be consistent with post op. The importance of it is not just to get rid of the swelling but also to get rid of any dead space. Dead space is basically space between where the skin has been lifted and the cartilidge & bone which has been made smaller. If that space isn’t completely compressed with tape, scar tissue will develop which can make the final result appear almost blunted as a layer of scar tissue will have formed between the skin and the bone and the cartalidge.

So, the take away from this is that as much as it can be a bit of a pain wearing that tape, the month following surgery, the more you can wear it the better. It’ll be worth it in the long run.


How to Reduce Swelling After Rhinoplasty

Although swelling following Rhinoplasty cannot be avoided, it can be lessened and managed.

There are several things you can do during your recuperation to minimise it as much as possible. We recommend:

  • Applying tape! You will be shown how to do this at your follow up. It's also on our aftercare sheet.
  • Icing the area to help reduce any initial swelling and improve your comfort levels.
  • Sleeping with your head raised. For the first few days, resting in a recliner or raising your head with cushions will assist in swelling reduction.
  • Reduce salt in your diet to minimise fluid retention.

Important Post Op Tip

One of our most important post op tips is to avoid exercise and drinking too much alcohol in the month following surgery. Both can increase swelling which can lead to permanent scar tissue development. Your new nose will thank you.



The aftercare can be every bit as important as the day of the surgery. Caring properly for your new nose will help it to heal as expected - and noses can take a long time to heal. That’s what the follow-up appointments are for, to check it’s settling how it’s supposed to, and make sure you’re happy every step of the way.

Waiting for your final results can be challenging and patience is absolutely crucial. After the first few weeks you’ll start to get a glimpse of your new nose. Don’t panic if your nose seems “off” during the first month, this is completely normal and nothing to be concerned about. Although it can take up to a year to see the full outcome of your Rhinoplasty, within the first month or so you ought to be able to enjoy your new look and start feeling confident about your results.

Contact us

We understand that it can feel like a big step deciding to book a consultation and start your journey. The team at New You are here to help you towards becoming your most confident self. You will most likely speak to Jayne, our founder and practice manager, who will be able to advise you the best course of action and organise your consultation if you feel ready.

Call us
0207 770 8111

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