Because the nose is the most defining characteristic of the face, a slight alteration can greatly improve one’s appearance. Many people seek nose surgery, also known as rhinoplasty, for many reasons that include being unhappy with the nose they were born with, the way age has changed their nose, to improve breathing, or to change the way an injury has altered its appearance.

What Happen During The Rhinoplasty Procedure?shutterstock_120090661

Not everyone will achieve the same results with rhinoplasty. However, your surgeon’s goal is to obtain the best possible results for you. The surgeon takes between one to three hours, but many factors may prolong it. There are two methods. You and your surgeon will decide whether open or closed rhinoplasty will be best suited for you.

Open Rhinoplasty

The first incision is made at the base of the nose, between the two nostrils, while the other incisions will be made inside the nose. The skin is then lifted to allow the structure of the nose to be examined. Then, bone and cartilage are reduced and/or contoured to provide a new shape for your nose. The skin is finally re-draped over the newly shaped area and a splint is placed. Soft, absorbent material may be used inside the nose to maintain stability along the dividing wall of the air passages. If your nostrils were worked on, you may have nasal packs or soft plastic splints placed inside to stabilize the septum. Swelling can last longer with this method than the alternative closed procedure.

Closed Rhinoplasty

In this procedure, all incisions are made inside the nose, thus reducing swelling and recovery time. Due to limited visibility, your surgeon may not be able to achieve some changes. After incisions are made, certain amounts of underlying bone and cartilage are reduced, added to, or contoured to provide a newly shaped structure. The skin is finally re-draped over the newly shaped area. Once the procedure is complete, a splint will be placed to help nose keep its new shape. Soft, absorbent material may be used inside the nose to maintain stability along the dividing wall of the air passages.

Asian Nose Reshaping

Many Asian patients wish to augment the bridge of their noses with silicone implants or transplanted tissues, narrow the nostrils, or have the tips of their noses made smaller and more defined. The goal is an Asian Rhinoplasty is to build a natural-appearing structure that blends harmoniously with the face. To do this, Asian noses usually require augmentation of the nose, in contrast to Caucasians who usually require reduction.

Prepare For Rhinoplasty Surgery

Your initial consult is extremely important. Your surgeon will evaluate the balance and profile of your cheek structure and chin for aesthetic symmetry. You should be able to speak freely with your surgeon about your goals and desired outcome. Be prepared to provide your complete medical history and inform the surgeon of any vitamins and medications (including over-the-counter) that you are taking. Make sure to tell your surgeon if you smoke, have uncontrolled high blood pressure, allergies, blood clotting problems, or tendency to form excessive scars because these problems can affect the outcome of your surgery.

Review With Your Surgeon

  • Do Not Take Aspirin or Products Containing Ibuprofen for two weeks before or after your procedure. These medications thin the blood, interfere with normal blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding and bruising. Instead, use medications containing acetaminophen, such as Tylenol.
  • Discontinue Smoking for two weeks before and after surgery. Smoking constricts small blood vessels and inhibits the healing process.
  • Avoid Alcohol for two weeks before and after surgery.
  • Decreasing Salt intake will help diminish swelling after surgery.
  • Drink Plenty of Water to help flush toxins from your body.
  • Stop Taking All Vitamins and Herbs two weeks prior to surgery.
  • Fill Your Prescriptions before your surgery date, especially pain and antibiotic medications your doctor has prescribed for this procedure.
  • One Week BEFORE Surgery STOP Sun Bathing (including tanning booths), facials, steaming masks, and other skin irritants.
  • Arrange for Someone to Take You Home and to assist you for 24 hours after surgery.

What To Expect After Surgery

Work: Most patients are back to work one week after surgery.

Swelling and Bruising: Bruising generally improves after a week if your nasal bones are not repositioned. If they were repositioned, bruising may last at least two weeks. Bruising under the eyes is not uncommon after a procedure such as this. Swelling improves between a week to six weeks after a closed rhinoplasty and a month to six months after open rhinoplasty. Sleeping with your head elevated for two weeks following surgery will help reduce swelling. Numbness on the tip of your nose may last several weeks and is to be expected. Bandages and splints may be removed after five to ten days. Stitches inside your nose do not need to be removed, but the ones outside your nose may be removed after four to seven days. If you have nasal packing, they may be removed after a few days. At the end of two weeks, all splints and stitches will be removed.

Contact Lenses: You will be able to wear contact lenses when you feel you are ready. Patients who wear glasses will need to have them taped to the forehead or propped on their cheeks for about four to six weeks following surgery.

Make-Up: You can wear make-up after a week or two. Bruises can be covered using common make-up techniques.

Showering: You may shower after surgery as long as you keep your dressings dry.

Discomfort: Discomfort is moderate. Pain medication will be prescribed by your surgeon, however, if you begin to have severe pain, contact your surgeon immediately.

Recovery: It may take several weeks to get back to your regular routine. Sports and other strenuous activity should not be performed several weeks after surgery. Be careful not to take part in any activity that may result in a blow to the nose for about four to six weeks. Airline travel is not recommended for the first few weeks after surgery. Don’t expose your nose to direct sunlight. For open rhinoplasty, there will be a small permanent incision mark along the columella.

Results: Each patient heals and scars differently. It is vital to keep in mind that the results of this procedure vary from patient to patient. However most patients will enjoy their final result within twelve to twenty-four months.