If you have been considering rhinoplasty and curious about what the procedure entails, this article may be of some interest to you. Commonly referred to as a nose job, rhinoplasty is a cosmetic procedure that is performed to alter the appearance of the nose or to resolve breathing problems, such as a deviated septum. Rhinoplasty is also commonly performed as a way to correct disfigurements caused by trauma. According to a study published by Harvard Health Publishing, more than 220,000 rhinoplasty surgeries are performed in America every year, making it the most commonly performed cosmetic surgery in the country.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING A RHINOPLASTY CONSULTATION?
Whether your goal is improved aesthetics or to restore breathing function, the first step in the process should involve scheduling a consultation with a prospective cosmetic surgeon. In doing so, you’ll have a better understanding of what the procedure entails. During these consultations, as stated by Dr. Daniel G. Becker, a board-certified facial plastic surgeon and rhinoplasty expert of New Jersey and Philadelphia, will assess your overall health and describe the techniques involved in either reshaping the nose or correcting breathing problems. They will also evaluate your overall health and provide you with information regarding how long the procedure will take to complete, the risks involved, and how long it will take to recover.
WHAT GOES INTO THE NOSE DURING A RHINOPLASTY PROCEDURE?
One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to rhinoplasty is that the procedure involves putting a foreign object into the nose as a way to improve its appearance or to restore breathing function, which couldn’t be any further from the truth. That said, let’s take a closer look at what rhinoplasty surgery entails:
ANESTHESIA AND SURGERY
Before your rhinoplasty surgery gets underway, you will be given general anesthesia to help you sleep. From there, the surgeon will make a small incision that will extend along the base of your nose and another one inside of the nose. Collectively, these incisions will provide the surgeon with access to the bone as well as the cartilage in your nose. Next, he or she will gently manipulate the bones and cartilage in the nose to improve its appearance or make adjustments to the nasal passage to restore breathing function. In many cases, the surgeon will perform both of these tasks during the surgery. Lastly, a small cast will be placed on the nose to help keep swelling to a minimum.
The final aspect of rhinoplasty surgery involves surgical packing, a process that involves placing a splint and sterile cotton gauze into the nose to help maintain its shape and also absorb blood and mucus. However, it is worth noting that these materials are used only to promote healing and minimize excessive bleeding, meaning they don’t contribute to improved aesthetics or better breathing function in any way. However, they do cause temporary nasal congestion, so you may find breathing to be a little difficult for the first few days following surgery.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER SURGERY?
After surgery, your surgeon will likely provide you with prescription-based medication to combat any pain, swelling, or bruising that you may be experiencing. They will also schedule a follow-up appointment, typically within a week, to remove the cast and surgical packing from your nose. Of course, to speed up healing time, minimize bleeding, and reduce the risk of infection, your surgeon will provide you with some tips for caring for your nose post-surgery, some of which include
- Keeping your head elevated
- Avoiding strenuous activities
- Not picking your nose
- Not blowing your nose
- Using a sinus irrigation kit
- Using nasal saline sprays
- Using a cold compress
WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE FOLLOW-UP APPOINTMENT WITH YOUR SURGEON?
In most cases, those who have undergone rhinoplasty will need to schedule two follow-up appointments with their cosmetic surgeon. The first appointment will usually be within 1 to 2 days after the surgery. At this time, the nose will be cleaned. The surgeon will also inspect the cartilage, bones, and tissues of the nose to make sure they are properly healing. The second appointment, which is usually scheduled a week after the first one, will involve removing the surgical packing and splint from the nose. To minimize discomfort when having these materials removed, most surgeons will advise patients to take pain relievers 1 to 2 hours ahead of their scheduled appointment. During the appointment, the surgeon will anesthetize the interior of the nose by placing a few drops of liquid anesthetic into each nostril, which will make its way deep into the nasal passage. After about 5 minutes, the tissue in the nose will be numb enough to remove the splint and surgical packing without causing too much pain or discomfort.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR THE NOSE TO HEAL AFTER RHINOPLASTY SURGERY?
The healing time following rhinoplasty can be considerably longer than that of other cosmetic surgery procedures. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, it can take a year or more to heal after undergoing rhinoplasty surgery. In short, it will take some time before you will be able to enjoy the new shape of your nose. However, there is some good news worth noting. The pain, swelling, and bruising caused by the surgery will reduce a lot even before then. And if your procedure included correcting a deviated septum or other problems that made breathing difficult, you should also be able to breathe a lot easier even if the final results of your reshaped nose are not immediately apparent.
To learn more about rhinoplasty, caring for your nose after surgery, or if you’re a good candidate for the procedure, you’re encouraged to schedule a consultation with the Becker Rhinoplasty Center today.
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