rhinoplasty

What is Rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty is surgery to change the shape of your nose by replacing bone or cartilage. Rhinoplasty is one of the most common types of plastic surgery.

Rhinoplasty Reasons

People get rhinoplasty to repair their nose after an injury, to correct breathing problems or birth defects, or because they are dissatisfied with the appearance of their nose.

Possible changes that can be made to your nose through rhinoplasty include:

  • a change in size

  • angle change

  • straightening the bridge

  • reshaping the tip

  • narrowing of the nostrils

If your rhinoplasty is done to improve your appearance rather than your health, you should wait until your nasal bone is fully grown. For girls, this is around the age of 15. Males can continue to grow until they get a little bigger. However, if you are having surgery for shortness of breath, rhinoplasty can be done at a younger age.

Preparation for rhinoplasty

You should meet with your surgeon first to discuss whether you are a good candidate for rhinoplasty. Talk about why you want the surgery and what you hope to achieve by getting it done.

Your medical history will be reviewed and you will be asked about current medications and medical conditions. If you have hemophilia that causes excessive bleeding, no elective surgery is recommended.

A physical exam will be done by looking closely at the skin on the inside and outside of your nose to determine what changes can be made. Blood tests or other laboratory tests may be ordered.

It will also be evaluated whether any additional surgery will be performed. For example, some people have chin augmentation surgery at the same time as rhinoplasty, a procedure to better define your chin.

This consultation also includes photographing your nose from various angles. These shots will be used to evaluate the long-term results of the surgery and may be referenced during surgery.

You should avoid painkillers two weeks before and two weeks after surgery. These drugs slow down the blood clotting process and may cause you to bleed more. Let your surgeon know what medications and supplements you are taking so they can advise you on whether to continue with them.

Because cigarettes slow down the healing process, smokers have more difficulty recovering from rhinoplasty. Nicotine constricts your blood vessels, which causes less oxygen and blood to reach the tissues. Quitting smoking before and after surgery can aid the healing process.

Rhinoplasty Procedure

Usually local or general anesthesia is used. If it’s a simple procedure, you get a local anesthetic in your nose, which numbs your face. You can also get medicine through an IV line that stuns you, but you’ll still be awake. The process usually takes an hour.

Recovery from Rhinoplasty

You will be monitored in a recovery room for at least a few hours after surgery. If all is well, you will leave later that day. You will need someone to drive you home because the anesthesia will still affect you. If it’s a complicated procedure, you may need to stay in the hospital for a day or two.

You will want to rest with your head above your chest to reduce bleeding and swelling. If your nose is swollen or clogged with cotton, you may feel congested. People usually need to leave splints and dressings in place for up to a week after surgery. You may have absorbable stitches, meaning they dissolve and do not need to be removed. If the stitches are not absorbable, you will need to see your doctor again a week after surgery to remove the stitches.

You may experience drainage and bleeding for a few days after your surgery. A drip pad, which is a piece of gauze taped under your nose, can absorb blood and mucus. You will be told how often to change your drip pad. You have a headache, your face swells, and your doctor may prescribe pain medication.

A few weeks after your surgery, you should avoid the following;

  • running and other strenuous physical activities

  • swimming

  • blow your nose

  • excessive chewing

  • laughing, smiling, or other facial expressions that require a lot of movement

  • pulling clothes over your head

  • putting glasses on your nose

  • vigorous tooth brushing

Be especially careful about sun exposure. Too much can permanently discolor the skin around your nose. You can return to work or school within a week.

Rhinoplasty may affect the area around your eyes, and you may have temporary numbness, swelling, or discoloration around your eyelids for several weeks. In rare cases, this may take six months and mild swelling may last even longer. You can apply cold compresses or ice packs to reduce discoloration and swelling. Follow-up care after rhinoplasty is important.

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