Reasons To Get Rhinoplasty
- December 28, 2018
Rhinoplasty surgery is more commonly known as a nose job, and it involves changing the shape of your nose by changing the bone structure or cartilage. It is one of the most common forms of cosmetic surgery performed today.
Why do people choose to have a nose altering surgery?
Many people pursue this surgery to correct the appearance of their nose after injury, to treat breathing difficulties or birth defects, or simply because they want to change the way their nose looks.
Your doctor can change many things about your nose with rhinoplasty, including size, angle, straightness of the bridge, the shape of the tip, and the width of the nostrils.
For those who are pursuing a nose job for aesthetic rather than medical reasons, it is best to wait until the nasal bone is fully formed. This is around 15 years old for girls, and a few years older for boys. For rhinoplasty that corrects a breathing problem, the surgery can be performed on younger patients.
Risks Associated with Rhinoplasty
As with any surgical procedure, rhinoplasty comes with several risks. These include the common side effects such as bleeding, infection, and negative reactions to anaesthesia. Rhinoplasty in particular also carries other risks, including: breathing problems, nosebleed, numbness, asymmetry, and scarring.
Unfortunately, sometimes patients don’t get the results they want after the first surgery. A second surgery should not be performed until the patient is fully healed from the first one, which can take up to a year.
Preparing for Rhinoplasty Surgery
Before you can even begin preparing for rhinoplasty, you will need to consult with your doctor to determine whether you are a suitable candidate for the surgery. You should discuss with your doctor what results you want to see from this procedure and why.
Your doctor will go through your medical history with you and discuss any medicines or conditions that might affect your suitability. If you have any disorder that leads to extreme bleeding, such as haemophilia, this kind of surgery is not recommended.
At this consultation, you will undergo a physical examination from your doctor, who will pay particular attention to the skin in and around your nose to determine how best to achieve the results you are looking for. You might also need to have blood tests or other lab tests done.
Rhinoplasty can be performed at the same time as other cosmetic procedures, so your doctor will also likely decide at this meeting whether additional surgery is necessary or recommended. Many people also undergo chin augmentation to redefine their chin at the same time as rhinoplasty.
Your surgeon will also take photos of your nose from different angles to use to track progress after your surgery and may be used during the surgery as a reference.
A rhinoplasty procedure might be covered by insurance if it is for medical reasons, but purely cosmetic surgery is less likely to be covered. Make sure you understand the costs and are prepared to pay for your rhinoplasty.
Two weeks before and after the procedure, you should avoid any blood-thinning painkillers such as Ibuprofen or aspirin. These medications interfere with your blood clotting and can lead to excessive bleeding. Also inform your doctor of what medications and supplements you are currently taking, and listen to their advice on whether or not to continue taking them around the time of your procedure.
Smoking is not recommended when preparing or recovering from rhinoplasty. Nicotine restricts blood vessels and lowers the blood and oxygen flow to the tissues that need healing. For an effective and speedy recovery, you should quit smoking before and after the surgery.
The rhinoplasty procedure can be performed in a hospital, doctor’s office, or outpatient surgery facility. You will be under either local or general anaesthesia. For a short, straightforward procedure, your doctor will use local anaesthesia to numb your face and nose. You will be awake during the surgery, but you might be given medicine to make you groggy.
For a more involved procedure, you will go under general anaesthesia either by inhalation or through an IV, and you will be completely unconscious throughout the surgery. This is usually the case for children undergoing rhinoplasty.
After the anaesthesia takes effect, your surgeon will begin the procedure. They will make incisions between or inside your nostrils, separate the skin from the bone and cartilage, and begin to reshape. If additional cartilage is required for the new shape, this may be taken from your ear or deeper inside your nose. You might also require a bone graft or implant, in which more bone is added to your nasal bone.
The whole surgery will generally take between one and two hours to complete. In more complicated cases, it can take even longer, though this is rare.
Recovering from Rhinoplasty
After the procedure is complete, you might need a metal or plastic splint to help your nose keep its new shape while healing. You might also require nasal packs or splints inside your nostrils to stabilize the space between them, the septum.
You will need to spend a few hours in a recovery room so your doctor’s team can monitor your post-surgery condition, but you will be allowed to go home the same day, though you will need someone to drive you home as you will still be affected by the anaesthesia. For very complex procedures, you might be required to stay at the hospital for another day or two.
While recovering, you should keep your head raised above your chest to reduce bleeding and swelling. It’s normal to feel a bit congested if the swelling is particularly bad or if you have cotton packed in your nostrils. You might need to keep your splints and dressings in position for a week after the procedure, but this discomfort should fade with time. If you have absorbable stitches they will dissolve on their own and you won’t have to go back to the doctor to have them removed. If not, you will have to return to your doctor a week after surgery to get them out.
You might experience lapses in memory, impaired judgment, and slower reaction times as a side effect of the medications used. It is recommended to have a friend or family member stay with you the night after your surgery.
You will be given a drip pad to tape below your nose to absorb blood and mucus that drains out in the first few days, and you should change this dressing according to your doctor’s instructions.
It’s normal for your face to feel puffy and to have headaches, so you should ask your doctor about a pain medication prescription for the duration of your recovery.
Some things to avoid in the first few weeks after surgery include:
- Running or other strenuous activity
- Blowing your nose
- Excessive chewing
- Laughing, smiling, or significant facial muscle movement
- Pulling garments over your head and nose
- Resting glasses on the bridge of your nose
- Vigorously brushing your teeth
You should also avoid too much sun exposure after your surgery, as it could lead to permanent discolouration of the sensitive skin around your nose.
You might temporarily experience numbness, swelling, and discolouration around your eyes and eyelids as well. This is normal, but you should use cold compresses and ice to reduce the swelling and discolouration. It shouldn’t last for more than a few weeks, but in very rare cases it has been known to last up to six months post-surgery.
Aftercare and follow-up are very important after this type of surgery. Make sure you are following your doctor’s instructions and return regularly for check-ups.
Most patients are able to return to school or work within a week of surgery.
Results of Rhinoplasty
While rhinoplasty is a safe and straightforward procedure, the recovery process can take a long time. The tip of the nose is very sensitive and might remain numb or swollen for several months after the procedure. You might not see the full results of the procedure for an entire year after undergoing surgery.