Rhinoplasty or nose job is the most widely practiced aesthetic surgery. Rhinoplasty may reduce or enlarge your nose, change the shape of the nose tip or nasal hump, narrow the width of your nostrils or change the angle between your upper lip and the nose. A congenital or injury related deformity can be corrected or some breathing problems may be resolved.
Who are the Best Candidates for Rhinoplasty Surgery?
Rhinoplasty can beautify your appearance and increase your self confidence. However it does not mean that this operation will necessarily change your look fit to the image you have dreamed of and how other people will treat you differently after the surgery. Before you decide on surgery, ask yourself why you want this change and what you expect from this operation, think carefully and discuss it with your surgeon. Best candidates for rhinoplasty are not those who seek perfection but who expect a beautification in their appearance and await a better development.
Most surgeon prefer to postpone the surgery until youth in puberty complete their development. This waiting period is around 18-19 years old for girls and a little bit later for boys. It is important to take young people’s social and psychological adjustment into consideration to make sure whether if the decision of surgery is patient’s and it is not given by the family.
What are the Risks of Surgery?
When rhinoplasty is performed by an experienced aesthetic surgeon, complications are rare and usually minor. In spite of everything, there is always the possibility of complication. These are infections, nose bleeding or reaction to anesthesia. After the surgery, small capillaries may appear as a very fine red spots on the skin surface. Rhinoplasty is performed through the nose and therefore visible scar is not in question. However when open technique is used or wide nostrils need to be narrowed, very small and thin traces remaining in the nasal base are insignificant to be seen.
Planning of Operation
A good communication between you and your physician is essential and very important. In the first interview, the surgeon will ask how you want your nose to look like or how you wish it to appear, examine the structure of your nose/face and explain all the possibilities. The structure of your nasal bones and cartilages, shape of your face, thickness of your skin, your age and your expectations are mainly discussed issues.
Your surgeon will explain anesthesia and surgical techniques that will be used, type of the organization where the surgery will take place, risks, cost and other options if any. Most health insurance policies do not cover purely aesthetic surgeries such as this. However if procedure is performed to fix a respiratory problem or a significant deformity after surgery, it may be included within the insurance policy.
You should make sure to mention any kind of previous nose surgery or nose treatment, allergy or breathing difficulty if any, medications used (especially if it’s a blood-thinning type) and smoking habit even if it was a long time ago. Do not hesitate to ask your surgeon all the questions you can think of especially your expectations for the surgery and results of the operation.
Your surgeon will provide information on how to prepare for the surgery including eating and drinking, smoking, taking or avoiding specific vitamins – medications and washing your face. Fulfillment of this information will facilitate the surgical process. During preparation, do not forget to set someone who will take you home after the surgery and help you a few days later if necessary.
Local or General Anesthesia
Rhinoplasty may be performed under local or general anesthesia depending on the size of the operation, preference of you and your surgeon. Usually a mild sedation is administered in local anesthesia, area surrounding your nose will be numb. You will be awake during the procedure but you will have a comfortable and painless operation. In general anesthesia you will sleep during the surgery. This procedure is highly performed under general anesthesia for comfort of the patient.
How Long Will My Surgery Take?
Rhinoplasty usually take one or two hours. During the surgery, nose will be removed from its skin, bone and cartilage roof. Nose reconstruction process will vary depending on the existing problem and surgeon’s technique. Finally the skin will be adapted on the formed roof.
Most plastic surgeons perform aesthetic nose surgery through the nose. Some prefer the open technique especially in complicated cases. They proceed with a small incision on columella that separates the nostrils.
When the surgery is completed, a plaster splint is applied on the nose to retain its new shape. To stabilize the septum which separates the two airways in the nose, buffers or soft plastic tools may be placed inside the nose.
During the first 24 hours after the surgery, you will feel your face swollen, your nose may hurt and you may experience a minor headache. You may control any discomfort with painkillers prescribed by your surgeon. On the first day, plan to lay on the bed head high except visiting the restroom.
You will notice that bruising and swelling around the eyes will become most evident after 2 or 3 days; application of cold compress will reduce the swelling and make you feel a little bit better.
Most of the swelling and bruising will disappear within the first week or longer (some swelling that is noticable only by you and your surgeon will remain for a few months).
During the first few days after surgery, usually, there is a very slight leak through the nostrils and you may feel a slight blockage in your nose for a few weeks.
Your surgeon will ask you not to blow your nose (wipe your nose) for a week or longer during the healing period of tissues. If there are buffers in the nose, they will be removed after a couple of days and you will feel much more comfortable. After a week or sometimes during the end of the second week, all bandages and plaster splint on your nose will be removed.
When Will I Get Back To Normal?
Most of the rhinoplasty patients stand up, walk around in two days and a week after the surgery return to school or work.
However, a few weeks will pass until you return to the pace of your daily life. Your surgeon will provide a more detailed description about returning to your daily life. Usually, you will be told to avoid actions that require a high effort (running, swimming, gymnastics, sex – any kind of activity that will increase your blood pressure) for two to three weeks, protect your nose from impact or shock for 8 weeks, not to rub and burn under the sun. You should be gentle and careful when washing your face and hair or put on makeup.
You can wear your contact lenses when required but it is different for glasses. After removing the splint on your nose, glasses should not apply weight on your nose until your nose is completely healed, namely for two months.
During the first month after surgery, your physician will frequently call you for control and to check the improvement in recovery. During these control examinations, feel free to call your physician if you have an unusual complaint or any kind of question for what to do and things to avoid doing.
When Will I See My New Look?
It is easy to forget you will look better and beautiful during the following days of surgery when your face is swollen and bruised. After the aesthetic surgery, most of the patients doesn’t feel themselves well. This is a quite normal and understandable situation. However a group of patients are sure about this phase to pass. Your nose will start to look better each day and your moral will rise steadily. After a week or two, you will no longer appear as you recently had the surgery. However recovery is a slow and gradual process.
Especially on the tip of your nose, a very little swelling will continue for some months. The actual results of rhinoplasty may appear after a year or a longer period.
At first, you may receive unexpected reactions from your family or friends. They may not see the change in your nose or they may be offended if you changed anything what they see as a family or ethnic feature. Try to remember why you had the surgery if such a thing occurs. If you have reached your destination, that means your surgery was successful.