Plastic Surgery Blog
The nose is a special feature on the face. Really every feature on the face is distinctive, but the nose because of its central positioning is really what draws people’s attention to it. Some people love their noses just the way they are, and that’s wonderful, but some feel like they might want to straighten their nose, or minimize a visible bump, or maybe even need to improve their breathing.
Whatever your reason to seek out a rhinoplasty procedure, know that you’re definitely not the only one. Rhinoplasty (aka a nose job) is actually one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries, and it’s no surprise, as a subtle correction to the nose can really make a world of difference in enhancing the other beautiful features on your face.
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You might be wondering what your next steps might be if you’re interested in this procedure. We’ve put together just the guide to help you on your rhinoplasty journey.
Before you meet with your surgeon, you may want to do a little research about rhinoplasty and ask yourself if you really need surgery. This will of course be discussed during your consultation, but it’s not a bad idea to know what your options are so that you can discuss them with your doctor.
Typically, if you’re seeking out rhinoplasty it probably means that you’re trying to improve something about your nose that can only be done surgically. So you might be seeking to make your nose smaller, or possibly larger, or you might be thinking about reshaping the bridge or tip of the nose, or maybe correcting something like a deviated septum to improve your breathing.
That said, there are also non-surgical rhinoplasty options that you might want to consider if what you’re trying to improve about your nose is a little more subtle and may not necessarily require surgery.
For instance, if you’re looking to enlarge the bridge of your nose, your result may be just as effective with the injection of soft tissue hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers otherwise known as a liquid rhinoplasty. In fact, we often recommend soft tissue fillers in order to improve minor irregularities following a rhinoplasty procedure, such as small depressions in the nose. HA fillers for the nose are temporary but are great if you’re not quite ready for or necessarily need surgery.
Depending on your particular case we might recommend combining liquid rhinoplasty with a thread lift nose job. A thread lift nose job can’t change the structure of your nose as surgery can, but if you want to subtly straighten your nose, or give the tip of the nose a little lift, this non-surgical treatment can really do the trick.
The day of your rhinoplasty consultation is super important because it’s the day you’re going to meet your surgeon, and determine whether surgery is for you. It’s the moment where you build trust with your surgeon and discuss exactly what you envision as your final result. Your surgeon will also discuss what can realistically be achieved and what to expect at the end of your rhinoplasty journey.
This is also the moment to discuss all those rhinoplasty options you’ve been researching and to ask your surgeon a lot of questions. Don’t be shy! You’ll also be able to look at before and after pictures of your surgeon’s previous patients, to give you a better idea of what your final result might look like. We also encourage you to bring in pictures of your desired look to give your surgeon a better idea of your final goal.
Your surgeon will also discuss your medical history to be sure that you’re in tip top health for surgery. Your safety is always your surgeon’s number one priority. And probably the neatest part of the consultation is the digital imaging software that our surgeons use to project what your final result will likely resemble.
Once your surgeon determines that you’re the right candidate for a rhinoplasty procedure, we’ll book your surgery and you’ll be assigned one of our wonderful patient coordinators who will help complete all the necessary steps prior to your surgery, such as filling out appropriate medical forms, making sure you take all required medical tests, and making sure you have a solid recovery plan in place with a caregiver who will pick you up and help you in the first 24-48 hours following your surgery.
On surgery day you’ll get a chance to ask the nurses and your patient coordinator any last minute questions you might have. Your surgeon will also come and see you as well to give you a brief road map of the surgery and give you a chance to ask questions.
We know that surgery day can be nerve-wracking so you’ll be offered some medication prior to your surgery so that you can feel more relaxed. Finally, the anesthesiologist will come and assess you and if everything is in order you’ll be brought into the operating room and be put to sleep. Depending on the complexity of your case, you can expect the rhinoplasty procedure to take on average about 4 hours.
Once the surgery is over, you’ll be gently woken up and taken to the post-operative room, where you’ll be under observation for a few hours before you go home. You’ll feel a bit groggy and out of it, but you don’t need to worry about pain as you’ll be given the appropriate medication in order to manage it.
So what should you expect when you get home? And how long will your rhinoplasty recovery be?
You’ll definitely need someone to stay with you for at least the first 24 hours following your surgery, and you’ll want to make sure you have childcare and other supports in place for at least the first week of your recovery, so that you can be at ease and rest. Don’t worry, we’ll go over all of this in really clear detail with you and you’ll have a comprehensive information packet that you and your caregiver can refer to throughout the process.
Physically, you may experience some minor bleeding in the first days following your surgery, which is totally normal.
In the first days following your surgery, your nose and face will feel sore and puffy, and you may feel congested. The congestion could last several weeks, and as much as you’ll want to, you’ll have to avoid blowing your nose so as not to damage any tissue.
Any pain that you feel can be managed with prescribed pain medication from your surgeon, but you’ll find that you’ll start to feel better once your nasal splints are removed, approximately one week after surgery.
Don’t be alarmed if your bruising and swelling looks worse on day 3 than it does on day 1—this is totally normal, but can look a little alarming. You’ll probably be feeling like you can do some things by about day 2, but remember to take it easy. The more you can rest, the better your recovery.
Many patients feel that they are ready to go back to their regular activities after about a week, but give yourself about 4-6 weeks before you feel more like yourself again. It’s tough when you’re excited for your new look, but unfortunately it will take a bit of patience before you totally get there.
As for swelling and bruising, most of it will subside within two weeks of your surgery, but you may actually have some very very subtle swelling (we’re talking only your surgeon will notice) for several months following your surgery.
We always remind all of our surgical patients that recovery and healing takes time, and although you’ll see the results of your surgery once most of the swelling has dissipated, your results will only continue to improve. It usually takes almost a year following most surgeries for everything to heal and settle and for your beautiful final result to really shine.