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What to Expect Before and After Your Rhinoplasty

Like it or not, your nose is the most noticeable component of the face as it sits right in the center. The goal, however, is to have the nose blend or “fit” with the rest of the face so it is essentially not the first thing that you notice. This is likely why so many people daydream about having a different one — different in size, shape, angle, or all three. In fact, many do more than fantasize. They act on it. Hence, rhinoplasty, known colloquially as a “nose job,” is one of the most common among cosmetic surgical procedures. This operation sits at the intersection of art and medical science, amending appearance while preserving or improving function. Because it is a medical procedure, patients must take certain precautions.

Rhinoplasty Basics

Three forms of tissue exist in and on the nose: skin, cartilage, and bone. Each or all of these can be targeted by a rhinoplasty, i.e. the tissue can be diminished, augmented, or shifted to create the desired change. Since these changes are permanent, it is crucial that candidates for this operation be adults or older teens who have completely developed physically. Further growth would, of course, impact the results of the procedure. While often considered in the context of appearance, a rhinoplasty can also result in better breathing, depending on the individual patient and their needs for the procedure. For example, a septoplasty along with a rhinoplasty can correct a deviated septum, allowing patients to breathe more easily. Rhinoplasties are performed on an outpatient basis.

How Should a Patient Prepare for a Rhinoplasty?

To begin with, candidates for rhinoplasty surgery need to discuss their goals for it with a doctor who, in turn, should inform the candidate of the advantage ands the risks. This includes using computer technology that simulates the effects of the operation. The surgeon should have a comprehensive medical history of the patient as they consider this procedure. In addition, the patient should be examined to determine and confirm fitness to undergo a rhinoplasty. If the patient smokes, that habit must cease well in advance of surgery in order to ensure healthy blood flow.

What is Rhinoplasty Recovery Like?

As with most surgeries, rhinoplasties can leave the immediate effects of swelling and bleeding. For this reason, patients should recline in bed with the head slightly above the chest to minimize these after-effects. Post-op patients can expect to wear surgical dressings — including splints — for up to a week to give support and protection to the nose. Gauze is placed underneath the nose to soak up the drainage. Among other warnings, patients are counseled to:

  • Avoid wearing glasses for 6 weeks post surgery
  • Do not get the cast wet while on the nose
  • Refrain from nose-blowing
  • Avoid vigorous exercise for 6 weeks post surgery

Acute bruising and swelling lasts 7-10 days but complete healing of the nose can take up to year.

Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Zuliani

Dr. Giancarlo Zuliani has built a successful surgical practice by recognizing the distinctiveness of each patient, combining clinical excellence with personal empathy. Call for a consultation to learn more about rhinoplasty today.