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What to Expect Before, During, and After a Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty is the best cosmetic surgical procedure for reshaping the nose. If you are thinking about undergoing rhinoplasty, or if you have already made the decision that this surgery is right for you, it is important for you to be knowledgeable about everything this procedure entails. Understanding what to expect before, during, and after a rhinoplasty will help you feel more comfortable and better prepared.

During your consultation, your plastic surgeon will go over all of your personal preparation needs. Your surgeon will evaluate your overall health, your health history, your facial structure, and the structures of your nose in order to determine if rhinoplasty is right for you. If it has been determined that you are a candidate for rhinoplasty, your surgeon will provide you with information on risks, recovery time, techniques, costs, etc. In most cases, your doctor will take photographs of your nose and face at different angles to later you show before and after results.

During this consultation, you should also talk with your plastic surgeon about your personal motivations and realistic expectations, so that you are both on the same page. For at least two weeks prior to your rhinoplasty surgery, you should avoid certain medications that contain aspirin or ibuprofen, which can increase bleeding. Since smoking slows down the healing process, it is also advised that you quit at least 24 weeks prior to surgery. Since this surgery is performed generally under sedation or general anesthesia, it is important that you arrange for someone to drive you home and stay with you while you are in recovery.

During surgery, your surgeon will most likely readjust the bone and cartilage underneath your skin through small incisions inside the nostrils or in the septum. Depending on your personal needs, your surgeon may cut, trim, and/or augment the nasal bone or cartilage. Once your nose has been reshaped or reconstructed according to your personal desires and needs, your doctor will close up the incisions and tape a splint or plaster cast to your nose for support and protection.

After your rhinoplasty is complete, you will need to stay in bed with your head propped up higher than your chest. You will have to wear your nose splint or cast for about one week to protect your nose. During your recovery, you may experience bleeding or mucus drainage for several days, in which you will have to keep a taped piece of gauze to the area to absorb the liquid. This gauze may have to be changed frequently. For several weeks after your procedure, it will be important to prevent any pressure around your nose. You will be advised to avoid engaging in any strenuous activities, making major facial expressions, and chewy foods. In addition, you should stay out of the sun for a couple of months and apply lots of sunscreen to avoid discoloration of the skin on your nose. You will experience swelling and bruising for a few weeks after surgery, but this should resolve over time.

At your initial consultation, top board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Shah can help you decide if a rhinoplasty is right for you. If you wish to learn more about rhinoplasty and live in the Columbus or Dublin, Ohio areas, call the Columbus Institute of Plastic Surgery at (614) 482-2123 to schedule a consultation.