Frequently Asked Questions: Rhinoplasty

1. What is Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is a procedure that changes something about the nose. It is generally a surgical procedure but there have been some fillers used more recently that can make minor changes to the appearance of the nose. Rhinoplasty can be aesthetic to change the appearance, or functional to improve function, generally improving the nasal breathing.

 2. Is Rhinoplasty surgery painful?

Rhinoplasty is generally not painful. Our patients are given pain medication, but many use only a few during the first few post operative days.

 3. What are the risks of Rhinoplasty?

Fortunately complications after rhinoplasty are unusual. Risks usually mentioned are bleeding, infection, risks related to anesthesia and unsatisfactory cosmetic appearance. There is always some degree of swelling and bruising but varies widely in degree and is expected.

 4. What is the recovery time for Rhinoplasty?

We tell patients they can resume most activities in about 10 days. Vigorous exercise should wait three to four weeks.

 5. How long after my surgery will I see the final results?

Most swelling resolves in about two weeks. The last bit of swelling can last up to one year. There are subtle changes in the appearance over a long period, but a good idea of the final result should be evident in a few weeks. Patients with thicker skin remain swollen longer than those with thin skin.

 6. How long does it take for bruising and swelling to go away?

Most bruising and swelling resolve in about two weeks.

 7. How do I minimize bruising from Rhinoplasty?

You should avoid any medications or supplements that thin the blood and contribute to possible excessive bleeding such as Aspirin and Motrin. Supplements such as Vitamin E and Fish Oil also can prolong bleeding. We give you a long list of medications to avoid before and after surgery. We also give you special perioperative Vitamin/Supplements to use before and after surgery to help minimize bruising that include Arnica and Bromelain.

 8. Are there non-surgical options that can alter my nose similar to surgery?

Fillers have been used recently to make minor changes in the appearance of the nose. These are temporary and have limitations on what they can accomplish. Minor irregularities after surgery can sometimes be improved with a filler instead of considering further surgery.

 9. Is it common to have breathing problems after Rhinoplasty?

Occasionally patients feel their airway is not as good as it was before surgery. This could occur if the upper part of the nose is narrowed. We often do work on the nasal septum (middle structure separating the left from the right side of the nose) and inferior turbinates’ ( bone and mucosal tissue on the side of the inside of the nose) to enlarge airway. Most patients breathe better after surgery than before.

 10. How can I get a natural looking Rhinoplasty?

The best advice for getting a natural look would be having the surgery done by an experienced surgeon. Get opinions from a few surgeons and look at before and after photos of patients.

 11. What type of anesthesia is used?

Most patients prefer general anesthesia done by an anesthesiologist. Surgery can be done awake with some sedation if preferred.

 12. How long do the results last?

Results should be permanent. Some changes occur to everyone’s nose over a long period. No one’s nose looks the same at age 20 and 70 regardless of whether or not surgery had been done.

 13. How much time will I need to take off from work after undergoing Rhinoplasty surgery?

Most patients take off about 10 days from work. There is an external splint (like a mini cast) that stays on for one week. There may be internal splints used that would also be removed at one week. Some patients can return to work sooner than others. If you work with a computer, you may be able to do some work from home one to two days after surgery. If you do physical labor such as a roofer, you would likely be off for three to four weeks.

 14. How soon will I be able to exercise after my Rhinoplasty surgery?

Our patients can start walking right after surgery. You could lift light weights in a few days. Full exercise should not be done until three to four weeks after surgery.

 15. I am of ethnic background, is there a Rhinoplasty procedure that caters to ethnic noses?

There are procedures that address ethnic noses. The procedure would depend on the ethnicity. Some ethnic groups have a long nose and prominent hump; some have a wide and flat nose. The procedure is always tailored to the individual patient after a complete discussion of their goals.

 16. What should I look for in a surgeon to perform my Rhinoplasty procedure?

I would seek a surgeon that has a special interest in rhinoplasty. You should look at their pre and post operative photos. Rhinoplasty is the most complex and challenging procedure Facial Plastic Surgeons perform.

Contact us today to schedule your consultation!