What is Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is a procedure used to improve the appearance of the nose by improving its size and shape so that it is more harmonious to it’s surrounding facial features. It can also correct the overall width and length as well as fixing potential depressions on the bridge, deformities of the nasal tip and nostrils.

How can I prepare for rhinoplasty?

When preparing for rhinoplasty surgery there are only a couple of things that are procedure specific that may be of some benefit prior to the surgical date. When having any surgery on a facial feature I believe it is beneficial to have your skin optimized by having a medical grade facial that may include a chemical peel. This will help speed up the healing process and reduce the chances of infection. This should be done at least one week prior to surgery. Transcend MedSpa, housed within MAE Plastic Surgery has two superb aestheticians that will optimize your skin condition.

Besides the above, there are some basic preparations that need to be made prior to any surgery. At MAE Plastic Surgery we will provide a folder with several packets of information that will make it easy for you to be prepared for your surgery. We will not only provide basic pre-op instructions but you will also receive a list of items to have at your home that will help in the recovery process. We will provide you a copy of your detailed written consent form so that you will have plenty of time to read through it and ask questions about anything that may not be understood. Additionally, you will receive a list of medications that you will need to refrain from taking and your post-operative instructions.

What can I expect during surgery?

Most of the time, rhinoplasty surgery is completed under a deep sedation that is administered through an I.V. by an anesthesiologist. During the surgery, you will be kept comfortable and monitored very closely by the anesthesiologist. Soon after the sedation is administered, local anesthesia is administered, as well, by the surgeon. This will help keep you comfortable immediately after the surgery and reduce the amount of bleeding during the procedure. You should also know that everyone participating in your care will be playing a role in ensuring that you are protected, comfortable, and that you have a pleasant experience.

Are there different incision options?

A rhinoplasty can be performed using a closed procedure, where the incisions are hidden inside the nose; or an open procedure, where an additional incision is made across the columella (the narrow strip of tissue that separates the nostrils) to join the internal incisions. In this way the skin over the skeletal framework of the nose can easily be elevated.

What is the recovery timeline like?

Bruising and swelling surrounding the nose is to be expected and will usually subside in 1-2 weeks. Post-operative pain is usually minimal and easily controlled with oral pain medication. Bleeding from the nostrils is not unusual in the first 24 hours. Congestion and stuffiness are also common and can last several weeks. Both bleeding and congestion tend to be worse when septoplasty or turbinates are operated on. An external splint to protect your nose is usually worn for one week. You should be able to perform most routine activities within a few days. You may resume full physical activity within 3-4 weeks but no contact sports for 6-8.

Will a Rhinoplasty affect my sense of smell?

With most rhinoplasty procedures you can expect that your sense of smell will be affected for a short period of time (maybe up to several weeks) after the surgery. It is very rare that you will have permanent loss of smell.

Are there alternatives to rhinoplasty surgery?

It is sometimes possible to make improvements in the nasal appearance with soft tissue fillers that can be performed in an office type setting. In a similar, but less common fashion, some of the functional anatomical problems can also be altered to improve the airway. Some of these may have long lasting effects. There are also oral medications that might improve breathing through the nose as well.

Is revision surgery sometimes necessary?

Revision, or secondary rhinoplasty is not that uncommon. The reasons for this secondary surgery stem from healing problems after the original surgery to unpredicted changes in shape or functional aspects of the nose, to patient dissatisfaction for purely subjective reasons. Some statistics show that of all the rhinoplasties performed, 20-25% of them are secondary procedures. If a secondary rhinoplasty is determined to be necessary, it is important to wait, at least, close to one year after the original surgery so that internal scarring has plenty of time to soften and the conditions are optimal.