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What is a Rhinoplasty and What Can I Expect?
A rhinoplasty is a plastic surgery procedure performed to correct and reconstruct a patient’s nose – whether it is the form, function and/or appearance. There are a number of reasons to have a rhinoplasty, including correcting issues resulting from an accident or trauma, correcting a previous failed surgery, or improving the aesthetics. The surgery is generally performed at an out-patient facility.
Before surgery, local or general anesthesia is administered. During surgery, the surgeon makes a series of incisions to separate the skin and soft tissues from the bones and cartilage that make up the nasal framework. Form and function are corrected and cosmetic improvements are made, which can include removing or adding bone, cartilage and tissue. After everything is corrected, the nose is put back together, and suturing the incisions. A cast and stent is applied to the exterior of the nose to ensure it heals properly.
Your surgeon should have extensive training as a plastic surgeon, or have an otolaryngology (ENT) specialization – ideally, they would have training as both.
What Can I Expect After My Rhinoplasty Surgery?
You can expect to spend about 1 week after your surgery to initially rest and recover. Your face will feel puffy, the areas around your eyes and nose will be swollen for a handful of days, and you’ll have “panda eyes” for about 2 weeks (dark circles under your eyes).
Sutures are removed at the 4-5 day mark, the cast is removed at the 1-week mark, and the stents are removed at 1 to 1.5 week mark. Through this process, to help with pain and speed healing, your doctor will provide a prescription for medication (antibiotics, analgesics and steroids). Over the next 12 months, the nose’s tissues will settle over your new nose structure.
For more information on what a rhinoplasty surgery is, please talk with your doctor.