Aesthetics 101: Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty, or a “nose job,” is one of the most sought after cosmetic surgeries. It is also one of the most complex and challenging cosmetic surgeries, requiring a combination of surgical skills and artistry. Because the nose is such a predominate feature of the face, you should select your surgeon with care.

Rhinoplasty is used to:

•    Correct breathing problems caused by structural defects
•    Repair the nose after injury
•    Straighten or reshape the bridge of the nose
•    Reshape the tip of the nose
•    Adjust the angle between the upper lip and nose
•    Change the size of the nose
•    Repair septal perforations

What to Expect After Rhinoplasty

We recommend that patients plan to take at least seven days to rest after rhinoplasty. There will be some swelling and occasionally bruising. Most patients will need to wear a splint for the first week after surgery. In rare cases, a small piece of nasal packing is required inside the nose that will be removed in clinic after a couple of days. Your doctor will discuss the various options with you before your surgery.

Wound healing occurs in several stages. During the first stage, the surgical swelling will subside within 4-6 weeks. During the second stage of healing, wound remodeling, maturation, and scar contracture occur, lasting several months to even years. Even though the bulk of the swelling will have faded after the first couple of months, wound remodeling with minor changes will occur throughout life. It may take a full year, sometimes even more, for you to see the final results of your surgery.

The Importance of Rest After Rhinoplasty

Many patients feel back to normal not long after their surgery, and want to resume normal activities. It is important to plan time to rest to avoid post-surgical complications. While we understand many of our patients are eager to resume exercise, it is very important that you wait 6 weeks before resuming strenuous physical activity.

Exercise that raises the heart rate above 100 or that make you sweat can increase your swelling, contribute to bruising, and may even trigger bleeding. It is also important to limit your salt intake after surgery to keep post-surgical swelling minimal. Close follow-up after surgery is critical to optimize your surgical outcome.

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