Recovering From Rhinoplasty
Rhinoplasties are one of the most common cosmetic procedures performed in the United States. According to statistics, plastic surgeons in the U.S. perform more than 200,000 rhinoplasties each year. Are you considering undergoing rhinoplasty? If so, you are in good company.
What Is Rhinoplasty?
Also known as a nose job, rhinoplasty is a cosmetic procedure. A nose job aims to change the shape or size of your nose. The motivation for undergoing this form of surgery may be to improve your breathing, change the appearance of your nose, or both.
The lower structure of your nose is the cartilage, while the upper one is the bone. Rhinoplasty changes the cartilage, bone, or skin of the nose. Are you considering getting a nose job? If so, you first need to consult a licensed and experienced cosmetic surgeon. The surgeon will determine whether the procedure is appropriate for you.
What to Expect During the Procedure
A nose job requires local anesthesia with general anesthesia or sedation. However, this will depend on the complexity of the procedure and your surgeon’s preferences. Your surgeon may involve incisions inside your nose. Sometimes, it might only require a small incision between your nostrils.
Your cosmetic surgeon will likely readjust the cartilage and bone underneath your skin. That will change the shape of your nasal cartilage and bone in several ways, depending on your desired outcome.
For relatively minor changes, the surgeon may use cartilage from deeper areas of your nose. Sometimes, surgeons use cartilage from the patient's ear to get the job done. For larger changes, your surgeon will use bone and cartilage from another part of your body.
Before you undergo the procedure, you first need to understand that swelling can take up to a year to completely subside. The final shape of your nose should emerge after this period. That said, you may notice certain subtle changes over the first few weeks as your nose tissues heal. The swelling will gradually subside with time.
The soft tissue of your nose will likely hold the swelling longer than other parts of the treatment area. Nevertheless, you should notice a marked difference after one month or so. For most patients, the treatment site will be splinted or packed on the inside and require bandages on the outside to provide support and protection to the shape of the nose.
Following the procedure, your surgeon will transfer you to a recovery room where the staff will monitor you for several hours. You may need to keep the dressing in place for a few days. However, you may be able to go home later that day or stay overnight in case of any health issues.
After the Procedure
You should stay in bed with your head resting higher than your chest when you get home. Doing so will reduce swelling and bleeding. You may experience a congested nose due to swelling or the splints placed inside your nose during the procedure.
You may also experience drainage of mucus and bleeding for a few days after removing your dressing. To deal with this problem, your surgeon may place a drip pad under your nose. You need to change the gauze or pad as directed by your surgeon.
How Long Is the Recovery Period?
It does not take long to recover from a nose job. However, you should take a week off from work and other obligations. Each day, you should feel progressively better. You will likely feel like yourself again after seven days or so.
For more on rhinoplasty, call Jason K. Potter, MD, DDS, at 214-892-2474 to reach our office in Dallas, Texas.