Surgery of the nose is one of the most common of all plastic surgery procedures. The best candidates for a Rhinoplasty are those people who are looking for an improvement in the way they look, not those searching for perfection. This surgery can reduce or increase the overall size of your nose, change the shape of the tip or bridge, narrow or widen the nostrils.
Computer imaging is a wonderful tool which allows you the opportunity to preview your results prior to surgery. Right before your eyes on a computer monitor your nose will be transformed into its new shape and contour. This process will afford the opportunity to address your concerns and discuss the possibilities of improvement. Your active participation during the consultation will allow for more realistic expectations. Unfortunately, this process is only a simulation and does not imply a specific result.
Rhinoplasty usually takes an hour or two, though more complicated procedures may take longer. This is an outpatient procedure and you can retire to the comfort of your home to convalesce. The surgery starts with the skin of the nose being separated from its supporting framework of the bone and cartilage, which is then sculpted to the desired shape. The skin is then redraped over the new framework. After the surgery is complete, a splint is then applied to help the nose maintain its new shape. If a Septoplasty is performed at the same time, a nasal pack or soft internal splint may be placed in the nostrils to stabilize the septum; this is the dividing wall between the air passages.
After surgery, during the first 24 hours, the face will feel puffy, the nose may ache, and you may experience a dull headache. There is minimal pain, usually just a mild discomfort. For the first several days you will want to rest with your head elevated. There will be swelling and bruising around the eyes, reaching a peak in two to three days. Some drainage from the end of the nose is to be expected. Within one week all the splints, dressings, and packs are removed.
One may resume light exercise and return to work after two weeks. No contact sports or rigorous exercise for five weeks. The overall appearance of the nose will improve gradually over the course of a year until final healing.
It is common after some types of Rhinoplasty for relatives or friends to remark that they do not see a major difference. Do not consider such a reaction an indication of failure. On the contrary, if it looks better and natural, it may go unnoticed. The intention, after all, is not to create a “new” nose that draws attention to itself, but rather one that blends subtly into the overall features of the face in the proper proportions. Minor revisions are sometimes desirable and may require additional surgery.