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Rhinoplasty: What to Expect Before and After Surgery

The nose is central to the look and balance of the face. Many people are unhappy with the shape or size of their noses, which affects their confidence and how they feel. So, they opt for rhinoplasty surgery to restore balance and feel good about their appearance. Although it’s a common type of plastic surgery, it’s normal to have many questions to ask about the procedure. 

What is Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is also known as a nose job or septorhinoplasty. It’s a nose surgery that can correct and fix several issues. Whether a wide nose, a bump, overall shape, or size, rhinoplasty can improve and create balance in the face. In addition to boosting self-esteem and making you feel more confident, rhinoplasty can help alleviate breathing problems. 

There are two types of rhinoplasty surgery, and here’s the difference:

Open rhinoplasty – the surgery is performed from outside the nose with a small incision on the columella (the tissue between the nostrils). 

Closed rhinoplasty – this type of surgery only involves incisions within the nostrils.

The best procedure for you depends on the results you’re looking to achieve. Your plastic surgeon will discuss this with you and choose the optimal route. 

Before and after rhinoplasty and alar base reduction at The Harley Clinic

What Should I Do Before Rhinoplasty Surgery?

Before your rhinoplasty surgery, it’s essential to ask as many questions as you need to. This will ease any worries and help you understand the whole process. 

There will be a few things that your doctor will recommend to prepare for your surgery beforehand, including:

  • Stop smoking at least two weeks before and after the surgery.  
  • Avoid anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen. 
  • Avoid sun damage the two weeks before your surgery, 
  • No eating or drinking up to six hours before surgery.

What to Expect Before and After Rhinoplasty Surgery 

A nose job doesn’t have an ordered series of steps. Every procedure is unique and customised depending on the problems you wish to address and the goals of the surgery.

Before the Surgery 

Once you’ve decided on nose surgery rather than a non-surgical nose job, your surgeon will sit with you and go through everything that will happen and what part of your nose will be worked on. Nose surgery involves different healing times depending on the procedure performed, significantly affecting your recovery and any discomfort you may experience afterwards. 

Before and after nose job revision rhinoplasty at the Harley Clinic

Based on the area of the nose to be worked on, the doctor should address all concerns and answer any questions you may have. Once everything is set, the next step is surgery.

Rhinoplasty is performed under general anaesthesia in most cases. Generally, a nose job might be done inside the nose through a small incision at the base of the nose, just between your nostrils. In such a case, your plastic surgeon will most likely re-adjust the cartilage and bone inside the nose.

During the Surgery 

During the surgery, your surgeon can change the nasal bones or cartilage in various ways depending on how much needs adding or removing, the nasal structure and available materials. For minor changes, the surgeon uses cartilage from the ear or deeper inside the nose. If more extensive changes need to be made, the plastic surgeon will use cartilage from the rib, bone from other body parts and implants.

After making the necessary adjustments, the surgeon will place the nose’s tissue and skin back and stitch the incisions. If you are having surgery to correct breathing difficulties, the surgeon will correct a deviated septum if it’s bent or crooked.  

The surgery will take up to three hours but generally lasts around two hours. The time will depend on the type of rhinoplasty you choose, the technique, and the results you’re looking to achieve.  

After The Surgery 

Following the surgery, except mild to moderate discomfort. Usually, the first part of recovery is somewhat an awkward period in social settings or at work because of bruising under the eyes and the use of a splint.

You can expect to wear splints outside and inside the nose for about a week after your surgery. The splints help protect the nasal bone and the cartilage as you heal. You will also have internal dressings that should remain in place for 1 to 7 days, depending on the complexity of the surgery.

Your nose will feel congested due to the swelling or splints inside the nose. There may also be slight bleeding or mucus drainage for a few days following the procedure or after removing the dressing. Your doctor might place a drip pad under the nose to absorb the drainage.

To enhance your recovery and lower the risk of complications, your doctor will ask you to follow certain precautions for several weeks after your nose surgery. Your doctor will ask you to:

  • Avoid strenuous activities like jogging or aerobics
  • Avoid soaking your incisions by taking baths instead of showers
  • Not to blow the nose
  • Brush your teeth gently to limit upper lip movement
  • Not to pull clothing over your head but instead to wear clothing that fastens in the front
  • Avoid extreme facial expressions like laughing or smiling too much, at least until the discomfort passes
  • Eat a high-fibre diet to avoid constipation which can cause you to strain, thus putting pressure on the surgical site

In addition, avoid wearing glasses for at least 4 weeks after the surgery and too much sun exposure.

How Long Is Recovery After Rhinoplasty Surgery? 

It’s a good idea to not assess your results in the first 14 days after your surgery. There will be swelling, and rest is absolutely crucial during this time. In the first 10 days, take time off work, rest, and give your body the chance to start healing. 

In the first week, refrain from moving your face as much as possible. Use ice to reduce swelling, avoid water coming into contact with your nose, eat soft foods, and don’t blow your nose. Your doctor will advise you on how to change your bandages at home. Wait for the all-clear from your surgeon and avoid wearing glasses for at least four weeks. Recovery takes up to 6 weeks, with full results taking up to a year to fully heal and swelling to go down.  

In general, the results of rhinoplasty surgery are permanent. As you age, your new nose will grow with you and naturally sit with the rest of your features. The decision to have a nose job is not something to take lightly. Make sure you research and choose an experienced plastic surgeon you trust. 

Rhinoplasty London: Nose Surgery at Harley Clinic   

Rhinoplasty surgery is an invasive procedure that a qualified plastic surgeon should do. Your plastic surgeon will go over your expectations, what you want to change, and the results you’re looking to achieve. 

You can proceed from there if you are a good candidate for the procedure. However, if the plastic surgeon feels that other options are better, they will discuss the possibility of non-surgical rhinoplasty. 

Book a consultation at The Harley Clinic if you are considering getting a nose job. 

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