The nose is central to the look and balance of the face. A lot of people are unhappy with the shape or size of the nose. This really affects their confidence and how they feel. To restore balance and feel good about your appearance, many people opt for rhinoplasty surgery. With back to back video chats and social media, people are much more aware of their looks. Although it’s a common type of plastic surgery, it’s normal to have a ton of questions to ask about the procedure and what to expect.
Rhinoplasty or a nose job is a common procedure that can fix a range of aesthetic and functional issues. It can help to improve shape and size as well as the overall balance of your face. When it comes to rhinoplasty, the recovery process is a journey. You need to allow yourself time to recover and heal so you can see the best results. Rhinoplasty surgery involves planning some downtime and being ready for the recovery process.
What is Rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty is also known as a nose job. It’s a surgery of the nose that can correct and fix several issues. Whether it’s 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 also 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.
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 put any worries at ease and help you really 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.
How Long Does Rhinoplasty Surgery Take?
The surgery itself will take up to three hours but generally lasts around two hours. It will be under general anaesthetic. The time it takes will depend on the type of rhinoplasty you choose, the technique, and the results you’re looking to achieve.
How Long Does it take to Recover and Heal From Rhinoplasty?
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, try to 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 how to change your bandages at home. Wait for the all-clear by your surgeon and avoid wearing glasses for at least four weeks. Recovery takes up to six weeks with full results taking up to a year to fully heal and swelling to go down.
It’s essential to understand the recovery and healing process after rhinoplasty surgery. That way, you can pencil in enough downtime, take any time off work and prepare yourself for a more comfortable recovery journey.
After your procedure, your surgeon will place a nasal splint on or inside your nose. Your surgeon will remove this a week after your surgery. You will feel swelling, bruising, and discomfort after your surgery. This is entirely normal. You will feel congested because of the swelling and may have a little difficulty breathing through your nose.
In the first few days, stick to a soft food diet and sleep in an elevated head position. Many patients return to work after 6 or 7 days. Although you want to rest and recover, it’s important to get moving after your surgery. A light walk around the garden or hallway is perfectly suitable.
In the second week after your surgery, the bruising and swelling are improving. You can resume normal daily activities and light exercise. The sutures will be coming out, and any nasal congestion should be gradually improving.
By this time, your nose has almost fully healed. You will continue to see improvement in the swelling. You should be able to return to exercises like jogging, swimming, and exercise. It’s a good idea to wait until 6 weeks post-op to start weight training.
At six months post-op, you should be able to see the final result. There will be a significant improvement in swelling, and you can usually resume more heavy physical activity.
After one year, the healing process is complete, and you should be able to see your new nose. The swelling should be fully gone.
The initial recovery of rhinoplasty takes around 5 to 7 days. This is the time when you feel like it impacts your day-to-day life the most. Although the healing process takes up to one year, after three to four weeks, your face will look normal, and you will feel comfortable going about your everyday life.
What are the Potential Risks and Complications of Rhinoplasty?
Like all surgeries, rhinoplasty has some potential risks, including:
- Bruising and swelling
- Airway issues
- Temporary loss of smell and taste
- Inadequate straightening
- Nasal septal perforation
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 do your research and choose an experienced plastic surgeon you trust.