What is Rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty is the most popular type of aesthetic surgery. It corrects nose imperfections and noticeably improves the general look of the face, smile, the balance between nose and upper lip, as well as the profile of the face.
- the plastic surgeon
- the ENT specialist
- the maxillofacial surgeon
Each of these specialisations contribute their diagnostic, planning, technical and surgical skills.
Plastic surgery contributes the surgical techniques of rhinoplasty, in particular the ability to change the size and shape of the nose so as to harmonise it to the other aesthetic units of the face (chin, cheekbones and paranasal area).
The maxillofacial surgeon contributes the ability to evaluate the nose in accordance with the position of the jaw and of the occlusion of the teeth, as well as the surgical skills necessary to correct complex jaw-nose dismorphisms.
The ENT specialist contributes the know-how necessary to diagnose and surgically correct nasal-breathing obstructions (such as deviations of the nasal septum, nose-valve deficiencies, sinusitis, polyps, nasal hypertrophies).
The collaboration of these three specialities have brought about the complex techniques of nose reconstruction surgery necessary to repair the damage caused by traumas and skin tumours of the nose pyramid.
Thinking about the final result
The first visit is of the utmost importance in order to evaluate the shape of the nose, to assess the patient’s requests, to verify if their expectations are realistic and to study how to best modify the nose according to the shape of the face.
Sometimes the patient isn’t sure of what he or she doesn’t like about their nose:
- it is therefore necessary for the surgeon to suggest the viable corrections and modifications necessary for a successful rhinoplasty. Correcting a small chin in order to improve the patient’s profile (profiloplasty) is a good example of this.
- Collaboration between doctor and patient is possible during the first visit, by reproducing and demonstrating the necessary rhinoplastic modifications to the nose in an interactive way.
Rhinoplasty surgery imagine
This moment is of great importance to the surgeon, who is therefore able to understand the patient’s wishes.
It is furthermore helpful for the patient, who is able to understand which possibilities are available.
The candidate for rhinoplasty can interact with the surgeon: the photographic elaboration program uses an extremely simple software, which can be used by anyone.
In this manner, the surgeon can see and understand the patient’s wishes.
Rhinoplasty: the surgical operation
- Hospitalisation: day hospital
- Anaesthetic: local
- Access incisions: Inside the nose, not visible. In some cases open rhinoplasty may be applied: in these cases the access incision is applied to the skin between the two nostrils (columella nasi) and the resulting scar disappears after a few weeks.
- Post-operation pain: despite common belief, rhinoplasty (like all nose surgery) is NOT a painful operation. Almost all patients that undergo such operation have no need for pain-killers afterwards.
- Duration of surgery: from 1 to 3 hours
- Tampons: are NOT used. Although the operation is applied to the breathing parts of the nose (septoplasty, turbinoplasty…) I personally use techniques that don’t require the use of tampons.
- Following days: edema (swollenness) and bruises appear around the eyes during the following days. These effects disappear after 7-10 days.
Recovery after rhinoplasty surgery
A rigid application is applied to the bridge of the nose for 7 days. Patients can resume work activities after 7 days and can resume sport activities after 20 days. Sun exposure is possible only after the disappearance of swollenness and bruises.
Surgical operations that combine with rhinoplasty: Often, during a first visit, complimentary imperfections are found that can also be improved upon. Such is the case of recessive chins, small cheek-bones and poorly visible paranasal areas. All of these can be solved by using increase-surgery (PROFILOPLASTY) so as to improve upon both the final result of the rhinoplasty as well as the all-around harmony of the face.
Activities to Avoid During Recovery From Rhinoplasty
Recovering from Rhinoplasty, more commonly known as a nose job, can take some patience. Your face will be bruised and sore right after the surgery, and you will probably have areas of noticeable swelling. There are a few things you should avoid during those first few days and weeks right after you have your surgery.
- Avoid Sleeping Flat on Your Back: Sleeping with your head flat will cause the swelling to increase, and it will slow the healing process. Gravity can cause your bruising to be more pronounced, and it will probably hurt quite a bit as well. Try to sleep with your head and shoulders elevated. The ideal sleeping position can be achieved by using a recliner. You should be able to find a comfortable position that leaves your head more elevated so that your nose can heal more easily. Another reason to avoid sleeping flat is that you may accidentally roll onto your side or stomach in your sleep, which could possibly bump your nose and cause tissue damage and extreme pain. Sleeping i a reclining chair gives you more control of your head’s angle.
- Don’t Take Aspirin or Ibuprofen – Your doctor will probably prescribe some pain medication for you to take after the surgery. Go ahead and get your prescription filled before you go in for the procedure so that the medicine will be available as soon as you get home. Don’t take anything that contains aspirin or ibuprofen, because it could thin your blood and cause your healing to be delayed. Alcoholic beverages should also be avoided for the first two to three weeks after your surgery. You should avoid driving while you are taking pain medication. Stronger pain medication like Vicodin should be available through your doctor, but usually recovery should not be this painful. Vicodin is mostly used only immediately after surgery to number any residual pain.
- Avoid Any Activity That Might Bump Your Nose
It probably seems like common sense but you should make sure that you don’t do anything that could possibly bump or contact your nose or face. Any contact with other objects within the first week could cause serious tissue damage and reduce the chances for a successful Rhinoplasty result. Don’t take part in any active sports, and stay home from work for at least a week. Patients who wear contact lenses should refrain from wearing them for a couple of days. Patients who wear glasses should avoid wearing them for about a week while your face heals.
Mental Health During Rhinoplasty Recovery
Many patients usually develop a period of depression after undergoing a cosmetic procedure such as Rhinoplasty. In this critical stage, we start to question our decision to undergo such a life changing surgery. If our goal for wanting a nose job is simple vanity, than we run the risk of actually distorting something that was probably never messed up in the first place. It would cause pure devastation if we were to come out of the plastic surgeons office looking worse than we did when we went in.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happens. We cant expect that from the moment we walk out of the office we will have this new, fabulous nose. We have to take into account that there is a recovery time, and our nose has to heal before we reap the rewards of its newness. It may in fact take up to 4 weeks for our nose to become what the plastic surgeon designed it to be. This is one of the reasons depression sets it after Rhinoplasty, we expect to look better instantly and we are forced to face reality when we come out all bruised up. Feeling let down is a normal reaction to having a cosmetic procedure. Trust that we will be back to normal in no time.
Another common reason for depression after surgery could be due to the after effects of anesthesia. It has been reported by many people that after coming out of general anesthesia they were in a deep dark depression. The after effects of anesthesia can be profound like this one guy who describes his post surgery depression as “scary” and finding himself canceling surgeries out of being “scared to death that it would happen again.”
The pain and discomfort can make our lives more difficult as well. The nose is a very sensitive body part in which pain can be felt immediately. We may also experience breathing problems during Rhinoplasty recovery and this will do nothing but frustrate us. Having to sleep in an upright position may also present a challenge for us. Before having a Rhinoplasty performed, understanding the facts are essential.