Rhinoplasty is a complex surgery that is done to reshape the nose for either medical or aesthetic purposes. There are many rhinoplasty specialists in New York and it is a very common procedure, but there is still a large amount of confusion that surrounds the procedure. When something as serious as a surgical procedure is considered, whether for cosmetic reasons or for medical reasons, all aspects must be understood.
Some of the first concerns is how to get the best answers to their questions. Yet some may not even know the right questions to ask before considering rhinoplasty. Questions of cost, procedures, doctors and recovery time will all have their own concerns and questions. We’ve compiled the questions we get asked most often as the best cosmetic surgeons in NYC surrounding this surgery.
What Is Rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty is a surgery that involves altering of the nose, whether slightly or greatly changing the nose and the shape. Most surgeons will advise you about their suggestions for how your nose can change to give you more symmetry to your face.
This type of surgery may be covered by your insurance company, but only if it is for correcting a medical condition such as a deviated septum or other obstruction blocking your airways. A deviated septum can also interfere with sleep and other normal activities, in which case most insurance may cover some or all the costs.
There is another option to surgical rhinoplasty, this is a technique called non-surgical rhinoplasty. Also being dubbed as the 15-Minute Nose Job, this medical procedure takes place in a doctor’s office with no anesthetic and is about one-tenth the price of a surgical operation. This option will fill in bumps and dips in and around the nose by using filler, however, this is temporary and only lasts one to two years.
How Is It Done?
Like most other surgeries, on the day of the surgery the patient is put under anesthesia, either local or general, before the surgery begins. After the patient is under, the surgery begins by cutting, usually inside the nose, to reshape and reform the nose. This may be tissue only, or it may involve altering the bridge of the nose, in which case bone and cartilage are adjusted.
Upon completion of the correction, the incisions are sutured and a cast or dressing is placed on the nose. In the recovering process the patient is usually sent home as this is normally an outpatient procedure, recovery instructions will be sent with a list of activities to avoid while recovering.
Recovery will be somewhat restrictive at first, no lifting heavy objects and the patient will have to sleep and rest with the head elevated. Keeping the blood flow low to the nose area is important, as well as keeping it clean and taped.
Who Are The Best Candidates?
The best candidates are those who are physically healthy and have no medical conditions or complications. They must be at an age of full facial growth and do not smoke. There is also the concern for the patient to be sound of mind and have realistic ideas of the end goals, and what to expect after the operation.
What happens before rhinoplasty surgery? How do I prepare for it?
Before rhinoplasty surgery, you will sit down with your plastic surgeon and have a consultation, during which you will decide exactly how you want your nose to look, and the surgeon will decide which techniques he will use and review them with you. You should go into this consultation with a definitive idea of how you want your nose to look. Bringing in pictures of people who have a nose similar to what you envision is a great way to help your doctor get a good idea of what you are looking for. The doctor will then use computer imaging technology or another technique to put together a detailed plan of how the surgery will go and what is going to happen. They will then instruct you on any specific precautions or preparations you will need to take before the surgery happens.
What happens on the surgery day?
Rhinoplasty procedures are commonly conducted under a deep sedation and local anesthesia in an out-patient private facility. The surgery itself usually only takes few hours, but time may varies depends on the complexity of the procedure (the external technique takes longer). During surgery, some or all of the nasal elements are sculpted to the desired shape and the patient is carefully monitored to avoid any unwanted events.
After the process is completed, a splint will be applied to help your nose maintain its new shape, followed by nasal packs to stabilize the septum. To monitor patient condition, he/she will be placed in the recovery area prior to discharge.
What happen after surgery?
General procedures after surgery include taking prescribed medications, keeping the splint dry, and keeping your head elevated to reduce swelling. Facial discomfort is the most common side effect, including bruised and swollen face. However, these can easily be taken care of by administering anti-inflammatory drug.
However, bruises and swelling are usually relieved within two weeks. The splint and all external sutures can be removed about 7 days post-op. Bleeding from the nostrils is common for the first few days, but it doesn’t hold back patients from their daily activity. Although some minor side effects such as swelling may occur for weeks, patients can have their normal life back within 6 months after surgery. During this healing process, it is advisable to avoid direct sunlight and to bump nose onto hard surface. To ensure the best result, most patients are requested for a follow-up visit after one-week post-op, followed by a biweekly visit.
How long does rhinoplasty take? Will I have to stay overnight in the hospital?
Rhinoplasty procedures are usually done in one day, although occasionally the procedure will require some touch-ups because it is so complex. Most patients will need to rest for a short period of time after surgery before they can be released, just to make sure there are no serious complications. However, it is rare that you would have to stay overnight after this surgery.
I’ve had a nose job before and was unhappy with it. Can this be fixed?
In many cases, yes. However, every nose is different, and you will need to have a consultation to determine if this is something that is possible for you. Often you will need to wait several months after your initial rhinoplasty procedure to have another one, as the bones and tissues need to settle and swelling needs to reduce. There also may be some instances where your nose will settle over time and a revision surgery is not necessary. Consult with a rhinoplasty specialist as soon as you decide that you are interested in making further changes. They will be able to best instruct you on how to proceed with this situation.
What kind of anesthetic is used for rhinoplasty?
This procedure can be done using both general and local anesthetic. Most surgeons choose to use general anesthetic, just so that the patient can fully relax during the procedure. However, if they are just making small changes to the nose, local anesthetic with IV sedation is likely going to be sufficient. Patients must be comfortable with anesthesia when undergoing a nose job.
What are the biggest complications when performing rhinoplasty?
One of the most common problems that surgeons encounter when performing rhinoplasty is the thickness of the patient’s nasal skin. If it is too thin, it can actually make the appearance of the nose worse after surgery, because there is not enough of it to cover up the internal changes that are made. In this case, a skin graft may be necessary for the rhinoplasty to be successful. Alternatively, if the skin around the nose is too thick, it may not contract or conform to its new structure, which can result in a somewhat swollen look. There are also some post-surgery risks involved with rhinoplasty, including nosebleeds, numbness, scarring, infection, and more. Your doctor will talk with you after the procedure about how to best prevent any complications.
How long does it take to recover from rhinoplasty?
During the first week is when you will need to take it easy and rest the most. You will experience some swelling and bruising and need to avoid any heavy physical activity. Your doctor may prescribe you some painkillers for this time. During the second week, you will be able to take the bandaging off and the swelling, redness, and brusing will start to subside. You will be completely healed and be able to see your new nose as it will look permanently after about a month.
Will I have any scars from rhinoplasty surgery?
Yes, but the size and visibility of them will depend entirely on what type of surgery you get. With closed rhinoplasty surgery, all incisions are in the nose, so they will not be seen at all from the outside. However, this type of surgery is somewhat limited, as the surgeon cannot make dramatic changes with a closed surgery. In an open surgery, the surgeon is able to make incisions from the outside and can make much more drastic changes to the nose. There will be a scar on the outside of the nose, but once you have fully healed from the surgery, it will fade dramatically and you should not be able to see it.
What is the ideal age for rhinoplasty?
There is no one ideal age for rhinoplasty – you should get the surgery when you believe it would make the biggest difference in your life. However, there are some limitations on the age when you can get rhinoplasty. Generally, your nose needs to be fully developed before you can have rhinoplasty. This means you need to be over the age of 15 or 16 in most cases, although some people develop slower or fast. Rhinoplasty procedures can also get more difficult as you age, because the skin is no longer as malleable and it would take much longer for the nose to set. Early adulthood is usually when you can get the best results out of rhinoplasty.
Will I need to take time off work for rhinoplasty?
Yes, but not very much. Most people only need to take about a week off before the pain subsides. For those who are uncomfortable about going out in public with huge amounts of bruising or swelling, you may need to take two weeks off of work. If your work involves heavy lifting or physical activity, you should take it easy for a month or more, just to be sure you don’t incur any damage to your new nose.