What Exactly is a Rhinoplasty Procedure? Here's What to Expect

What Exactly is a Rhinoplasty Procedure? How It Works, Recovery and More

rhinoplasty procedure
Are you thinking of getting rhinoplasty?

Whether there is a medical reason, or you don’t like the look of your nose, rhinoplasty is a way to change this. But if you’re new to this, you might not know what is actually involved.

Don’t worry! Read on for our guide to the rhinoplasty procedure to find out everything you need to know.

What is Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is a type of surgery that changes the shape of your nose.

The surgery changes your nose by modifying the cartilage and bone. It’s a very common plastic surgery procedure. There are over 200,000 rhinoplasty surgeries done yearly.

Reasons for Rhinoplasty

Some people get rhinoplasty after a traumatic nose injury. Or they might have a breathing problem that needs fixing. For others, it could be they don’t like the shape of their nose.

A few other reasons include fixing:

  • Dorsal hump: A bump on the nose bridge
  • Asymmetry: Where the nose twists or deviates
  • Nasal width: The nose is too narrow or too wide
  • Drooping tip: There is a less than 90 degree angle from upper lip and lower nose
  • Prominent tip: Tip is bulbous, fatty or disproportionate

Using rhinoplasty, surgeons can make changes to the size and angle of the nose. They can also straighten it out, or reshape the tip and even narrow the nostrils.

If this is for purely cosmetic reasons, then it’s you should wait until your bones have stopped growing. For females, this is usually over 15 years of age. For males it’s a little later as their bone might still be growing for a little longer.

Deciding on Rhinoplasty

If you’re on the fence about getting it done, meet with your surgeon to discuss it. Let them know what your goals are for the surgery, and tell them what bothers you about your nose.

It’s important they know how you want to change it. So, you need to know what you want to change too.

You might be wondering what it will change. Or will it change my side profile? The answer is it it’ll change as much of your nose as you and your surgeon want/deem safe. So, you should expect quite a radical change at the end of the process.

Surgery on your nose can bring out the rest of your features, and enhance your natural unique beauty. Your surgeon will identify your unique features. Then they’ll tell you how surgery will enhance them.

Once they’ve inspected your nose and other features, they can tell you if your goal is realistic. They also consider your health and will tell you the risks, recovery time and costs involved. They should also tell you how they will go about reshaping your nose.

The Rhinoplasty Procedure

The rhinoplasty procedure will be at an outpatients facility, doctor’s office or hospital. Your doctor will use general or local anaesthesia depending on how large the job is.

For small procedures, they may only use local and numb your face. For this, the medication they give you will make you feel foggy, but you’ll be awake still.

For general anaesthesia you’ll either inhale the drug or it’ll pass through an IV drip. This will render you unconscious or “asleep”. For children needing this for medical reasons, they’re usually always given general anaesthesia.

The surgeon will then cut between or inside your nostrils. They’ll detach the skin from your bone or cartilage and start reshaping.

If they need some extra cartilage, they usually take this from deep in your nose or your ear. If they need a lot more, you might get an implant.

Though it sounds complex, the rhinoplasty procedure should only take between 1-2 hours. For cases that are trickier or more complicated, it could take longer.

Rhinoplasty Recovery

When you’re coming around from the medication you can feel groggy and “out of it”. Slow reactions, memory lapses and impaired judgement are common. This should only be a short term issues thought. But, where possible, have someone stay with you for the first night.

For the first few days, you may get bleeding and drainage. Placing a drip pad (a gauze pad placed under your nose) will absorb any mucus and blood. Follow your doctor’s instructions on how often to change the pad.

It’s possible to get headaches, and feel puffy and inflamed in your face. Your doctor may prescribe pain medication to help manage any discomfort. You will also have to wear a nasal splint for the first week (or longer depending on your check up).

There will also be some bruising and swelling around and under your eyes. This should begin to settle and reduce after day 3 of recovery, but it can last up to 2 weeks.

Your nose will be swollen too, but this is something your doctor likely will only notice. It shouldn’t effect your breathing or nasal function. It can take up to 6 months to go away, and once it’s healed that will show the final nose shape.

When recovering, don’t do any strenuous activities for 3-6 weeks or advised by your doctor. Within 2-3 weeks, most people go back to their social activities without any signs of the surgery.

Risks of Rhinoplasty

As with any surgery, there can be risks involved. With rhinoplasty there is a risk of bleeding, infection, or a bad reaction to the anaesthesia. There is also an increased risk of:

  • Nosebleeds
  • Numbness of the nose
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Asymmetry
  • Scarring

There are instances where patients won’t be happy with the end results of the surgery. If this is the case, before you can do a second surgery your nose must heal completely. This can take as long as a year.

The Rhinoplasty Procedure Broken Down

So there you have it! Now you know what’s entailed with the rhinoplasty procedure.

Before deciding, it’s important to know what you want to change and what your goals are. Talk to your doctor and discuss what they think is possible, and what to expect from the end results. Understand the risks, and let your doctor guide you for the best results.

If you found this article useful, check out our other health protecting articles in our health section – here.

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