One of the most common plastic surgery procedures is a rhinoplasty, also known as a nose job. This procedure can be helpful for someone who suffers from a deviated septum, which can make breathing through the nose difficult. It is also done when a person is not happy with the appearance of their nose, and would like to make a change. It is also used to repair or reconstruct the nose after an accident.
During the rhinoplasty procedure, the bones and the cartilage in the nose are modified. If some cases, tissue is added. This will improve the improve the appearance of the nose, as well as the patient’s ability to breathe. If the rhinoplasty is being done to repair a nasal fracture, the goal is to fix the nose that it resembles the nose’s original appearance as much as possible.
What is the First Step of the Rhinoplasty Procedure?
Before a patient would be able to get a rhinoplasty, they would need to have a consultation with the surgeon. During this consultation, the patient would explain to the surgeon what they expect from the procedure. If the surgeon believes that the patient has unrealistic expectations regarding the surgery, the surgeon would either explain what is possible, or they will decide against performing the surgery. If everything goes fine during the consultation, the surgery will be booked.
Before The Procedure
A few days before the procedure, the patient would need to go in for preoperative labs. This often includes blood work and a urine test, to make sure that the patient is healthy enough to have the procedure. The patient would also be required to have transportation set up to and from the appointment at this time. During this visit, patients will be given instructions regarding what they should and should not do before the procedure. Some of these instructions include:
- Aspirin should not be taken in the 10 days before the procedure. Products such as Advil, Motrin, or Naprosyn should not be taken a week prior to the surgery.
- Food and drink should not be consumed within 6 hours before the procedure. This includes water, gum, and candy.
- Smokers should try to quit smoking before the procedure. If they can’t, they should try to cut down the amount of cigarettes that they smoke. Also, they should not smoke 12 hours before the procedure.
- If the patient develops any type of illness before the procedure, it should be reported to the surgeon immediately. Illness before the procedure can result in complications.
- The surgeon will usually give the patient a prescription for pain medication. The prescription should be filled before the surgery so that the patient has it right away.
The Day of the Procedure
Most rhinoplasty procedures are performed in a hospital or surgical clinic on an outpatient basis. The patient should make sure that they are on time for their appointment, and that they bring any paperwork given to them to be filled out. The patient should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes on the day of the procedure. Shirts that need to be pulled over the head should not be worn. Any jewelry and valuables should be left at home. The patient should avoid wearing any makeup or facial creams.
Upon arrival, the patient will be given an IV, with a medication to relax them. When the patient gets into the operating room, the anesthesiologist will put them to sleep, and then monitor them during the procedure.
After the Procedure
When the procedure is complete, the patient would be moved to the recovery room, where they would be monitored by a nurse. When they have recovered from the anesthesia, they would be given an antibiotic to prevent infection, and their transportation home would be arranged. The patient will have a nasal splint or cast on their nose, which would need to stay on.
When the patient goes home, they would need to keep their head elevated above the heart to minimize the swelling. The patient should have someone there to take care of them for the first few days. They should avoid doing anything strenuous.
What to Expect After the Procedure
Following the procedure, the patient should expect some bruising and swelling on the nose, the upper lip, cheeks, and around the eyes. This should last for several days. Over 7 to 10 days, these problems should start to go away. The patient should apply ice to the bridge of the nose if they can tolerate it. It will help with the swelling. Many patients find that frozen vegetables in their package work best. Over time, as the swelling of the nose goes down, the splint will begin to loosen. It should not be taken off unless it falls off. If the splint gets wet, it could also fall off. If it does, it will not affect the results of the procedure.
For the first 24 hours after the surgery, the nose may bleed. The patient should change the dressing on the nose every hour until the bleeding stops. It is important that the patient consumes the antibiotics prescribed. The doctor will also set up a follow-up appointment, which should not be missed.
Rhinoplasty is a safe procedure to repair or change the appearance of the nose. As long as the patient follows their surgeon’s instructions, the procedure should be successful.