Monthly Archives: February 2012

The Rhinoplasty Recovery

Rhinoplasty, or the nose job, is a surgery that includes a two-stage recovery process. As only a small portion of the face is affected the procedure, mobility is not reduced much past the first few days following the procedure, but there are lingering side effects to the recovery that can take as much as a year to fully heal.

The Rhinoplasty Procedure

On the day of the surgery, the doctor will use a general anesthesia. Incisions will be made inside the nose when possible and the surgery will take place through the nostrils where possible as well. Bones may be broken or chiseled down and cartilage may be clipped to reshape the nose in the desired fashion. Once the newly shaped nose is covered again with skin and the sutures are in place, the surgeon will use packing materials like gauze to fill the nasal cavities in order to hold the newly reshaped nose in place. The surgery is then complete and the patient returns home to start the recovery.

The First Days of Rhinoplasty Recovery

Once the patient is home, he or she will have a hard time being mobile thanks to the lingering effects of the anesthesia and the discomfort from the procedure. Patients sometimes report being in greater discomfort from the packing materials in the nose rather than the surgery itself. Bleeding is expected in these first days and swelling and bruising is normal as well. Prescribed medication and pain reducers will help to keep discomfort manageable. The packing and sutures are removed in the first week following the procedure and the surgeon will put a brace on the nose to help maintain the new shape.

The Long-Term Rhinoplasty Recovery

The discomfort will disappear after the first two weeks leaving only bruising and swelling behind as the nose continues to heal and adapt to its new shape. While eighty percent of the swelling will be gone within the first six weeks of the procedure, some swelling can persist for up to a year following the surgery. Bruising fades more quickly, but in the rhinoplasty cases where the nose was broken, bruising around the eyes can persist for weeks, although make up helps to make these bruises disappear.

Is Rhinoplasty Right for Me?

Rhinoplasty is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures, and many patients dwell on the shape or size of their nose in relation to the rest of their face. The nose job can have dramatic results for patients, but often, patients must first determine if they are candidates for the procedure. Naturally, this is a conversation that the patient must have with the surgeon as well as reflect on individually.

The Rationale behind Rhinoplasty

A primary consideration for patients is the reasoning behind the rhinoplasty procedure. If the patient is hoping that changing her face will change other aspects of her life, she is not in the proper mindset for the procedure. If he or she is considering rhinoplasty to correct an area of her face that has bothered her for years, she is a much more desirable candidate and will likely be more satisfied with the results of the procedure.

The Patient’s Health

Of course, the patient’s health is a concern for the rhinoplasty procedure as well. Rhinoplasty requires full sedation through anesthesia as well as a considerable recovery period. Rhinoplasty is a major surgical procedure with numerous health risks and possible side effects. Patients with long-term health concerns may be discouraged from the surgery and even those who smoke may be told to hold off on the procedure until he or she is smoke free as smokers face unique risks in terms of blood clotting and excessive bleeding.

The Cost of Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty is a major cosmetic surgery that requires a full payment by the patient. Insurance does not cover the procedure outside of medical concerns like a deviated septum. The patient must be able to pay for the procedure upfront or arrange a loan for the surgery. The cost of the surgery may be prohibitive for some patients although traveling to different areas may offer reduced costs for some procedures.

Important Reminders about Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty is the sort of surgery that changes lives quite dramatically. The nose is one of the most dramatic features of the face and a nose that doesn’t flatter the face can cause the balance of beauty to shift or be hard to detect. This makes rhinoplasty surgery particularly desirable, but even as men and women seek the procedure, they must be sure to face the procedure realistically.

Rhinoplasty Changes Only Your Nose

Rhinoplasty makes changes to your nose. It does not change the shape of your cheekbones or your eyes. It doesn’t make your face thinner or your lips fuller. While changing such an important aspect of the face can make everything else look more dramatic and beautiful, it’s important to remember that you are asking for changes to one area of your face – not the whole thing – and to base your expectations on that.

Rhinoplasty Makes Small Changes

Your nose is not a very big element to your body, even if it feels that way from time to time. The nose has only a relatively small amount of bone and cartilage available for the surgeon to work with and there are serious consequences if the surgeon removes too much in a single setting. Instead, the surgeon will work in small increments to change the shape of your nose without dramatically changing the overall size of your nose.

Revision Rhinoplasty is Relatively Common

Even if you love your new nose, you may decide to refine your look even further down the road. As many as fifteen out of one hundred patients choose to pursue additional rhinoplasty down the road. The surgeon performing the procedure is much like an artist working blindly with bone and tissue. The results are as much a product of his artistry as his medical skills.

Deviated Septum FAQ

While you’ve likely head the term ‘deviated septum’, you may have many questions about the medical condition and to go about resolving it. Many of the most common questions and concerns are addressed here.

Q: What is a deviated septum?

A: While it sounds terrifying, the answer is much simpler. A septum is the thin membrane of bone and cartilage that separates your nasal cavities. When this membrane is bent out of shape, it’s called a deviated septum. Often a deviated septum can lead to breathing difficulties or sinus issues including frequent sinus infections.

Q: Is surgery required to fix a deviated septum?

A: There are several classes of a deviated septum. Some individuals with a Class One deviation require no surgery as they have no symptoms that stem from a minor condition. The septum may be off center, but it’s not causing a problem for the patient so no treatment is necessary. The deviations that are more severe cause problems like congestion, nose bleeds, breathing troubles and sinus infections and surgery is the only long-term solution. Surgical intervention is considered a permanent fix.

Q: Does rhinoplasty fix a deviated septum?

A: The short answer here is: it can. Rhinoplasty is a term for many different nose procedures, and one of those does include the more specific septoplasty where a surgeon works inside the nose to remove any excess bone or cartilage necessary to open up the nasal cavities. When the two are combined, the correct term is septorhinoplasty.

Q: Can you see a deviated septum?

A: The deviated septum is inside the nasal cavities, so it’s not visible on the outside of the face. In severe cases a doctor may be able to see a blockage through a nasal cavity and asymmetry may be visible in the shape of the nose as well.


Preparing for Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty is a major surgical procedure and patients considering the procedure should prepare accordingly. When considering rhinoplasty, patients will meet with a surgeon at least once before the actual date of the surgery for a consultation and health assessment. During this consultation, the surgeon will gather information about the patient’s general health and his or her family history of health concerns as well.

The Consultation

During the consultation, the surgeon will assess the patient’s emotional health as well. Rhinoplasty should not be undertaken by those who are not emotionally sound as they prepare for the surgery. Additionally, the surgeon will outline the procedure for the patient while explaining the likely outcome. Through a frank discussion with the surgeon, the patient should leave the initial consultation with realistic expectations for the procedure as well as guidelines to prepare physically for the surgery.

Chief among these guidelines will be a request or requirement by the surgeon for the patient to stop smoking. Patients who smoke are more likely to experience complications from the surgery including excessive bleeding and unusually slow healing times. Patients will be advised to stop taking any medications or supplements that inhibit the blood’s natural abilities to clot or coagulate. The surgeon may even restrict substances like red wine or aspirin that may make the blood thinner which can lead to excessive bleeding.

Preparations for Rhinoplasty

On the day of the surgery, the patient should arrive for the appointment with a friend or family member. The patient will be unable to drive him or herself home following the procedure due to the use of general anesthesia. The family member will help drive the patient home and assist with the first twenty-four hours of care. The patient should wear a shirt that buttons down the front or back as well to the procedure. This will make it far easier to dress and remove the shirt without disturbing the packing and bandages of the face.

Rhinoplasty and Teenagers

Unlike many forms of cosmetic surgery, rhinoplasty is considered appropriate for many teens. That being said, rhinoplasty is not an ideal surgery for teenagers who are disappointed in their looks or who have ongoing issues with body and beauty images. The teen years are a challenging time as the body and face are still developing, but while some areas of the body continue to grow and change, the nose is fully developed by age fifteen in girls and sixteen or seventeen in boys.

Rhinoplasty for Teens

38,136 teenagers choose to have a rhinoplasty procedure done in 2008, and the number is likely higher as the years go by. Rhinoplasty has become an accepted practice for those in their late teens who feel the nose is not adequately shaped for the face or who feel their nose is unattractive. Often, rhinoplasty is selected in conjunction with a more medically necessary procedure.

Teen athletes who injure their noses may opt to use the opportunity to realign the tip of the nose. As many suffer, as adults do, from a deviated septum, rhinoplasty may be elected in order to open the breathing passages of the nose. Decreasing the size, changing the shape of the nose or removing humps, bumps or elongated tips for aesthetic reasons are all common reasons for rhinoplasty as well.

Rhinoplasty and Concerns

As the nose in teenage girls has stopped growing by fifteen or sixteen, it is safe for these patients to undergo rhinoplasty with a parent’s approval. The same is true for teenage boys closer in age to sixteen or seventeen. There are some concerns that are specific to teens who elect the rhinoplasty procedure. The first is that general anesthesia is required for the surgery, which may put teens at risk for serious complications.

Teenagers looking for answers to social or emotional concerns through rhinoplasty are often disappointed since a nose job does not transform an individual – it simply changes the overall balance of the face.



Understanding Revision Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty is one part surgery and one part art. When a surgeon works on a patient’s nose, there are any number of procedures he can try to straighten the nose, to make it wider or more narrow. The surgeon can scrape off bone or break it and completely reshape the nose as necessary. This means that the typical patient isn’t always able to decide exactly what she wants her nose to look like prior to the surgery.


The first procedure for rhinoplasty is a bit of gamble for most patients. Even the most skilled doctor can’t create a nose that appears to have come from a mold. There is a chance that the rhinoplasty created may not appear exactly the way the patient anticipated. Surgeons are often hesitant to make changes that are too dramatic – preferring instead to make smaller changes to play down elements that are less attractive. Working small gives surgeons greater control of the surgery, but it can lead to some surprise for patients who were hoping for a result that was decidedly more dramatic.

Revision Rhinoplasty

For patients who are unsatisfied with the effect of the surgery, many surgeons offer a follow-up surgery where additional changes can be performed as a means of fine-tuning the results. Patients are discouraged from having many surgeries on the nose as this is a small area, but as many as fifteen percent of patients who have sought a nose job have gone on to have a revision rhinoplasty to further develop the look they seek.

Patients who go into rhinoplasty with a realistic expectation for results are far more likely to have a satisfactory outcome than those who are anticipating an entirely new face or a hugely dramatic change. However that bit of mystery and gamble that comes with a rhinoplasty can often inspire patients who were open minded going into the surgery to improve their looks even more.

Candidates for Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty is a popular procedure, but it is not a cosmetic surgery that is appropriate for all individuals. The ideal candidate for rhinoplasty is a man or woman at least sixteen years of age who is in generally good health. The right candidate must also be of sound mind as well as sound body.

Rhinoplasty Candidates and Health

The patient’s health is a primary concern for the rhinoplasty procedure. Ideally patients are healthy, near a healthy weight and are under the care of a primary physician. The rhinoplasty procedure requires anesthesia, and patients are usually fully sedated under general anesthesia during the procedure. There are risks associated with this and the surgery itself that are best managed by healthy individuals.

Patients seeking rhinoplasty should also be non-smokers. Smoking, as well as taking certain medications and supplements that can interfere with the body’s natural circulation, are problematic for rhinoplasty patients. Smokers have a greater likelihood of excessive bleeding during the procedure as well as an additional risk of bleeding following the procedure and a slower recovery time. Patients will be asked to stop smoking for up to two weeks prior to the surgery and to refrain from smoking throughout the recovery period as well.

Rhinoplasty and Mental Health

In addition to physical health, surgeons offering rhinoplasty will assess the mental health of patients as well. Candidates for rhinoplasty should be reasonable in their expectations for the surgery and be honest about the desire for the surgery as well as the possible outcomes.

There are risks and side effects possible from the rhinoplasty procedure and as many as fifteen percent of rhinoplasty patients pursue a revision surgery if they dislike the results from the first procedure. Candidates for rhinoplasty must understand that rhinoplasty can be a life-changing surgery, but it is a combined art and science and the patient should be open to the possibilities of what the surgery will create.

The Rhinoplasty Procedure

Patients seeking rhinoplasty are generally more fixated on the anticipated results than the procedure necessary to create those results. Rhinoplasty is a full cosmetic surgery procedure and patients must be prepared for the surgery as well as the lengthy recovery period that follows the procedure.

Initial Consultations

Prior to any actual surgery, the patient will visit the surgeon about health matters and expectations for the procedure. The doctor will outline the anticipated results and help the patient establish realistic expectations for the outcome of the procedure as well. The surgeon will also ask the patient to stop smoking if applicable and to refrain from taking any medications or supplements that may interfere in the safety of the procedure.

The Rhinoplasty Procedure

On the day of the surgery, the anesthesiologist will use general anesthesia to sedate the patient. In some cases a local anesthesia is used, but this leaves the patient awake – if unfeeling – to hear the noses and feel sensations from the surgery and is not common. The surgeon will then create small incisions inside the nasal cavities or in the natural creases of the nose. This will allow any scars to be naturally hidden.

The doctor will do as much of the procedure through the nasal opening as possible. He may remove cartilage along the edges or at the tip of the nose. He may shave down bone and cartilage to refine the bridge of the nose as well as the nasal tip. He may actually break the bones of the nose in order to reset the bones in a more pleasing way.

The surgeon will work carefully as it will be difficult to see the final product of his work for some weeks following the surgery. Once the changes have been made to the bones and cartilage, the surgeon will pack the nostrils with rolled gauze to preserve the new nasal shape and the surgery will be complete.

What Is a Deviated Septum?

A deviated septum is often corrected at the time of a rhinoplasty procedure. The septum is the thin wall between the two nostrils, inside the nose. In essence it’s a wall of cartilage and bone that divides the nose in half. Ideally, the septum should be straight inside the nose allowing the patient to breathe normally through both nostrils evenly. In many cases, however, the septum become slanted or crooked inside the nose making normal breathing a problem and possible blocking one or both nostrils and leading to breathing problems.

Causes of a Deviated Septum

There are many ways a nose can become slightly off center. In some cases, the nose grows quickly during puberty or an adolescent growth spurt and winds off slightly off center. In this case, the septum might just bend to one side or the other as the growth pushes it this way and that.

The deviated septum can also be caused by an accident or sporting injury to the nose or face. In some cases, a deviated septum can be caused at birth as a congenital condition. In fact, very few people actually have a straight septum. While many individuals live with the deviated septum for a lifetime without major concerns, other seek out medical treatment to correct the problem.

Correcting a Deviated Septum

The solution to a deviated septum is to surgically straighten the bones or cartilage so that it is realigned between the two nostrils. This may require clipping of the cartilage or even the breaking and removal of some bone. The surgery to correct a deviated septum, septoplasty, is used to correct conditions that stem from the deviated septum like chronic sinusitis, inflammation or frequent nose bleeds as well as breathing problems. Correcting a deviated septum can correct snoring issues as well.