Monthly Archives: June 2012

Rhinoplasty Risks and Smoking

Smoking increases risks in any surgery, but with an elective surgery like rhinoplasty, surgeons take the risks of smoking very seriously indeed. Many, in fact, won’t perform the surgery at all if you choose to smoke in the months ahead of your consultation or procedure. The risks that are commonly associated with smoking – cancer, chief among them – are important still, but they are not the primary reasons surgeons require patients to be absolutely nonsmoking. In this case, the reason is much more immediate.

Smoking and Rhinoplasty Surgery

While the incisions in rhinoplasty are very small and often inside the nose, the incisions must be precise and especially delicate. Smoking increases the chances of excessive bleeding during the surgery itself. If a patient were to start bleeding copiously, a surgeon would be hard pressed to preserve the finesse of his incisions and work while also staunching the blood flow. Patients who smoke can have additional risks associated with anesthesia as well.

Smoking and Rhinoplasty Recovery

While bleeding during surgery is critical, there are other risks associated with smoking that occur only after the surgery is complete. The risk of bleeding is still very real for patients, even after the surgery. Only this time, with the incision closed, there is a chance that the bleeding may seep from the incision, affecting scarring. There may also be bleeding under the skin, or hematomas, that must be handled by the surgeon. Finally, with smoking comes impaired blood flow – even if the patient hasn’t smoked in the immediate time frame. Patients who smoke have a far greater chance of having skin and tissue die following the surgery. Necrosis, or the death of tissue, can occur as a normal side effect, but it is a far more common side effect for patients who choose to smoke.

Teens and Nose Jobs

Nose jobs seem to be increasingly more prevalent with teens than ever, and this is an ongoing source of debate among those who feel teens should not be getting plastic surgery and those who feel that plastic surgery for teens on something as prominent as their nose will give them a boost of self esteem and affect their life in a positive way moving forward.

Teenage Nose Jobs

Most surgeons will not perform rhinoplasty, or a nose job, on patients younger than fifteen. Some prefer to wait even later. This is for several reasons, but primarily because the nose has not yet finished growing for those younger than fifteen or sixteen years of age. Even with the nose grown fully, the teenage patients may not be sound emotionally to undergo such a difficult surgery.

Of course, patients who understand the limitations and recovery that will come with the procedure are able to benefit from the surgery at a very complex time in their life. The teen years are formative, and those who have unattractive features can struggle not just with their peer group, but with the own identify and self-worth. Often making a small change to the appearance of the nose can make a difference in how not only the teen looks, but in how he or she feels and acts.

Balancing Teen Nose Jobs

Ultimately it boils down to the preferences of the teen and the parents arranging the surgery. If the parents, surgeon and the teen are all comfortable with the surgery and the rationale behind it, once the child is of an age when the nose is fully formed, there is no reason to not proceed with the rhinoplasty if it can make a difference in the life of the child, especially in the long term.

Broken Nose and Rhinoplasty

While nobody likes to experience a broken nose, for some it is a stroke of good luck – especially if they were considering a rhinoplasty procedure. For the majority of rhinoplasty procedures, the nose must be broken and then reset to give the nose its new contour. In some cases, a broken nose from a car accident, a sports injury or just an accident at home is a good starting point for discussion rhinoplasty.

Moving Quickly

If you’re considering rhinoplasty after experiencing a broken nose, the doctor will likely encourage you to move quickly. The broken nose will need to be set correctly and any changes made before it has a chance to set properly. If the nose begins to heal before the surgery date, it will have to be broken again. This can complicate a procedure, but in others it may be necessary or even beneficial if the break caused a deviated septum or an unattractive appearance.

The Rhinoplasty Procedure

One the patient arrives for surgery, a general anesthesia is used and the surgery begins. The doctor is able to reset the nose correctly and make small changes to the shape of the bridge or the tip of the nose as necessary to give the patient a more attractive appearance. Then the nose is carefully protected with packing and a split before the patient is released. In a normal hospital, the patient’s nose would simply be set as best it could be, protected and the patient released.

Following a broken nose, the patient’s insurance helps pay the cost of the procedure under regular coverage. While cosmetic surgery is not normally covered on medical insurance, a portion of the cost of the rhinoplasty may be covered thanks to the necessary setting of the bones following the break as well.

The Rhinoplasty Healing Process

Healing from rhinoplasty is easy, but also can be long. The rhinoplasty recovery process starts almost immediately after surgery.

Following Rhinoplasty

For the rhinoplasty procedure, the patient was almost certainly under the effects of general anesthesia. This means that the first hours following surgery will be under observation in the hospital or surgery center. The patient may be shaky or nauseous as the anesthesia works its way out of the body.

The nose may start to throb during this time, and the surgeon will prescribe pain medication to ease the discomfort. Most pain will be acute on the first days following surgery, but easily managed with medication. In the weeks following surgery, the pain will fade quickly as the body heals.

At Home

Once the patient is home from the surgery, he or she will be groggy from the procedure and encouraged to rest. The nose will be filled with packing to help maintain the new shape, but it will be swollen as well from the procedure and this will cause additional discomfort. Patients should sleep in a reclining position to help the body drain away fluids and improve the recovery process.

Over the weeks following surgery, rest is critical to helping patients heal properly. After the first few days, the packing will be removed and a splint put into place to maintain the shape of the nose. That split will be in place for some time after surgery to help protect the nose and encourage healing.

After two weeks, the nose will be on its way to permanent healing. All pain will be gone although bruising and swelling may persist past that time as the body continues to heal itself. Using clever make-up techniques, most patients return to most mild, normal activities after two to three weeks of recovery.