Rhinoplasty: Pros & Cons - Risks - Benefits - Complications - Expectations
The following is general information on nose reshaping surgery.
It is not medical advice nor was it authored by a medical professional.
Please visit a rhinoplasty specialist's website for further information.
What is rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty, or nose reshaping surgery (the word rhino is derived from the Latin - throught the ancient Greek- word for nose), is performed to improve the appearance or function of the nose. Cosmetic nose reshaping is performed frequently to reduce the size of the nose, but there are instances where a patient is undergoing nose surgery to make a very small nose larger. Cosmetic nose surgery may also be performed to correct a hump or bump, to straighten a crooked nose, to improve the angle of the nose in relation to the upper lip or to alter the tip of the nose. It can be performed for other imperfections, as well.
Rhinoplasty may be performed to improve the function of the nose. For instance, nose surgery may be performed to improve breathing problems. This type of rhinoplasty is frequently performed by an ear, nose and throat specialist (otolaryngologist). Reconstructive nose surgery may also be performed to rebuild a nose after an accident, injury or after skin cancer surgery.
What can I expect during and after rhinoplasty?
The surgeon most often makes incisions inside of the nose to avoid scarring. Cartilage and bone may be removed or rearranged, depending on the desired results. In some cases, when the desired result is to rebuild or enlarge the nose, tissue from another part of the body (or, in some instances, synthetic filler) may be added to the natural nose structure. After the structural work has been done, the skin will be once again arranged over the structure of the nose. To support the nose while it heals, packing may be placed inside the nose and/or splints outside the nose.
Anesthesia & Hospitalization
Rhinoplasty may be done using either local or general anesthesia. Sometimes a one-night hospital or clinic stay may be required after this type of surgery.
Some patients are eligible to have the surgery done on an outpatient basis.
After Care & Recovery
Generally, surgical packing will be removed from inside the nose within the first 48 hours after surgery. The supportive exterior splint and bandaging will remain on the nose for about seven days. The amount of time, of course, varies from patient to patient.
The eyes and nose area will be tender, bruised and swollen for several days following nose surgery. It is important to carefully follow the surgeon's instructions regarding after care and recovery.
It may be several weeks before a surgical patient can return to normal activities.
Rhinoplasty patients must get the "all clear" before resuming an active lifestyle.
Possible Complications & Problems
All surgery, including rhinoplasty, carries risks. These risks can run the gamut from a reaction to anesthesia, infection, abnormal and / or excessive bleeding. The sense of smell may be altered. In rare instances a heart attack or stroke could occur. It is very important that all patients undergoing rhinoplasty take their role as a patient very seriously and consider the possible complications.
The expectations of a patient regarding the appearance of their post-recovery nose my not be what was desired. It is important to remember that, while most swelling is gone in a few days to a week, some may remain for up to a year or longer. Scar tissue can cause problems, as well.
Remember, just because a surgical procedure such as a "nose job" is commonly performed, often joked about, and only requires on outpatient basis does NOT mean it is not major surgery.
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