Nose Reshaping: Procedure Overview
Procedure – Nose reshaping, or rhinoplasty, is surgery to correct nasal deformities. You may opt for rhinoplasty (nose job) after an injury, to revise a previous nose job, or if you are unhappy with the natural shape of your nose. The shape of the nose is dependent primarily on the nasal bones and the nasal cartilage, which defines the primary structure. Dr. Brown manipulates the cartilage and/or the bones in the nose during a nose job. For example, he may remove excess cartilage if you have a boxy tip, or he may add cartilage where it is deficient, like in the case of a drooping tip. Dr. Brown will discuss all options and the procedure with you to determine the most effective treatment to meet your goals.
Surgery and incisions – The operation itself takes 2-4 hours depending on how extensive the surgery is. Most surgeries are performed in an outpatient or inpatient operating suite, under twilight or general anesthesia. Other procedures can be performed in the office with local anesthetic. Incisions are placed within normal skin creases in an effort to obtain the maximal cosmetic result. Dr. Brown will discuss all options that are right for you during your consultation.
Before Nose Surgery
Preparing for your surgery – Tell Dr. Brown about any medical problems you have, and any problems you may have had with surgery in the past. You should mention any previous nose surgery or nasal injury you may have had in the past, as well as any difficulty breathing or allergy symptoms. A history of bleeding problems, nausea with surgery and high blood pressure are all important to disclose to your surgeon, because these are risk factors for post-surgical bleeding. You will be told which medications to stop and which to take before surgery. If you smoke, you will be asked to quit for a minimum of 4 weeks prior to surgery as well as 4 weeks after surgery. If you get sick or have any health issues in the days before surgery, please notify the office at once in case we have to postpone your operation.
Can I go home the day of the surgery? – Yes, nose reshaping can be done safely as an outpatient, and most patients will be able to go home the same day. Some patients may prefer to spend a night in the hospital if they have young children at home or live alone and do not have any help at home.
After Nose Surgery
How much swelling or bruising can I expect? – Swelling and bruising are normal signs of the healing process that occurs after any surgery to varying degrees. Bruising and swelling are very common after rhinoplasty, especially if any work is done on the nasal bones. Swelling peaks at about 48 hours, and then slowly decreases. By the end of the first few weeks, a majority of the swelling is gone. Liberal use of ice after surgery can help with swelling and bruising.
What restrictions are there? – You MAY NOT SHOWER after surgery until Dr. Brown removes the outer splint from your nose at your one week post operative visit. In addition patients who have septal work will have an internal splint that will also be removed at your one week post operative visit. You should not take a bath, use a hot-tub, or go swimming until instructed by Dr. Brown. Strenuous activities should be avoided until discussed with Dr. Brown, but usually resume by 4-6 weeks. This is because the cartilage and bones have been manipulated and they will need time to heal.
When can I travel? – You should wait to travel by air or long distances until after your first post-operative visit, which generally happens 5-7 days after surgery. Patients who are at high risk for developing a blood clot should not travel until instructed by Dr. Brown. Short car trips under 60 minutes can be done before the first visit. A good rule of thumb is when you are off the stronger pain medication and can get up without assistance you are ready to go for a short drive. You should not drive the car yourself, until your surgeon gives you clearance.
What if I have a problem? When should I call the office? – We always welcome calls from patients. If you have any concerns at any time, please feel free to contact our office. If it is an emergency, the answering service is available 24 hours a day, including weekends and holidays.