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Rhinoplasty or nose job can improve your facial appearance

Every year, over half a million people seek consultation with facial plastic surgeons to reshape their noses. Some are unhappy with the noses they were born with; others with the way aging has changed their nose. An injury may have resulted in a nasal deformity. Because the nose is the most defining feature of the face, a slight change can greatly improve one’s appearance.

If you have ever wondered how cosmetic nasal surgery, or rhinoplasty, could improve your looks and self- confidence, you need to know how rhinoplasty is performed and what you can expect. What follows can provide answers to many of the questions you may have.

Successful facial plastic surgery is a result of good rapport between patient and surgeon. Trust, based on realistic expectations and your surgeon’s skill and experience, develops during the consultation prior to aesthetic nasal surgery. Your questions and concerns are best addressed at this time. You are most likely to be pleased with the results of your procedure if you have a realistic idea of what nasal surgery can and cannot do.


Do

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  • know what to expect during the consultation
  • know what the surgeon will be doing to your nose
  • prepare for a short recovery period
  • follow your surgeon’s instructions
  • tell your surgeon if you suffer from breathing difficulties or recurrent sinus infections
Don’t

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  • forget: not all noses are created equal
  • expect a perfect nose—there is really no such thing
  • expect insurance to cover the whole thing

Do

Do know what to expect during the consultation

Your surgeon will evaluate the structure of your nose, both externally and internally, to determine what you can expect from rhinoplasty.

You can anticipate a thorough explanation of the surgeon’s expectations and the risks involved in surgery. Following a joint decision by you and your surgeon to proceed with rhinoplasty, the surgeon will take medical photographs and discuss the available options. Your surgeon will explain how the nasal structures, including bone and cartilage, can be sculpted to reshape the nose and indicate how reshaping the chin, for example, could enhance the desired results and create greater harmony and balance. The physician may use computer images to show the potential outcomes of your cosmetic nasal surgery.

After conducting a thorough medical history, your surgeon will offer information regarding the type of anesthesia, the surgical facility to be used, and the costs associated with the procedure.

Do know what the surgeon will be doing to your nose

Most cosmetic nasal surgeries are performed under conscious sedation or general anesthesia on an outpatient same-day-surgery basis. During the procedure bone, cartilage, and soft tissue are removed or rearranged through a combination of internal and external incisions, all carefully placed to minimize their visibility. Nasal packing is often avoided. An external cast is applied to keep the new framework of your nose stable and protected for one week.

Do prepare for a short recovery period

Bruising and swelling will vary from patient to patient and generally lasts for one week; this is minimized with the use of cool compresses. Discomfort is easily controlled with a mild analgesic. Avoid blowing your nose for seven days after surgery. Microsutures, if placed at the base of your nose, are removed four days after surgery; the cast and internal splints come out two days later.

Most people return to school or work within 7-10 days. Your nasal airflow is markedly improved at this time. At two months you begin to see the new shape of your nose; complete healing can take up to one year.

Do follow your surgeon’s instructions

It is very important that you follow your surgeon’s directions, especially to keep your head elevated following surgery. Some activities will be prohibited in the weeks after the procedure. Sun exposure, exertion, and risk of injury must be avoided. Special arrangements may be made to ensure that eye glasses do not rest directly on the bridge of the nose.

Follow-up care is critical to monitor healing. Anything unusual should be reported to your surgeon immediately. It is essential that you keep your follow-up appointments.

Do tell your surgeon if you suffer from breathing difficulties or recurrent sinus infections

They can often be corrected at the same time that the outside of your nose is re-shaped. Although there are many surgeons qualified to perform cosmetic rhinoplasty, you want to select a surgeon who has had training in otolaryngology / head & neck surgery (ENT), and can perform functional surgery to correct a deviated septum and endoscopic sinus surgery at the same time as the aesthetic portion. One surgeon. One anesthetic. One recovery period.


Don't

Do not forget: not all noses are created equal

Consideration must be given to the variety of conditions and ethnicities in patients who desire aesthetic nasal surgery today. In addition to Caucasians, patients of African descent, Asian, Hispanic / mestizo and Middle Eastern backgrounds are seeking rhinoplasty in increasing numbers. Some may have had surgery before and are unhappy with their results.

A successful outcome relies on the surgeon’s ability to precisely identify anatomic variables and reconcile these anatomic realities with the patient’s expectations for aesthetic improvement while maintaining ethnic identity. Regardless of the patient’s ethnic and cultural backgrounds, the goals remain the same: satisfying the patient’s realistic desires, achieving an aesthetically appealing result, and preserving a natural look.

Do not expect a perfect nose—there is really no such thing

A reasonable and realistic goal is to create a natural-looking nose that balances well with the shape of your face and body size. Improvements may include narrowing and straightening the bridge, eliminating a bump, refining the tip, and correcting the angle between the nose and the upper lip.

Do not expect insurance to cover the whole thing

With proper documentation, insurance typically provides coverage for functional nasal surgery to improve breathing and treat chronic sinus problems if medical treatment has proven ineffective. At times, patients who have sustained a nasal deformity following an injury may receive a benefit to restore the nose to its pre-traumatic condition. Pre-authorization, including medical photographs, should be submitted to the insurance company by the surgeon’s staff to ensure adequate coverage. Cosmetic rhinoplasty is not typically a covered benefit.


Summary

Have clear and reasonable expectations about what cosmetic nasal surgery can or cannot do. Ask your surgeon plenty of questions so you understand the procedure and your post-operative care, which is important for proper healing. Choose a facial plastic surgeon who is also trained to perform functional corrective procedures if your nasal surgery needs extend beyond the cosmetic.

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