Surgery of the nose (rhinoplasty) is an operation frequently performed by plastic surgeons. This surgical procedure can produce changes in the appearance, structure, and function of the nose. Rhinoplasty can reduce or increase the size of the nose, change the shape of the tip, narrow the width of the nostrils, or change the angle between the nose and the upper lip. This operation can help correct birth defects, nasal injuries, and help relieve some breathing problems.
Rhinoplasty is performed for a variety of reasons including disproportionately sized noses or unusually shaped noses, and even for functionality. When the nose is not uniform with the face it creates an unbalanced look but that can be corrected to create a natural proportionate profile.
There is not a universal type of rhinoplasty surgery that will meet the needs of every patient. Rhinoplasty surgery is customized for each patient, depending on his or her needs. Incisions may be made within the nose or concealed in inconspicuous locations of the nose in the open rhinoplasty procedure. In some situations, cartilage grafts, taken from within the nose or from other areas of the body may be recommended in order to help reshape the structure of the nose. Internal nasal surgery to improve nasal breathing can be performed at the time of the rhinoplasty.
The best candidates for this type of surgery are individuals who are looking for improvement, not perfection, in the appearance of their nose. In addition to realistic expectations, good health and psychological stability are important qualities for a patient considering rhinoplasty surgery.
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Rhinoplasty Before and After
You may not have anything to eat or drink after midnight the evening prior to your surgery. It is important that you arrange for a responsible adult to take you to and from the surgery center. For your safety, a responsible adult should also be available to stay with you during your first night at home. If you take blood pressure medications, you may continue to take those meds with a small sip of water the morning of your surgery. Your surgeon will determine what other medications you may continue to take and which ones you will need to discontinue prior to your surgery.
Immediately after the surgery, you will be transferred to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit where you will be monitored closely for approximately 1-2 hours. Pain medications and breathing treatments will be administered as needed. It is normal to feel a little nauseous after waking up from surgery. This is an effect of the anesthesia. Simply inform your nurse and he/she will treat your nausea with medications ordered by your anesthesia provider.
Once you arrive home, you may begin with light soup. If you are not nauseated, you may slowly advance your diet to thicker and heavier foods as you can tolerate. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids and keep yourself warm and well hydrated.
Begin taking your medications on your first day. Your surgeon will typically prescribe an antibiotic, pain medications, and an anti-nausea medication. Take these medications as directed and do your best to not miss a dose.
For the Rhinoplasty procedure, there are a few important things to remember:
1. Do not lay flat. Keep your head elevated as much as possible. This will help with the swelling.
2. Ice Packs: Use a malleable ice pack for your nose. The best type of ice packs are packages of frozen peas or corn that will easily conform to the curves of your face, allowing the ice to cool more surface area than a stiff block of ice. Use the ice packs every hour throughout the day for the next 3-4 days. Each hour the ice should be placed 20 minutes on, followed by 20 minutes off, and repeated.
3. Dressings: You may be sent home with a splint and/or some packing in the nose. Do not remove any of these items. Your surgeon will examine you post-operatively and discuss when these items should be removed. The splints and packing will be removed in the office by the surgeon.