Whether rhinoplasty is something that you're thinking about in the immediate future or is still something on your "someday" list, you probably have a lot of questions about it. You might want to know how the surgery will affect your looks and your life, both before and after. Getting the answers to any questions you have before the surgery is a must.
What Will the Surgery Do?
What rhinoplasty will do really depends on your goals and what you and Dr. Clevens decide is best. While some people have the surgery for cosmetic reasons only, it's also possible for a surgeon to perform a functional rhinoplasty, which can improve the way your nose works. If you have trouble breathing through the nose, for example, the procedure can help correct that issue. In some cases, a rhinoplasty can be combined with a septoplasty, or a surgery that corrects a crooked septum. On its own, a septoplasty won't change the way your nose looks.
Along with improving the way your nose looks and functions, rhinoplasty can boost your self-esteem and confidence. If you are happy with the way your procedure turns out, studies show you will feel better about yourself overall.
What Happens During the Procedure?
Just as what to expect during the surgery depends on what you hope to get from it, what happens during the surgery depends on what you want done and on your surgeon's preference. Typically, a rhinoplasty can be either closed or open. During a closed surgery, no external incisions are made. Instead, the surgeon works within the nostrils and nasal structures, and any incisions are on the inside of the nose. There are some advantages to a closed procedure, mainly that there is no visible incision, but closed rhinoplasty is less predictable than open rhinoplasty technique.
The other method is an open rhinoplasty. During this type of surgery, Dr. Clevens makes an incision across the columella, the piece of cartilage that separates the nostrils. Dr. Clevens is then able to lift the top of the nose up, so that the internal area is exposed and clearly visible. Open rhinoplasty is often the preferred method because it is more reliable and often gives better results than closed rhinoplasty.
A surgeon may give either local anesthesia, twilight anesthesia, or general anesthesia when performing rhinoplasty. The complexity of the procedure and your personal preference will determine which option is best for you. If you are given local anesthesia, you might also be sedated. You won't be fully unconscious, but you will be out of it enough not to know what's going on. People who are given general anesthesia are completely out during the surgery and won't feel or remember a thing.
Will I Have to Do Anything to Get Ready?
How you prepare for rhinoplasty depends on your lifestyle, health, and what type of anesthesia you'll be receiving. Your surgeon will advise you to avoid a number of different medications and supplements starting about two weeks before your surgery. A number of common medications, such as aspirin, and common supplements, such as vitamin E, are best avoided in the weeks before surgery, as they can increase your risk for bleeding or for other complications. During your consultation, let the doctor know about any medicines you take, no matter how infrequently you take them.
You might have to give up some habits before your rhinoplasty. For example, surgeons usually tell people to quit smoking two weeks before surgery. Your surgeon might also recommend avoiding any alcohol a few days or a week before the procedure. If you are having general anesthesia, you'll need to avoid eating or drinking a certain number of hours before the surgery.
Will Recovery Take a Long Time?
Before you decide on rhinoplasty, you probably want to know how much it will interfere with your regular life. While it can take up to a few months or even as a long as a year before you see the final results, the initial recovery period is usually about a week. Depending on what your surgeon recommends, you can be back at work in as little as a week. You will have to postpone a few other activities until about a month afterwards, though. For example, you'll want to put off working out or any other strenuous activity for at least a month.
Double board certified Facial Plastic Surgeon Ross A. Clevens, MD, FACS understands that you have plenty of questions about rhinoplasty. He's available to address your questions and concerns about the procedure. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Clevens today, call our office.