Summary: What should you know about rhinoplasty before you start planning your procedure? For most people, the single biggest and most important piece of information will be simple: rhinoplasty usually means a significant and long recovery period. But that’s not the only thing you should know about rhinoplasty before you get one. Want to find out more? Keep reading!

What Should You Know About Rhinoplasty Before You Start?

Rhinoplasty is consistently one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures year after year. If you want your nose changed, you gravitate towards rhinoplasty (and surgical rhinoplasty at that). But what should you know about rhinoplasty before you start the process? What’s going to help prepare you for the transformation of your nose and the steps it takes to get to that transformation?

Because a rhinoplasty–or, more commonly known as a nose job–isn’t exactly the world’s most comfortable procedure. Or, said another way, rhinoplasty is notorious for a challenging and lengthy recovery period.

Then again, just about every aspect of a rhinoplasty procedure will change depending on a stout mixture of your physiology and your goals. In a very real sense, every single rhinoplasty procedure is unique. So it’s always a good idea to talk to your plastic surgeon about what you should know and what you should do before your rhinoplasty procedure. And this article certainly should not replace any of that advice (or any medical advice, really). Instead, we’re just looking to start a conversation (or get you to start a conversation with your surgeon) about what you should know about rhinoplasty before you start.

How Long Will Rhinoplasty Take?

One of the first things you should know about rhinoplasty before it starts is that the recovery can be a challenge. Even though the incisions are rather minimal, the actual rhinoplasty work your surgeon performs can be significant. The interior workings of your nose can be majorly changed by a nose job.

And so it takes your body a little while to recover from all of those changes. This means that rhinoplasty recovery can be a lengthy process, no matter how small the initial incisions were. Most rhinoplasty recovery periods are marked by:

  • Sensitivity: Your nose has an awful lot of nerve endings, so it’s likely to be quite sensitive. You may feel some discomfort for weeks after your procedure (though, the worst of that discomfort is usually regulated by pain-control medications of one kind or another).
  • Swelling: Low level swelling may persist for months–even up to twelve months–after your rhinoplasty procedure. Now, this low level swelling isn’t likely to be noticed by anyone but you and your surgeon, but it could keep you from seeing your final results until it recedes.

During the initial recovery, you may experience significantly more discomfort, swelling, and bruising. But you’ll be checking in with your surgeon every so often to ensure that things are healing properly, and you’ll be given detailed recovery instructions.

How Much Can My Nose Change?

The next thing you need to know about rhinoplasty is that it’s an exceptionally powerful procedure, capable of producing changes both subtle and bold. There are, in fact, two basic approaches to changing the nose: an open rhinoplasty and a closed rhinoplasty.

During a closed rhinoplasty procedure, a small incision is made just inside the nose. Surgeons will then use this small opening to perform all the changes they can. During an open rhinoplasty, an incision is made across the septum (that piece of tissue between the nostrils) and the skin of the nose is literally pulled back to give surgeons as much access as possible.

Recovery from a closed rhinoplasty tends to go a little more quickly. However, an open rhinoplasty gives surgeons a greater degree of flexibility. In other words, open rhinoplasty procedures can create larger changes and transformations, whereas closed rhinoplasty procedures are usually used to produce more subtle results.

Motivations Vary

And one of the most important things you should know about rhinoplasty before you begin is also one of the most introspective: you should know why you want a nose job in the first place. Some people want to undergo rhinoplasty in order to repair a broken nose. Others want to change the aesthetics of the nose they were born with.

These motivations are personal, of course, but they will definitely matter to you and to how you define success. Having clearly defined goals and motivations can help you articulate your desired final results to your surgeon–and that communication is a vital step in ensuring you end up happy with your rhinoplasty results after that long recovery period.

If you want to know more about nose surgery–or if you want more personalized information about possible benefits and drawbacks–the best place to get your answers is going to be from your plastic surgeon. Usually, that’s handled during a consultation–so don’t be afraid to ask any questions you might have during this meeting between you and your surgeon. What should you know about rhinoplasty before you get surgery? There’s a lot. That’s why asking questions when you’re with your surgeon is always a good idea.


About the Author: Dan Voltz has been writing about cosmetic and plastic surgery for over four years. This article was written in conjunction with the staff at South Shore Plastic Surgery, founded by Dr. Charles Polsen, a board certified plastic surgeon in Clear Lake, TX.

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