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Rhinoplasty: What is it and How is This Surgery Done?

Rhinoplasty: What is it and How is This Surgery Done?

Rhinoplasty, commonly known as ‘nose job’, is surgery of the nose primarily done to modify its shape or to improve its function of breathing. It is one of the most common types of plastic surgery. The surgery is done for medical as well as cosmetic purposes.

For the procedure, your doctor will take into consideration your facial features, your skin type, and other important factors.

What is Rhinoplasty for?

Medical purposes include a change in the structure of the nose, or correction of disfigurement caused because of trauma or birth defects, or to improve breathing techniques. For cosmetic purposes, the surgery is done to change the shape and appearance of the nose.

Rhinoplasty can make the below-mentioned changes to your nose:

  • Size
  • Shape
  • Alignment
  • Make the nostrils narrow

If you are doing rhinoplasty for a medical purpose, it can be done at a young age. However, if you are planning for the surgery for cosmetic purposes, it is advised to be performed only after your nasal bone is completely grown. Females above 15 years of age can perform the surgery. For boys, it takes a little longer for the nasal bone to fully grow.

What are the Risks of Rhinoplasty?

Before performing the surgery, your surgeon will inform you about the possible complications involved in the surgery. You may also be asked to sign a consent form that indicates you are completely aware of the possible risks and complications of rhinoplasty.

Risks of rhinoplasty include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Scars
  • Numbness
  • Asymmetrical nose

If you are not happy with the result of rhinoplasty, your doctor may ask you to wait for at least a year so that your nose is completely healed.

How to Prepare for Rhinoplasty?

Doctor’s assessment. Consult your doctor about all the benefits and possible complications of rhinoplasty. Your doctor will examine your medical history.

Inform your doctor about your ongoing medications, medical treatments, or allergies. Never forget to inform your doctor if you have any bleeding disorder. If you plan to perform the surgery for a cosmetic purpose, discuss with your doctor your expectations.

Physical exam. The doctor will perform a physical test, along with blood and a few lab tests. The doctor will closely examine your nose and skin to determine if the desired changes are possible. In addition, there will also be a photography session of your nose, where your doctor will take pictures of your nose from various angles for assessment.

Your doctor may ask you to avoid the consumption of certain medications for at least two weeks before the nose job. The list of medications includes those that reduce the pace of the blood-clotting process.

Avoid smoking cigarettes. The nicotine present in the cigarettes narrows your blood vessels that subsequently reduces the supply of oxygen and blood to heal the tissues post-surgery.


What Happens During Rhinoplasty?

On the day of rhinoplasty, your doctor will do a physical examination of your nose. You will be given anesthesia to numb your face. In addition, there are several medications that will be injected into your body via an IV line that will make you unconscious.

Once you are unconscious, your doctor will make the required cuts and separate your skin from your bone. If additional cartilage is required, your doctor may remove cartilage from your ear or nose and use it. The doctor might also opt for a bone graft.

The surgery will take around two hours to complete. In complex cases, it might take a longer time.

What is the Recovery Period of Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty might result in mild to moderate discomfort. The pain or discomfort can be controlled with the help of medications. The healing procedure can be from a few months to a year. The surgery is relatively safe but the area around the surgery might remain numb for a few months.

Post-Surgical Care for Rhinoplasty

After rhinoplasty, you will be kept under observation for a few hours. If your nose job involved complicated procedures, you might be asked to stay in the hospital for a few days.

Post the surgery you will have few stitches. If the stitches are absorbable, they will dissolve on their own. If the stitches are not absorbable, you will need to visit the hospital to get the stitches removed.

The anesthesia given during the surgery might cause memory lapses or make you feel dizzy for a while. Ask your friends or loved ones to stay with you or drive you home.

Your doctor will place a drip pad below your nose so that it absorbs blood and mucus. You will have to change the drip pad.

You need to wear splints for 2 weeks to protect the nasal bones and cartilage. The splint can make it a little uncomfortable for you to resume your work or travel. You will also have bruising under the eyes and nose.

Avoid doing strenuous activity for at least a few weeks after the surgery. Your doctor may ask you to avoid doing the following activities:

  • Running
  • Jogging
  • Swimming
  • Laughing
  • Chewing for a longer time
  • Wearing heavy glasses that rests on your nose for a longer period
  • Excessive brushing your teeth

You may also experience swelling near your nose and around your eyes for a few months. Take the help of a cold compress to reduce the swelling and pain.

It is important to complete the dosage of medicines prescribed by the doctor. Do not stop the medicines or change the dosage without informing your doctor.

You may need to have a routine follow-up until complete recovery.

Learn more about Surgeries here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Written by Nikita Bhalla Updated Apr 03, 2021
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel