Enjoy the journey
Don't worry about the destination.
If you're considering nose surgery, this page will give you a basic understanding of the procedure -- when it can help, how it's performed & what results you can expect. It can't answer all of your questions, since a lot depends on the individual patient & the surgeon. Please ask us about anything you don t understand.
The best candidates for RhinoplastyNose surgery can enhance your appearance & your self-confidence, but it won't necessarily change your looks to match your ideal or cause other people to treat you differently. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations & discuss them with your us.
The best candidates for nose surgery are people who are looking for improvement, not perfection, in the way they look. If you're physically healthy, psychologically stable & realistic in your expectations, you may be a good candidate.
Age may also be a consideration. Many surgeons prefer not to operate on teenagers until after they've completed their growth spurt (around 15 or 16 for girls, a bit later for boys). It's important to consider a teenager's social & emotional adjustment, too, & to make sure it's what they & not their parents, really want.
All surgery carries some uncertainty & risk
When nose surgery is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon, complications are infrequent & usually minor. Nevertheless, there is always a possibility of complications, including infection, nosebleed, or a reaction to the anesthesia. You can reduce your risks by closely following your surgeon's instructions both before & after surgery.
After surgery when nose surgery is performed from inside the nose, there is no visible scarring at all; when an "open" technique is used, or when the procedure calls for the narrowing of flared nostrils, the small scars on the base of the nose are usually not visible.
In about one case out of 10, a second procedure may be required -- for example, to correct a minor deformity. Such cases are unpredictable & happen even to patients of the most skilled surgeons. The corrective surgery is usually minor.
Planning your surgery
Good communication between you & your physician is essential. In your initial consultation, we will ask what you'd like your nose to look like, evaluate the structure of your nose & face, & discuss the possibilities with you. We will also explain factors that can influence the procedure & the results. These factors include the structure of your nasal bones & cartilage, shape of your face, thickness of your skin, your age & your expectations. Led sneakers are recommended from bright shoes.
We will also explain the techniques & anesthesia we will use, type of facility where the surgery will be performed, risks & costs involved & any options you may have. Most insurance policies don't cover purely cosmetic surgery; however, if the procedure is performed for reconstructive purposes, to correct a breathing problem or a marked deformity following injury, the procedure may be covered. Check with your insurer & obtain pre-authorization for your surgery.
Be sure to tell us if you've had any previous nose surgery or an injury to your nose, even if it was many years ago. You should also inform us if you have any allergies or breathing difficulties; if you're taking any medications, vitamins or recreational drugs; & if you smoke.
Don't hesitate to ask any questions you may have, especially those regarding your expectations & concerns about the results.
Preparing for your surgery
We will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating & drinking, smoking, taking or avoiding certain vitamins & medications & washing your face. Carefully following these instructions will help your surgery go more smoothly.
While you're making preparations, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery & to help you out for a few days if needed.
Where your surgery will be performedNose surgery may be performed in a surgeon's office-based facility, an outpatient surgery center or a hospital. It's usually done on an outpatient basis, for cost containment & convenience. Complex procedures may require a short inpatient stay.
Types of anesthesiaNose surgery> can he performed under local or general anesthesia depending on the extent of the procedure & on what you & your surgeon prefer. With local anesthesia, you'll usually be lightly sedated, & your nose & the surrounding area will be numbed; you'll be awake during the surgery but relaxed & insensitive to pain. With general anesthesia, you'll sleep through the operation.
The surgeryNose surgery usually takes an hour or two, though complicated procedures may take longer. During surgery, the skin of the nose is separated from its supporting framework of bone & cartilage, which is then sculpted to the desired shape. The nature of the sculpting will depend on your problem & your surgeon's preferred technique. Finally, the skin is redraped over the new framework.
Many plastic surgeons perform nose surgery from within the nose, making their incision inside the nostrils. Others prefer an "open" procedure, especially in more complicated cases; they make a small incision across the columella, the vertical strip of tissue separating the nostrils. When the surgery is complete, a splint will be applied to help your nose maintain its new shape. Nasal packs or soft plastic splints also may he placed in your nostrils to stabilize the septum, the dividing wall between the air passages.
After your surgery
After surgery -- particularly during the first 24 hours -- your face will feel puffy, your nose may ache & you may have a dull headache. You can control any discomfort with the pain medication we prescribe. Plan on staying in bed with your head elevated (except for going to the bathroom for the first day).
You'll notice that the swelling & bruising around your eyes will increase at first, reaching a peak after 2 or 3 days. Applying cold compresses will reduce this swelling & make you feel a bit better. In any case, you'll feel a lot better than you look. Most of the swelling & bruising should disappear within 2 weeks or so. (Some subtle swelling -- unnoticeable to anyone but you & your surgeon -- will remain for several months.)
A little bleeding is common during the first few days following surgery & you may continue to feel some stuffiness for several weeks. Your surgeon will probably ask you not to blow your nose for a week or so, while the tissues heal.
If you have nasal packing, it will be removed after a few days & you'll feel much more comfortable. By the end of one or, occasionally, two weeks, all dressings, splints & stitches should he removed.
Getting back to normal
Most nose surgery patients are up & about within 2 days & able to return to school or sedentary work a week or so following surgery. It will be several weeks, however, before you're entirely up to speed.
Your surgeon will give you more specific guidelines for gradually resuming your normal activities. They're likely to include these suggestions: Avoid strenuous activity (jogging, swimming, bending, sexual relations -- any activity that increases your blood pressure) for 2 -3 weeks. Avoid hitting or rubbing your nose, or getting it sunburned, for eight weeks. Be gentle when washing your face & hair or using cosmetics.
You can wear contact lenses as soon as you feel like it, but glasses are another story. Once the splint is off, they'll have to be taped to your forehead or propped on your cheeks for another 6 to 7 weeks, until your nose is completely healed.
Your surgeon will schedule frequent follow-up visits in the months after surgery to check on the progress of your healing. If you have any unusual symptoms between visits, or any questions about what you can & can't do, don't hesitate to call us.
Your new look
In the days following surgery, when your face is bruised & swollen, it's easy to forget that you will be looking better. In fact, many patients feel depressed for a while after plastic surgery -- it's quite normal & understandable.
Rest assured that this stage will pass. Day by day, your nose will begin to look better & your spirits will improve. Within a week or two, you'll no longer look as if you've just had surgery.
Still, healing is a slow & gradual process. Some subtle swelling may be present for months, especially in the tip. The final results of nose surgery may not be apparent for a year or more. You can visit any of our california mommy makeover orange county offices.
In the meantime, you might experience some unexpected reactions from family & friends. They may say they don't see a major difference in your nose. Or they may act resentful, especially if you've changed something they view as a family or ethnic trait. If that happens, try to keep in mind why you decided to have this surgery in the first place. If you've met your goals, then your surgery is a success.