One of the most common plastic surgery procedures, rhinoplasty (nose job), is performed to reshape, straighten, reduce or augment a person’s nose.
The procedure is also used to remove a hump, expand narrow nostril width, change the angle between the nose and the mouth or to correct injury, birth defects or other problems that affect breathing. Results depend on the patient’s nasal bone and cartilage structure, facial shape, skin thickness and age (teenagers should have already had their growth spurt).
Rhinoplasty is usually an outpatient procedure performed under either local or general anesthesia and lasts 1 to 2 hours unless more extensive work needs to be done.
After surgery, an external nasal splint will be left in place, which will be removed after a few weeks. Internal nasal splints may also be left in place, which will be removed a few days after surgery. To minimize swelling, sleeping with the back slightly elevated is recommended. If sutures are used, these will be removed 4 to 5 days after surgery. The nose is a very sensitive organ and takes a long time to reach its final appearance. There will be a significant amount of swelling present that will slowly decrease over several weeks to months. During this period, nasal saline sprays may help with minimizing any discomfort from dryness.
Rhinoplasty Postoperative Instructions
It is important to follow all of your doctor’s postoperative instructions for rhinoplasty to achieve the best possible results. Corpus Christi Institute of Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery rhinoplasty patients are provided with detailed instructions to ensure the best outcome to the procedure.
- Have someone drive you home after surgery and help you at home for 1-2 days.
- Get plenty of rest and increase your fluid intake.
- Decreased activity may promote constipation, so you may want to add more ripe fruit to your diet. Prunes and prune juice work well for most.
- Take pain medications as prescribed. Do not take aspirin or any products containing aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
- Do not drink alcohol when taking pain medications.
- Refrain from drinking alcohol for three weeks following surgery, even when no longer taking pain medications, as alcohol causes fluid retention.
- If you regularly take vitamins with iron, resume these as tolerated.
- Do not smoke or consume nicotine, as smoking delays healing and increases the risk of complications.
- Start walking as soon as possible with assistance the day of surgery, this helps to reduce swelling and lowers the chance of blood clots. Starting the day after surgery, walk 300 feet three times per day with assistance daily.
- Do not drive until you are no longer taking any pain medications (narcotics).
- Avoid strenuous activities or any activity that increases your blood pressure for 2-3 weeks. This includes sex and strenuous housework.
- Avoid body contact sports, hitting or rubbing your nose, and sunburn for 2 months.
- Elevate head of bed greater than or equal to 45 degrees for at least 2 weeks after surgery.
- Do not blow your nose for 2 months after surgery.
- Cold compresses will reduce swelling.
- If internal splints are placed they will be removed 3-5 days after surgery with the sutures.
- Use saline nasal spray 3-4 times daily for 3 months after surgery.
- Do not shampoo your hair until nose splint is removed, or ask for special instructions.
- Avoid blowing your nose for 1 week.
- Be gentle when washing your face and hair or using cosmetics.
- Do not use facial makeup on external incisions until advised by surgeon.
- Contact lenses can be worn as soon as you feel like it, but glasses cannot be worn until your nose is completely healed (approximately 2 months). After your nose splint is removed, tape your glasses to your forehead or prop them on your cheeks until completely healed.
- Maximum discomfort should occur in the first few days, improving each day thereafter.
- After surgery, particularly during the first 24 hours, your face will feel puffy.
- A small amount of bleeding is common during the first few days.
- Your nose may ache and you may have a dull headache.
- Temporary swelling and bruising around eyes and nose will increase at first and peak after 2 or 3 days. Most swelling and bruising should disappear within 2 weeks. Some subtle swelling (noticeable only to you) will remain for several months.
- Some numbness may be present around the operative areas.
- You may experience some discomfort with breathing.
APPEARANCE AND SCAR CARE
- New nose looks better in 2-3 weeks and usually continues to improve for many months.
- Nasal tip drops to its permanent position in 3-6 months.
- Final results may not be apparent for a year or more.
FOLLOW UP CARE
- Your post-operative appointment will be scheduled before surgery for your convenience.
WHEN TO CALL
- If you have increased swelling or bruising.
- If swelling and redness persist after a few days.
- If you have increased redness along the incision.
- If you have severe or increased pain not relieved by medication.
- If you have any side effects such as rash, nausea, headache, or vomiting.
- If you have an oral temperature over 100.4 degrees.
- If you have yellowish or greenish drainage from the incisions or notice a foul odor.
- If you have bleeding from the incisions that is difficult to control with light pressure.
- If you have loss of feeling or motion.
Why Choose Dr. Vijay
Dr. Vijay is very unique in the sense of his great customer care, service and experience. He approaches each client as an individual and takes the time to thoroughly understand their needs and desired results.