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Rhinoplasty, popularly known as a “nose job” or “nose reshaping” is one of the most common cosmetic surgery procedures in the country. In 2018, approximately 218,924 people underwent rhinoplasty procedures, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)[1]. Considering joining their number? Here’s what you need to know.

What is Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is a procedure where surgeons make changes to the bone, cartilage, or skin in or around the nose to alter its shape.

Why do people want A rhinoplasty?

People choose to undergo rhinoplasty for either cosmetic or medical reasons. Some seek to change their nose to a proportion, size, or shape they find more pleasing, or correct damage to their nose after an injury. Others want to repair structural defects in the nose, such as a deviated septum, that interferes with their breathing or cause other medical issues.

What’s the first step in having a rhinoplasty procedure?

Anyone considering rhinoplasty should first consult with a qualified cosmetic surgeon to discuss whether rhinoplasty is right for you. A good surgeon will evaluate your medical history, conduct a physical exam, measure and photograph your face, and discuss your motivations and expectations for the surgery.  With all this information in hand, the surgeon can then advise you on whether the procedure is likely to yield the results you’re seeking, the options available, and a possible treatment plan.

What are the risks of rhinoplasty?

 Like any surgery, rhinoplasty comes with few risks. The ASPS notes[2] that these risks include: 

  • Infection
  • Anesthesia risks
  • Numbness or pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Perforation of the nasal septum
  • Swelling or discoloration
  • Dissatisfaction with the results

What can I expect from the procedure?

No two rhinoplasty procedures are identical–much of the procedure depends upon your individual goals. However, there are certain commonalities. You can expect to receive either local or general anesthesia. The surgery will either be a “closed procedure” in which surgeons makes incisions inside the nose, or an “open procedure” where they make incisions at the base of the columella, the fleshy tissue between your nostrils.

Depending on your goals, the surgeon may alter the shape of your nose by removing bone or cartilage or by adding cartilage taken from another part of your nose or body. If you have a deviated septum, the surgeon will straighten it. Once the work is complete, the doctor rearranges the skin and tissue and stitches the incision.

What can I expect during the recovery period?

During recovery, the surgeon will likely place a splint or packing inside or outside your nose to protect the delicate tissue. These will probably stay in place for several days following the surgery. For the first few days, you should rest in bed to allow your body to heal. Expect to experience temporary swelling in your face and discoloration around your eyes. These effects should dissipate within two-to-three weeks following the surgery.

Your doctor is likely to advise you to refrain from activities that could irritate, strain or damage your nose for several weeks following the surgery. These activities might include:

  • performing high-impact exercise
  • blowing your nose
  • wearing glasses
  • exposing your nose to direct sunlight
  • wearing makeup.

When will I be able to see the results?

You will see the initial results once the swelling subsides, but it may take up to a year for your nasal shape to fully settle into its new a permanent position.

Should I get rhinoplasty?

The decision of whether to get rhinoplasty is a very personal one. Examine your motivations, consider whether your expectations are realistic, whether you have the time for surgery and recovery, and have all the support you may need. Above all, make sure your doctor gives you a stamp of good physical health.

If you are considering rhinoplasty in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, talk to our highly-skilled and experienced cosmetic surgeons. We would be happy to help you in your decision-making process and to achieve your goals. To set up a consultation, call us today!

[1] https://www.plasticsurgery.org/news/press-releases/new-statistics-reveal-the-shape-of-plastic-surgery

[2] https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/rhinoplasty/safety

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