Rhinoplasty Before and After - Surgery and Recovery
Now that you have made the decision to undergo rhinoplasty and have prepared for your surgery, the next step is the rhinoplasty surgery itself and the after affects.
Rhinoplasty can be performed in the surgeon's office-based facility, an outpatient surgery center, or a hospital. Usually the surgery is performed on an outpatient basis but if it is a complicated rhinoplasty then you may be required to stay in the hospital.
You will either be under local or general anesthesia. Local anesthesia is when you are lightly sedated and your nose and the surrounding area is numb. You know what is going on but cannot feel what is happening to your nose. General anesthesia is when you sleep through the surgery and do not know what is happening.
Rhinoplasty surgery normally takes one to two hours unless it is a complex rhinoplasty. The rhinoplasty itself consists of the skin being separated from the bone and cartilage. The bone and cartilage are sculpted into the desired shape and the skin is then draped over the new nose framework. Most surgeons make the rhinoplasty incision inside the nose in the nostrils, but some surgeons prefer the "open" procedure where the incision is made in the middle part of the nose nearest the upper lip. There is a scar left but the scar is hardly noticeable in that area of your nose.
When your rhinoplasty is complete, the surgeon will place a splint on your nose to help it maintain its shape. Sometimes nasal packs or splint may be place in the nostrils as well.
After the rhinoplasty your face may be puffy, you may be experiencing pain, or you may have a dull headache. Take the medication prescribed by your Doctor as needed. Stay in bed with your head elevated for the first day after your rhinoplasty. There will be some swelling and bruising around your eyes and this swelling will reach its highest peak at 2-3 days after surgery. Cold compresses will reduce the swelling and make your eyes and face feel better. In a few days you will feel much better than you look as most swelling and bruising takes at least two weeks to disappear. A little bleeding is common after a rhinoplasty and you may have a "stuffy" feeling nose for a few weeks. Any nasal packing or stitches will be removed after a few days.
You will be up and feeling somewhat better within two days after your rhinoplasty. You should be able to return to school or sedentary work after a week or so. The Doctor will give you specific guidelines as to what you can return to and when during your follow-up visits. Follow the Doctor's instructions and keep your follow-up visits to ensure that your surgery is successful!