After surgery, particularly during the first twenty-four hours, your face and nose will be swollen and you may have a dull headache. Ice packs to the nose and the pain medication prescribed by the doctor will help the discomfort. Plan on resting with your head elevated and ice packs to your nose for the first 24-36 hours. Most of the swelling and bruising should disappear within two weeks or so. Some subtle swelling will remain for up to a year.
A little bleeding is common during the first few days following surgery, and you may continue to feel some stuffiness for several weeks. If you have nasal packing, it will be removed after a few days and you’ll feel much more comfortable. By the end of one, occasionally, two weeks, all dressings, splints, and stitches should be removed.
When a rhinoplasty is performed by one of our qualified plastic surgeons, complications are infrequent and usually minor. Nevertheless, there is always a possibility of a complication, including infection, nosebleed, or a reaction to the anesthesia. You can reduce your risks by closely following our medical team’s instructions both before and after surgery. In about 8-10% of surgeries a second procedure may be required to correct a minor deformity.
Most patients are up and about within one to two days, and able to return to school or sedentary work a week or so following surgery.
We will give you more specific guidelines for gradually resuming your normal activities. Healing is a slow and gradual process. Some subtle swelling may be present for months, especially in the tip. The final results of rhinoplasty may not be apparent for a year or more
A personal consultation is the first step for every patient considering a rhinoplasty. During this meeting one of our board-certified plastic surgeons will ask what you’d like your nose to look like, evaluate the structure of your nose and face, and discuss the possibilities with you. We will also explain the factors that can influence the procedure and the results. These factors include the structure of your nasal bones and cartilage, the shape of your face, the thickness of your skin, your age, and your expectations. Good communication between you and your physician is essential.
Most insurance policies don’t cover cosmetic surgery. If the procedure is performed for reconstructive purposes, to correct a breathing problem or a marked deformity following injury, the procedure may be covered. Usually several prerequisites must be met prior to becoming eligible. In an effort to expedite your insurance prior authorization, we recommend you contact your insurance carrier to find out these prerequisites.
Rhinoplasty can enhance your appearance and your self-confidence. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with members of our medical team. The best candidates for cosmetic rhinoplasty are people looking for minor improvements in the appearance of their nose. Rhinoplasty surgery is never intended to change the person. If you’re physically healthy, psychologically stable, and 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 14 or 15 for girls, a bit later for boys. It’s also important to consider a teenager’s social and emotional adjustment.