Rhinoplasty - What to Know About the Procedure

Posted November 18, 2022
Things to know about nose surgery

As recently as 2020, rhinoplasty beat out breast augmentation as the most performed plastic surgery procedure in the United States (according to statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons). Plastic surgery has become more common and mainstream thanks to news stories and celebrities who have openly discussed their procedures. Since rhinoplasty is such a popular choice, let’s take a look at what you need to know about the surgery before you make the final decision to have a nose job. First, here are some of the common benefits of having rhinoplasty:

Benefits of Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty – Is it an Easy Surgery?

The fact that rhinoplasty is such a popular treatment sometimes leads to the false impression that the procedure is simple and straightforward. This is not a correct assumption because the rate for rhinoplasty revision surgery is between 5%-15% according to a study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. In general, rhinoplasty is a very nuanced surgery which means patients should not expect to see a “perfect nose” after the procedure.

One of the aspects of rhinoplasty that determines the success of a procedure is the type of results the patient expects to see. It can be said that a nose job is about improving the look of the nose and not trying to achieve perfection. In other words, you need to determine what bothers you the most about the nose and then address those issues.

Rhinoplasty – Changes it Can Make to the Nose

Rhinoplasty is able to change the shape or size of the nose and, in some cases, improve the functional aspects of the nose so you will be able to breathe easier on a regular basis. The surgery can eliminate the look of a bump on the nose, provide a more defined tip, and straighten a crooked profile. The nose might not be perfectly straight at the end of the surgery but it can gain a straighter and more symmetric appearance.

When it comes to making changes to the nose, you need to have a specific and realistic idea of what you hope to accomplish. Instead of just wanting to have a “better looking nose,” you need to be able to explain to the doctor the exact changes you want to see so you can start on the path to a successful outcome.

If you are uncertain about the type of results you hope to see, you will likely be uncertain about your answer when you are asked if you think the nose looks better after the surgery and healing process are completed.

Rhinoplasty – Not an Overnight Recovery

One of the things that all rhinoplasty patients should expect to experience during the healing process is swelling that can take anywhere from twelve to eighteen months to resolve on its own. The swelling will keep the final results from being visible so you need to be prepared to wait a little while before you are able to see the end result of the surgery. It can take two or three months for around 40% of the swelling to resolve. Even if 60% of the swelling is gone after three or four months, it will still take some time for the final 40% to resolve.

It is also important for you to not jump to an immediate judgement about the new look of the nose. When the splint that is placed on the nose is removed, it is safe to say that the nose will not look good at that time. There can also be some asymmetry to the results because of the amount of swelling. You will need to be patient when first viewing the new look of the nose.

The amount of satisfaction goes back to having realistic expectations and being able to verbalize the changes you want to see when it comes to the nose. If a person wants to get rid of a bump or hump on the nose, and it is gone when they look at the nose, they will be very happy right away. If the person wants to achieve more subtle and smaller changes, they will likely need to wait several months to see the results they desire.

Rhinoplasty – Pick a Realistic Look to the Nose

Keep in mind that wanting to look like an “inspiration photo” you show the doctor is not always going to be possible because everyone has unique features that cannot always be duplicated. If you don’t have similar anatomy or facial features, it will be hard to achieve the same look. Plus, don’t confuse an “inspiration nose” with being able to provide you with the same lifestyle as the person who has the nose.

Instead, look at the noses of patients treated in the past by your surgeon. You should be able to see actual “before and after” photos of patients and you might see a nose that is close in shape and size to your nose. This step can give you a more grounded and realistic starting point when it comes to deciding the look you want for your nose.

- MA


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