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Rhinoplasty (nose job)

More commonly known as a nose job, rhinoplasty is a plastic surgery procedure in which the nose is broken and then reshaped.

Before You Go

Questions to ask your doctor:

  • Will I be satisfied with the results of rhinoplasty surgery?
  • If I have injectable fillers in or around my nose, can I still get a nose job?

Pre-procedure prep for rhinoplasty (nose job): For two weeks before rhinoplasty surgery, avoid anti-inflammatory drugs that increase bruising after the operation - aspirin, ibuprofen, warfarin and the like. Cigarettes can also impede on the healing process, so it's advisable to quit at least two weeks in advance. Medications and diet supplements containing Vitamin E and fish oil should be stopped too.

On the day of treatment: You won't be able to consume any food or drink after midnight on the eve before surgery. Wash your face thoroughly and avoid makeup and beauty products when heading to your surgeon's office. (There's nothing glamorous about a nose job - that part comes a few weeks later.)

What To Expect

Essentially, the nose is broken and then reshaped. To access the bone and cartilage, tiny incisions are made inside the nose, preventing visible scarring. For particularly extensive nose jobs, an incision might also be made in the column that separates the nostrils.

This method is more extensive, allowing a surgeon greater access to the cartilage and leaves a small mark that usually fades over time. Both surgical methods allow a surgeon to remove, add to, rearrange, sculpt, or angle the construction of the nose. Immediately after the surgery, tape and a cast are used on the outside of the nose. Sometimes packing is inserted into the nose to provide structural support.

Recovering patients may choose to stay in a recovery facility overnight or to return home the same day, though the surgeon may recommend that a patient stay for additional supervision. An overnight hospital stay is rare.

Who should do it: Seek out a surgeon who is board certified by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons or the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery; who has years of training and experience; and who has extensive experience with ear, nose, throat, and facial cosmetic surgery. Because the ears, nose, and throat are all connected, it is best to consult a surgeon who understands all three.

Duration: Rhinoplasty surgery takes between one and two hours. A more complicated procedure, where an incision is made in the column that separates the nostrils, can take up to four hours.

How Painful Is It?

The use of anesthesia ensures that the surgery itself is not painful. Following the procedure, patients can expect to experience moderate to severe pain for two to ten days, which can be managed with over-the-counter pain medications like acetaminophen. Stronger pain medications can be prescribed if needed.

Options for anesthesia: The operation requires the use of either intravenous (sedation) or general anesthesia.

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