10 Frequently Asked Questions About Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty is a form of plastic surgery that corrects and reconstructs the nose. This can make the nose look more smooth and proportional, and it can correct breathing issues caused by injuries or structural defects. Of all the types of plastic surgeries, rhinoplasty is one of the most commonly-performed.

Like all surgeries, patients usually have many questions before choosing to receive the procedure. Here are 10 of the most frequently asked questions about rhinoplasty:

1. Will I be able to see what my nose will look like in advance?

Yes. During your consultation, your surgeon will take photographs of your face from multiple angles. Then, he or she will manipulate the photos to show you what your nose will look like after the rhinoplasty procedure.

2. How old do you have to be to undergo rhinoplasty?

Anyone whose nasal growth is complete can have a rhinoplasty procedure. This is usually around age 16 for boys and age 15 for girls. However, many plastic surgeons are hesitant to perform plastic surgery on adolescents. Patients should have realistic expectations for the procedure, and they should be able to comply with all post-operative instructions.

3. What are the different types of rhinoplasty?

There are two types of rhinoplasty surgeries: open and closed. During an open rhinoplasty, the surgeon will make an incision in the soft tissue between the nostrils. During a closed rhinoplasty, the surgeon will make incisions inside of the nostril. Open rhinoplasty usually allows the surgeon to alter the nose shape with more precision and control. However, closed rhinoplasty leaves no visible scar, and the healing time is usually quicker and easier.

4. How should I prepare for the rhinoplasty procedure?

Your surgeon will give you detailed instructions for preparation. Usually, he or she will recommend that you avoid medications that could prevent blood clotting or cause excessive bleeding. Smokers are advised to stop smoking a month before the procedure.

5. What should I expect during the procedure?

Most rhinoplasty procedures involve general anesthesia, and the surgery usually takes about two hours. Your surgeon will make an incision in the nose and remove or rearrange the cartilage. In some cases, the surgeon breaks and rearranges the bone to alter the shape of the nose. Then, the surgeon closes the incisions, places gauze in the nose, and applies a nasal splint.

6. Are there any risks?

All surgeries have risks, but rhinoplasty is relatively safe. The most common risk is excessive bleeding.

7. How long does it take to recover from rhinoplasty?

Most patients wear a nasal splint for about a week after the surgery. Swelling and bruising usually lasts for about two weeks. You may experience difficulty breathing through your nose for about three weeks.

8. Will the recovery time be painful?

Most people don’t experience much pain after the procedure. Some surgeons prescribe painkillers for the recovery period, but it’s not always necessary.

9. How long should I wait before exercising after rhinoplasty?

Your doctor should give you instructions about exercise after rhinoplasty. Many people can begin light activity like walking within a few days of the surgery. However, you shouldn’t partake in any strenuous activity for at least four weeks. Activities like running can create pressure on your nose, which can cause pain and slow down the healing process.

10. Will I see results right away?

No. For a few weeks after the procedure, your nose will be too swollen for you to see the new shape. In some cases, it takes up to two months for all the swelling to go away. As the swelling goes down, you’ll gradually see your nose become more refined.