Patients visit our Austin plastic surgery considering rhinoplasty for several reasons. Some patients come in purely because they’re dissatisfied with their appearance; others see us following an injury or are seeking a solution for their obstructed breathing.
Side note: Nose surgery that is done for non-cosmetic reasons is referred to as functional rhinoplasty. Many of our patients don’t realize that they are suffering from a deviated septum or a blocked airway. Opening the nasal airways, even a little, can really help improve one’s quality of life. It’s also something we can achieve during a cosmetic rhinoplasty procedure.
Here are a few more things to think about when considering a rhinoplasty:
Many of our patients mention that they experienced less pain than they had expected. I begin a rhinoplasty by making a few small incisions inside the nose or across the strip of flesh separating the nostrils (i.e., the columella). I may also reshape or reposition your nose’s cartilage, bone or both. The procedure typically lasts no more than a couple of hours. You can expect your nose to ache initially, and some patients do experience minor headaches during the first few days after surgery. After 2 to 3 days, many patients feel pretty good, except for the feeling akin to a stuffy nose.
Following your surgery, swelling usually reaches its apex in the first 3 days. For the first 48 hours, you should apply cold packs to your eyelids and cheeks. It is very important to note that you shouldn’t be applying these cold packs directly to your nose. I also recommend that you keep your head elevated as much as possible during the first week.
You will see the most noticeable changes once the initial swelling diminishes. Most of the swelling will diminish after 4 to 6 weeks. After the first week, I will schedule a follow-up appointment for my patients. At this appointment, I will remove your sutures and dressings and make sure that you have everything that you need for a successful recovery.
Some patients will notice results sooner than others. It can take up to a year to achieve the final results, because the tissue will continue to heal gradually. Your final result is just that, though: It’s a lifelong change.
Most of my patients feel comfortable enough returning to work after the first week or so. You should avoid strenuous exercise for about one month, and avoid light exercise (anything other than short walks for blood flow) for about 7 to 10 days. Any swimming activities should be avoided for about 2-3 weeks. Avoid wearing goggles for 4 weeks, and minimize any direct exposure to the sun for the first 8 weeks.
Due to these precautions, I recommend that my patients try and schedule their rhinoplasty well before the summer months!
Rhinoplasty is very popular in Austin among adolescent patients. A word of caution to parents/guardians, though: It’s important to delay the surgery until the nose is fully developed. Additional growth after surgery can alter the results in ways that are difficult to predict. We always evaluate each candidate’s nose and medical history during the consultation before moving forward.