Nose Surgery (Rhinoplasty)

Your Guide to Each Stage of Having Nose Surgery

Attractive well-dressed woman.

Nose surgery continuously ranks as one of the most popular plastic surgeries each year, and its popularity is expected to keep growing. Whether you’re concerned with cosmetic issues such as size, asymmetry or bumps or have trouble with medical issues like a deviated septum or injury due to trauma, rhinoplasty may be right for you.

Whatever your reason for looking into this procedure, this guide can help you iron out what you can expect before, during and after rhinoplasty.

Your Rhinoplasty Consultation

Before moving forward with any plastic surgery, the first step is to choose the right board-certified facial plastic surgeon and schedule a consultation in their office. Use this time to explain your goals and ask any questions about nose surgery that you might have. Some of the questions you may want to ask include:

  • Are you board-certified?
  • How many nose surgeries have you performed?
  • Do you have before and after photos I could see?
  • Am I a good candidate for rhinoplasty?

This is also a great opportunity to decide if this facial plastic surgeon is the right fit for you. He or she will evaluate your natural face structure, listen to your goals and help you determine if rhinoplasty is the best solution for you.

Preparing for Nose Surgery

If you decide to move forward with rhinoplasty, knowing what to expect will help you prepare for a smooth procedure and recovery process. Your facial plastic surgeon will likely provide you with rhinoplasty preparation guidelines, such as quitting smoking several weeks before your procedure and avoiding certain medications and supplements that can increase bleeding.

As your procedure draws closer, check these items off your to-do list:

  • Arrange for someone to drive you to and from your procedure.
  • Arrange for help with kids and/or pets for the first few days after your nose job.
  • Fill prescriptions ahead of time.
  • Get grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning and other chores done.
  • Meal plan for the first week of recovery.
  • Ask your facial plastic surgeon any remaining questions you have at this point.

During Nose Surgery

Nose surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, usually under general anesthesia. However, local anesthesia can also be used. The details of your rhinoplasty will be custom-tailored to meet your unique needs, and this should be discussed in depth with your plastic surgeon prior to your procedure.

Your facial plastic surgeon will carefully create small, easily concealable incisions, which are often placed inside the nostrils or on the outside of your nose, following natural creases.

What to Expect after Rhinoplasty

On average, nose surgery takes 1 to 4 hours to complete, depending on how extensive the changes are.

Your rhinoplasty recovery will depend on several factors, including how extensive the surgery was, which techniques were used and your body’s healing rate. Generally speaking, most people plan to take around two weeks off work and other activities to rest and recover after a nose job.

Some swelling and bruising are to be expected, but keeping your head elevated for the first week or so can help to reduce these symptoms and make you more comfortable as you recover from facial plastic surgery. You will also need to limit strenuous physical activity for at least the first four weeks. Check in with your plastic surgeon before easing back into your regular workout routine.

Over the next few months, you should notice gradual changes to your nose shape, size or asymmetry. It can take a full year for your final results to fully develop.


Your Guide to Each Stage of Having Nose Surgery
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Your Guide to Each Stage of Having Nose Surgery
Not sure what to expect before, during and after rhinoplasty? Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Waleed Ezzat of Boston, Massachusetts shares a helpful guide.
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March 29, 2019
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