When a person is unhappy with any aspect of their appearance it can negatively affect their self-esteem. Prominent features, such as the eyes or nose, are particularly difficult to disguise. Cosmetic surgery may be the right decision for those that want to change the way they look for their own personal satisfaction and have realistic expectations about the outcomes.
The first step is a cosmetic consultation. The purpose of the consultation is to educate the patient about the procedure and answer any questions he or she may have. A consultation typically takes one-and-a-half to two hours, which will begin when you arrive and fill out the necessary paperwork.
Ana, our patient care consultant will guide you through the consultation process. Dr. Nassif and Dr. Yoo will then meet with you in a private consultation room where they will examine and assess your nasal anatomy in detail to ensure you are a good candidate for the procedure. The doctors will discuss the functional and cosmetic issues regarding your nose, and make recommendations on how to best address them. They will then use computer imaging to show you a visual representation of what the results may look like. This serves as a way to learn about the doctors’ aesthetic, express your aesthetic concerns and goals, and become familiar with what is surgically achievable. Before and after photos of previous procedures similar to yours may also be shown. Ana, our patient care consultant, will then meet with you to discuss the costs of the surgery, as well as financing plans and any other concerns you may have.
The Day of Surgery
For many, rhinoplasty is a life changing experience. Some have had a lifelong battle with accepting the appearance of their nose. Others look forward to the ability to breathe easy. At Nassif M.D. Plastic Surgery, you can rest assured you are in good hands as Dr. Nassif, Dr. Yoo and their fantastic staff give each patient the utmost care and attention every step of the way.
Upon arrival, a series of events will take place. You will meet with the nurse who will help you change into the appropriate surgical garments, and help you complete the necessary paperwork, including informed consent forms. She will then begin an IV. You will then meet with one of our board-certified Cedars-Sinai anesthesiologists, who will examine you and discuss your medical and anesthesia history with you. You will then meet with your surgeon, Dr. Nassif or Dr. Yoo, to discuss the plan and goals for surgery once more, and to address any lingering questions.
Once you are taken into the operating room, the nurses and anesthesiologist will attach several monitors to your body and you will receive a facemask to breathe pure oxygen. The anesthesiologist will then induce general anesthesia, and you will be completely asleep. The appropriate incisions will be made and reshaping will begin. After the incisions are closed and the dressing and splint are applied, you will be awakened from anesthesia. Patients are taken to the recovery room to continue to be closely monitored until they are ready to return home. This is typically a few hours after surgery. Learn more about what to expect the day of surgery, different types of anesthesia, and reshaping techniques that may be employed.
For patients undergoing extensive surgery, it is advised that the first night following surgery is spent in an after-care facility. Accommodations can be made for out-of-town patients to recover at a nearby hotel until it is safe to fly.
Since rhinoplasty is a complex surgical procedure, recovery entails a great deal of delicate care. It takes six weeks for the nasal bones to fully heal. Changes in appearance can continue for up to a year, and even two years in some cases, as swelling continues to dissipate. Following recovery instructions will lead to optimal results and minimize some of the risks associated with rhinoplasty, such as infection or excessive bleeding.
A splint will be placed on the outside of the nose after fine sutures have been used to close the surgical incisions. The splint has two roles: helping to retain the shape of the nose during healing, and reducing swelling. Silicone splints may be placed inside the nose to help the healing of the septum. The splints and sutures will remain in place for one week. At the one week post-op appointment the splints and sutures will be removed, and tape will be applied to the nose to remain in place for the second week.
Bruising and swelling are normal, most of which will subside in 10-14 days. Cold compresses help to minimize swelling. Pain medications will also be prescribed, though discomfort following rhinoplasty is typically minimal. The majority of patients will return to school or work in 10-14 days. Patients may resume light cardio (treadmill, elliptical) at 2 weeks, and resume full workouts at 4 weeks.
Detailed instructions and information on what to expect will be given, such as how to clean the nose, when to resume normal activity, and scheduling follow-up appointments.
Recovery after septoplasty, the procedure performed to correct a deviated septum, is much like rhinoplasty recovery. Following recovery instructions diligently will ensure the most favorable septoplasty outcomes. Keep in mind that everyone heals differently, so recovery times may vary from patient to patient. Read more about septoplasty recovery.