Cosmetic nose surgery continues to soar in popularity, but many prospective rhinoplasty patients have voiced their hesitation in undergoing the procedure due to their uneasiness with the aftermath of surgery. Understanding rhinoplasty and what to expect after surgery can go a long way towards quelling these fears.
Defining Rhinoplasty and its Various Forms
Rhinoplasty surgery can entail a number of cosmetic, functional, and even reconstructive techniques. Rhinoplasty specifically refers to the form of cosmetic nose surgery performed for the first time, though it is often used as an umbrella term encompassing the various forms of nose surgery. A specialty form of rhinoplasty is Ethnic rhinoplasty, where Dr. Frankel maintains an overall ethnic look for the patient while improving the look of the nose. This surgery requires special skills as the nose can be a very identifying ethnic trait, and certain forms of refinement can create imbalance in the patient’s facial harmony.
Rhinoplasty may be performed a second time (and sometimes more), in which case the surgery is referred to as revision rhinoplasty or secondary rhinoplasty. A patient may not have healed as intended, may wish to make additional changes to the nose, or may have experienced another complication that only surgery can fix.
When Dr. Frankel creates a more efficient structure, the surgery may be referred to as functional rhinoplasty, which includes the technique of septoplasty. During the septoplasty procedure, the wall of cartilage and bone that separates the left and right airways of the nostrils is fixed into a more symmetrical position. This ensures that a patient can resume normal breathing patterns without one or both of the airways being compromised by a crooked septum. Insurance plans frequently cover a portion or the entire cost of surgery.
Reconstructive rhinoplasty, though not medically necessary, restores the look of normalcy to the face, or allows patients to enjoy a regular nose for the first time. Skin cancer removal, disease, traumatic injury, and deformities may create the need for this procedure. Dr. Frankel is able to rebuild areas of the nose with the patient’s own bone and cartilage, and may use skin grafting techniques to complete the procedure.
How Patients Feel Following Rhinoplasty
After the nose has been surgically altered, the patient may wake up feeling a bit nauseous as blood from the surgery can drain into the stomach. This surgery side effect can be treated with medications, and generally does not last for long. One may feel a bit groggy as the anesthesia wears off.
Generally, rhinoplasty procedures are performed on an outpatient basis, so patients are ambulatory following surgery. They are asked not to drive home, but to prepare for a ride home prior to undergoing rhinoplasty.
How Patients Look Following Rhinoplasty
After the surgery, patients may look abnormal. In an effort to combat a droopy nasal tip and the effects of gravity, the nasal tip may be taped in an upturned position. Over the next few hours, bruising and swelling will likely continue to develop. Patients may notice one or two black eye bruises, and swelling primarily in the nose and cheeks. The nose will feel stuffy, as though the patient has a cold. It may take about a week before the patient feels presentable enough to be seen in public.
Healing times can vary depending on which type of rhinoplasty was performed. During a reconstructive rhinoplasty, extra tissues may be added to the nasal structure to build up its architecture which can complicate a patient’s recovery. A secondary or revision rhinoplasty in which scar tissue is present can also present issues during patient recovery. Dr. Frankel can give each patient specific instructions on how to best heal in their particular case.
Patients should expect to take at least nine days of away time from their daily activities, like work, school, and socializing. The doctor will explain when strenuous activities can be resumed, as these too must be paused during the healing period. Patients may notice residual swelling for several months following rhinoplasty, but often this is only noticeable to them. Over time, the nose evolves into its improved forever shape.
If you would like to learn more about the various forms of rhinoplasty offered by Dr. Frankel, primary and revision rhinoplasty specialist, call his Beverly Hills office at (310) 552-2173. View actual patient photos in the doctor’s Photo Gallery. While the doctor is highly sought after for his rhinoplasty expertise, he also specializes in facelift, browlift, and necklift.