September 11, 2015
In order to comprehend the potential risks of rhinoplasty and the expected recovery time, it is vital that one has a clear understanding of what rhinoplasty actually is and what exactly does it involve. To be precise, Rhinoplasty is basically a form of face surgery in which the external structure of nose is altered. Colloquially rhinoplasty is also termed as nasal reshaping or simply as a nose job.
The patient or the person being subjected to this particular form of plastic surgery has his/her nasal contours enhanced on a permanent basis. This is made possible when the nasal cartilage and nasal bone are worked upon and re-shaped. Generally, the new nasal contour is supposed to beautify the face and ought to be harmonious to the remaining facial features.
Some technical details
Rhinoplasty comes with almost none or a very light pain and the surgery often requires general anesthesia or at times semi-conscious anesthesia.
The recovery time for this facial surgery is approximately a week or a couple of weeks. The longer recovery period for nose jobs has been estimated to be a month, after which the patient can fully embrace his/her normal routines.
What to expect after the surgery?
Each person’s expectations and the results of rhinoplasty may vary from case to case, depending upon how each nose job is executed individually. Various rhinoplasty techniques used during the surgery also have a fair share of role to play in determining this ‘downtime’. The surgery could be open or it could have been closed. This fact is also taken into consideration that was any tip work performed or not. Whether the patient’s nasal bones were broken or not is also a factor that comes into play.
Generally, it has been observed that patients who have undergone open rhinoplasty have experienced prolonged swelling as compared to others who have been subjected to closed rhinoplasty. If osteotomies were performed i.e. the nose had to be surgically broken then you might expect slightly prolonged bruising along with swelling. Owing to this reason, generally patients are advised to keep away from strenuous activities for a couple of weeks and only resume their work routines fully when a month has gone by at the most or 7-10 days at the least.
Why is Rhinoplasty done?
The reasons for which rhinoplasty takes place and has become increasingly popular, can be demarcated into two broad categories.
- The reasons behind undertaking this plastic surgery might be purely cosmetic i.e. to look better.
- The other reason falls under the category of reconstructive rhinoplasty or functional rhinoplasty. This latter reason is focused upon enabling the patient to breathe/respire better by removing any obstructions in nasal passages. Broken, twisted, crooked or collapsed nasal cartilage can be responsible for this obstruction.
- At times, both reasons, cosmetic and functional can combine together to propel rhinoplasty.
How well does rhinoplasty work?
However, despite the dramatic improvements in technology, one needs to remember that there is only a limit to any safe alterations that can be made to the nasal cartilage and bone. Moreover, the patient needs to remember that rhinoplasty is one of the most difficult and complex cosmetic surgeries and cannot be a success unless you make use of the knowledge, skills and expertise of a rhinoplasty specialist. So a nasal appendage which is both attractive and functional is only possible with a skilled, knowledgeable and experienced artisan.
Having said that, one also needs to keep this fact in mind that rhinoplasty is no miracle. There is a finite limit to this nasal appendage that a rhinoplasty can bring about which has been executed well. Various anatomic facts have to be taken into consideration by the surgeon. These anatomic considerations which include the thickness of each individual’s skin, his/her particular skeletal size and the blood supply which is rendered available, have to be conjugated with functional considerations and consequent limitations. These factors might hinder a very dramatic improvement and you may not end up with an extremely slender nose.
Yet, despite this practical and admittedly grim view of things, rhinoplasty can undeniably enable any healthy person to end up with a nose that has been proportioned much better with elegant contours.
There are two important distinctions that have to be made while talking about rhinoplasty risks. There is one thing which is popularly termed as side-effects or post-operative problems and the other thing is the complications which may arise during the surgery.
Any well-executed rhinoplasty, carried out by an experienced and skilled rhinoplast surgeon would have little or no side effects. The most common side effects which patients generally complain of are:
Dissatisfaction with your cosmetic appearance
At times it happens that the patient might not accept his/her new look at first and might not be really pleased with his/her cosmetic appearance. This can be prevented if you have a clear and coherent discussion with your surgeon beforehand, clearly communicating your goals and expectations. You can make use of computer morphed photos before the operation to make sure that you are your surgeon are standing on similar grounds.
Obstructions in Nasal Passage
Nasal obstruction is perhaps one side effect which is most frequently complained of. A well-executed rhinoplasty would always produce a nose which not only looks good, but functional equally well. However, modern techniques have ensured that breathing problems are kept at bay and avoided at length.
There are other complications which can arise during the surgery though. Bleeding, infections, scarring, deformity and septal perforations are some of the examples of these complications.
What to think about?
Having gone through all the pros and cons of rhinoplasty, one usually wonders what to do and where to go next. The crux of the matter is that rhinoplasty does improve the function as well as appearance of your nose. However, make sure that you deploy the skills of a really experienced and knowledgeable surgeon. Moreover, before embarking upon the surgery, you ought to communicate your goals and expectations to the surgeon freely and the surgeon needs to determine all kinds of anatomic problems which might surface during the surgery. If carried out properly, rhinoplasty would be over and done with, in a couple of weeks
Dr. Amjadi MD, DDS, FACS
Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons
915 Gessner Rd #870
Houston, TX 77024
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