Your Rhinoplasty Experience
Not everyone’s rhinoplasty experience will be the same, of course, but it is possible to give you a general idea of what you could expect. If you have a problem breathing through your nose, you are well advised to get a referral from your primary care physician to see me so that your insurance can help with the expenses of surgery. If you are interested exclusively in cosmetic nasal surgery you can see me for an initial consultation at no charge.
Before Your Procedure
At the initial consultation, I will ask you to identify what you dislike about your nose. I will carefully examine your nose, of course, and if your concerns are reasonable, we will take photographs for review and study.
Two or three weeks later, we will review the photos and I will present a surgical plan for your approval. You will be encouraged to ask lots of questions. I will spend time reviewing the risks and limitations of the surgery. If we have become comfortable with a plan and with each other, we can then schedule a date for surgery.
Prior to surgery, you will be expected to make payment arrangements. If you have not done so by two weeks in advance of your surgery, I will postpone until you are able to do so.
If you are young and healthy, (less than 45), you will not require any preoperative lab tests. If not, you may require some tests so that we can be sure you have no increased risks. The expense for these tests is your responsibility. You will be provided with prescriptions for antibiotic and pain medicine for after the surgery, which you should fill in advance and have available. Plan on a week to recover, before returning to work. You will need to arrange for someone to drive you home from the surgical center on the day of your surgery. I will review with you in advance how to prepare cold packs for the night after surgery; these should be prepared in advance, and will help keep swelling to a minimum. You will need to sleep with your head elevated for three nights after surgery.
On the morning of your surgery, you will report to the Mountainview Outpatient Surgical Center at the appointed time, having neither eaten or drank anything since midnight the night before. An IV will be started, and you will change into a hospital gown. You will see the anesthesiologist and discuss his plan for your anesthetic. I will see you again before surgery, and we will review our plan.
After Your Procedure
After your surgery, you will be in the recovery room for about an hour, where a nurse will monitor your progress. She will apply cold packs to your eyes, and attend to any nausea or pain you have. You will have a splint in your nose which will remain there for six days.
When you get home, your will start your medications immediately, and kick back with your head elevated and cold packs on your eyes. There will be some swelling and bruising, but your eyes will not swell closed. There will be some bleeding from your nostrils, which is expected. Some patients will have packing in their nose.
I will see you back in the office the next day. I will remove any packing and clean your nose gently of old blood and debris, checking for any complications. We will review your surgery and the limitations on your activities for the ensuing days. Expect to have some swelling, bruising, and stopped up nose for about a week. No nose blowing!
Six days after your surgery, I will see you again to remove the splint and get our first impression of the results. This is an exciting time, like an unveiling or a debut. You will probably be able to appreciate the improvement immediately. Barring any problems, I will release you to return to your routine.
At three weeks, we will meet again, and take the first set of postoperative photos. I will ask for your consent to use your photos for marketing purposes. You will bring up any concerns about our results, which we will discuss. About one in ten patients will want a “touch up” to refine their results, which are usually performed in the office. Occasionally such a touch up is in order early on. However, these are usually not properly done until many months after surgery, if necessary.
About 90% of your swelling will be gone after three weeks, but subtle changes in your nose are possible for many years after your surgery. I will be asking you to return occasionally, so that I can evaluate the long term outcome. I can learn much from these long term follow-ups, and apply it to future patients.