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Commonly referred to as a Rhinoplasty, it is the medical term for reshaping of the nose or corrective surgery of the nose. It is one of the most common facial plastic surgeries (Facelift) procedures performed. Nose surgery can be performed to change the consequence of genetics, birth defect or nasal injury. It can be performed to enhance the appearance and/or to improve nasal breathing.
Surgery can be performed to correct nasal humps, the curvature of nose-bridge, nose tip irregularities and asymmetry in the nostrils. The nasal appearance can be altered in various ways using intra-nasal chisels. Nose surgery procedures generally fall under three types: open rhinoplasty, closed rhinoplasty, and tip rhinoplasty. Rhinoplasty is normally performed under general anesthesia and will not leave any visible scars on the nose.
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Nose surgery is an individualized surgery. Before the surgery, you will need to discuss important factors with your surgeon to determine if it is suitable for you. Your surgeon will review your medical history, including your previous surgeries, medical conditions, and any medications you are taking. You will need to have a complete physical examination, such as blood tests. Your surgeon will also consider your other facial features, the skin on your nose, and what you would like to change or correct. Then, your surgeon will develop a customized plan for you. Two weeks before and after surgery, avoid any medications that contain aspirin or ibuprofen, such as Advil and Motrin IB because these medications can increase bleeding. You will need to also stop taking herbal remedies and over-the-counter supplements. If you are an active smoker, stop smoking because smoking can slow your healing process and increase the risk of getting an infection.
During the actual surgery, you will be given either local anesthesia or general anesthesia. The type of anesthesia depends on how complex the surgery is and what the surgeon would prefer to use. Then, the surgery will start by making incisions inside your nose or at the base of your nose between your nostrils. Your surgeon will reshape the inner bone and cartilage underneath your skin to make a more pleasing appearance.
There are several ways to change the shape of your nasal bones or cartilage, depending on your nose’s structure and how much needs to be removed or added. If only small changes are required, your surgeon may use cartilage taken from deeper inside your nose or your ear. However, for a much larger change, your surgeon may use cartilage from your rib, implants, or bone from other parts of your body. When the changes are finished, your surgeon will place the nose’s skin and tissue back. The incisions will be closed by stitches.
If everything goes well, you can go back to your hotel on the same day once the effects of anesthesia wear off. However, you will need to stay in a recovery room for a few hours so the staff can monitor you. Some people may need to stay in hospital overnight. After you are discharged from the hospital, you will need to stay in Thailand for at least 10 to 14 days for initial recovery, follow-up checkups, and for the stitches to be removed.
The recovery period for nose surgery can be different from person to person. In general, 2 to 3 weeks is needed until you can get back to your full normal routine and 3 to 6 weeks until you can do any strenuous activity. However, you should be able to go back to work within a week, except if your job requires strenuous physical activity. You will feel gradually better each day in the first week. You will experience swelling, which can take six months to subside. The only people who will notice the swelling is you and your surgeon. Your final nose shape will be apparent after it is completely healed.
After the surgery, you may need to wear a nasal splint for the first week. The splint is used to protect and support your nose. Your nose may be congested due to swelling or from the nasal splint. You need to rest in bed with your head raised higher than your chest to reduce bleeding and swelling. For a few days after the surgery, you may also experience slight bleeding and drainage of mucus. Your surgeon may place a “drip pad” under your nose to absorb drainage.
Your surgeon may ask you to avoid strenuous activity, take baths instead of showers, avoid blowing your nose, eat high-fiber foods to avoid constipation, not to do any facial expressions (smiling or laughing), not wearing pull clothing and wear button-downs instead.
For at least several weeks after the surgery, do not rest eyeglasses or sunglasses on your nose to prevent pressure. You should also wear SPF 30 sunscreen when you are outside because too much sun can cause permanent irregular discoloration to your nose. Do not put anything such as ice or cold packs on your nose even though it is swelling as the swelling will go away faster by limiting your dietary sodium.
Nose surgery is known to have around 80% to 90% success rate. Nevertheless, just like any other surgery, it still has possible risks and complications. These risks are bleeding, infection, numbness, permanent nerve damage, and an adverse reaction to the anesthesia. You should call your surgeon immediately if you suspect any of the symptoms. Other possible risks are difficulty breathing through your nose, uneven-looking nose, persisting pain, swelling, and discoloration, scarring, septal perforation, and the need for a second or third surgery.
If you do not want to undergo surgery, or if it is not suitable for you, you can get filler injections, such as Botox, Juvaderm, and Restylane. They can change the shape of your nose and only require a short visit to the doctor. This method is not painful and needs no incisions or stitches.
For an in-depth analysis of the closed rhinoplasty procedure with before and after images, watch this short video.
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