Our Most Commonly Asked Rhinoplasty Questions Answered

Posted July 10, 2018 in Rhinoplasty (Nose Surgery)

While rhinoplasty surgery is a fairly straightforward procedure, it’s still an invasive surgery. As such, most rhinoplasty patients have a number of questions and concerns they want to be addressed before going “under the knife.” For your easy reference, we’ve compiled some of the most common questions we get about rhinoplasty, along with their answers.

Your 5 Top Questions About Rhinoplasty, Answered

1. How long is the recovery period after rhinoplasty surgery?

Many people who have rhinoplasty surgery find that they feel better after about one week. However, we advise planning to take up to two weeks off work. This will give you the time you need to rest and recover in the event that you experience lingering symptoms of swelling or bruising. Additionally, rhinoplasty patients have to avoid strenuous physical activity for a month (or longer) after having surgery. This is necessary because the deeper structural tissues of the nose need a long time to fully heal, even after symptoms like soreness and swelling have subsided. In the meantime, your nose will be very fragile and even a minor injury could damage it a great deal. As such, you will need to stick to risk-free, low-impact exercises like walking.

2. Will having rhinoplasty surgery hurt?

Rhinoplasty surgery can cause some discomfort, but Dr. Gilpin will give you pain reduction strategies so that you experience very little pain after your operation. First and foremost, you will be prescribed pain medication and given a dosing schedule to adhere to. You will also be advised to stock up on a lot of soft foods, such as applesauce, ice cream, bananas, and pudding. Chewing can be uncomfortable for the first week after you have rhinoplasty surgery, so avoiding chewing is one of the best ways to avoid worsening symptoms of soreness and swelling.

Other steps, like applying a cool compress to minimize pain and swelling, can help you reduce your symptoms. You should also keep your head slightly elevated and use pillows to prevent you from rolling over onto your face while you sleep.

3. Will having a nose job make it harder for me to breathe?

No; on the contrary, rhinoplasty surgery can actually make it easier for patients to breathe. In addition to achieving your cosmetic goals, rhinoplasty surgery is often used to correct breathing problems. If you have an unusually flat nasal bridge or a deviated septum, for instance, having a nose job can make it easier for you to exercise and even improve snoring. People with breathing problems are therefore often advised to have rhinoplasty surgery even if they are not unhappy with the shape or size of their nose.

4. Should I have an open or closed rhinoplasty?

In order to truly answer this question, you’ll need to visit us in person and have a rhinoplasty consultation. In general, however, we strongly recommend having an open rhinoplasty rather than a closed procedure. While closed rhinoplasty surgery can be used to make minor cosmetic alterations to the nose, its usefulness is severely limited. This is the case because the tissues beneath the nasal tip must be released (as they are during an open rhinoplasty) in order to permit the surgeon to see and access the patient’s nasal passages.

The open technique allows the surgeon to make more substantial alterations to the shape of the nose; he or she can also make them more accurately. As such, open rhinoplasty surgery is used for more extensive cosmetic alterations and medical alterations, such as realigning a deviated septum. Likewise, patients who wish to have a revision rhinoplasty must also usually opt for open rhinoplasty surgery due to the difficulties presented by scar tissue from their previous nose operation. Finally, most people who have had their nose injured during an accident will require open rhinoplasty in order to ensure that their nose is thoroughly rebuilt.

Open rhinoplasty surgery also tends to confer better results over the long term. While the open technique appears more invasive, in reality, it allows the surgeon to preserve more of the supportive structure within the nose. This ensures that the tip of the nose will remain properly aligned even many years after the patient has had surgery.

5. Will having rhinoplasty surgery cause visible scarring?

Usually, no. Open rhinoplasty may cause a small incision line just below the nose, but most patients report that this fades after six months to one year. Because the incision from open rhinoplasty surgery is partially obscured by shadowing from the tip of the nose, most patients do not feel that their rhinoplasty incision is particularly visible. If you are concerned about scarring, talk to us about ways to reduce the likelihood that noticeable scar tissue will form. Taking certain steps, like using the right sunscreen and avoiding sun exposure, can help to greatly reduce the chance that you will develop a noticeable scar.

Do you have any questions about rhinoplasty surgery that were not answered above? If you do, feel free to contact us for more information; we’ll be happy to help you in any way we can.


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Dr. David Gilpin is an award-winning, board-certified facial plastic surgeon and a leader in facial plastic surgery in the Nashville, TN area. Dr. Gilpin performs surgeries at our accredited surgical suite for a private, welcoming experience. During a consultation, Dr. Gilpin will work with you to explore your cosmetic options and achieve your most confident self yet. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Gilpin and learn more about your facial cosmetic surgery options, contact our office by calling or filling out our online form.

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