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Rhinoplasty, which is also sometimes called “nose job surgery,” is a profoundly useful procedure. It can correct breathing issues while also making the patient’s nose much more aesthetically pleasing.

Because camera lenses invariably emphasize the nose, having this surgery will ensure that you photograph well. It will also prevent your nose from taking attention away from your other features when you’re interacting with people face-to-face. As is the case with any invasive surgery, however, there are some steps you need to take before having a rhinoplasty:

Decide What You Want to Get Out of Rhinoplasty Surgery

Rhinoplasty surgery can be performed for either cosmetic or medical reasons—or it can serve both purposes. If you have trouble breathing through your nose, have a deviated septum, or have nasal polyps, a rhinoplasty can help you breathe more easily. Make sure to talk to your surgeon about any structural problems within your nose that you want to have corrected (as well as making your cosmetic goals clear). If you need structural changes made, you may need a more invasive form of rhinoplasty. Your surgeon will discuss your options with you.

Make Sure Your Rhinoplasty Expectations are Realistic

The notion that rhinoplasty surgery can completely transform a person’s nose is somewhat misguided. While it’s true that rhinoplasty can make your nose a great deal more photogenic and proportional with the rest of your face, a plastic surgeon cannot, for example, take a strong “Roman” nose and make it into a tiny “button” nose. Surgeons need to work within the limits imposed by your nose’s cartilage and skin.

Rhinoplasty is generally capable of making any of the following changes to a patient’s nose: It can change the shape of the nose (e.g., it can make a bulbous nose more tapered), it can straighten a crooked nose, and it can change the patient’s profile (such as by removing a distracting “hump” over the nasal bridge). For the best results, you should ask your chosen plastic surgeon for pictures of rhinoplasties he or she has performed. This will give you a better idea of what you can expect.

Consider how Your Ethnicity Might Affect Your Rhinoplasty Procedure

People of all ethnicities can have rhinoplasty surgery—and end up looking fabulous afterwards. However, it’s important to remember that the differences in our noses are more than just skin-deep. A Caucasian’s nose has an internal structure that is quite different to an African American’s, and an African American’s nose is structurally unlike that of a Middle Eastern person, and so on. It’s therefore very important to choose a plastic surgeon who has substantial prior experience working with people of your specific ethnicity. Our office offers Ethnic Rhinoplasty surgery as an option.

If You Smoke, Stop

You will need to be smoke-free for two weeks before and after your surgery because smoking limits the amount of available oxygen in the blood. Our cells need oxygen in order to effectively repair damage done to them; ergo, smoking slows healing. Not only will slow healing make you more likely to experience post-surgical pain and swelling, it also increases your risk of infection. If quitting proves too difficult for you, ask your doctor about wearing a nicotine patch before and after your rhinoplasty.

Plan for Your Nose Surgery Recovery

Rhinoplasty recovery is not usually very painful, but it does involve some special preparation. You will need to eat soft foods for at least one week after your surgery because chewing will be uncomfortable. You will also need to give up strenuous activities and avoid wearing glasses for up to one month. (If you need to wear glasses, talk to your surgeon about fitting a special splint so your glasses don’t put any pressure on your nose.) Finally, make sure that you have front-buttoning clothing to wear during the day and night. You won’t want to risk injuring your nose while pulling tight clothing over your head.

Book a Consultation

This is the last step you’ll need to take before having a rhinoplasty: Book a plastic surgery consultation in order to discuss your rhinoplasty objectives with a qualified professional. Just remember to put an emphasis on the “qualified” part—Before working with any plastic surgeon, you should take the time to verify his or her credentials. The surgeon you choose should be fully board certified and a member of one or more reputable plastic surgery societies.

If you’re in Tennessee, feel free to visit our Nashville plastic surgery practice for more information on rhinoplasty. Dr. Gilpin is dual board certified and fellowship-trained, so you will have complete peace of mind when working with us.