What Happens Before, During and After Your Rhinoplasty Procedure

Jun 16, 2022
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Rhinoplasty, also known colloquially as a “nose job,” is one of the most popular plastic surgeries worldwide. It’s often done to reshape the nose and provide a more pleasing facial aesthetic that highlights your best features. It can also address...

Rhinoplasty, also known colloquially as a “nose job,” is one of the most popular plastic surgeries worldwide. It’s often done to reshape the nose and provide a more pleasing facial aesthetic that highlights your best features. It can also address breathing problems caused by injury, trauma or blocked nasal passages. But if you’ve been considering rhinoplasty for cosmetic or medical reasons, you’re probably eager to learn more about the actual treatment process. Board-certified maxillofacial surgeon Dr. John P. Freeman in Katy, Texas, has put together some information to help you better understand what to expect before, during and after your procedure. 

The Initial Consultation

The first step of any cosmetic surgery is the initial consultation. This gives you a chance to meet with your doctor and have your concerns evaluated by a qualified professional. During this phase of treatment, Dr. Freeman will perform a physical examination and look at the inside and outside of your nose to gauge your needs. He will also review the details of the procedure and ask questions about your goals and expectations to make sure rhinoplasty is a good fit. If everything goes smoothly, he’ll then measure your face and take photos to develop a personalized treatment plan.

At this stage, it may be helpful to bring in examples of the type of look you hope to achieve. Doing so provides a visual representation of your desired results and helps your surgeon better understand your goals. However, it’s important to remember that certain outcomes may not be possible due to your unique facial structure, anatomy or contours. In that case, Dr. Freeman will use your examples for reference and sculpt a nose that perfectly complements your natural features for improved facial harmony, balance and beauty.

Preparing for Surgery

After your initial consultation, you’ll better understand the risks, benefits, and type of results you can expect from rhinoplasty. If you feel confident moving forward, Dr. Freeman will craft a personalized treatment plan tailored to your unique needs and schedule your surgery date. He will also provide tips on how you can prepare for your upcoming procedure to ensure a smooth experience, such as:

  1. Taking time off from work so you can rest at home
  2. If you smoke, quitting tobacco to improve the healing process
  3. Arranging for help around the house, if needed
  4. Cleaning your linens, stocking the pantry and filling medications
  5. Creating a comfortable recovery space
  6. Understanding what type of activities will be restricted

You’ll also need to arrange for a ride home after surgery, as the effects of anesthesia can linger and compromise your ability to drive safely. Dr. Freeman will review these and other details in advance so you can feel prepared on the day of your procedure. Ideally, you want less to worry about after your surgery so you can focus on healing. 

The Procedure Itself

With the consultation and surgery prep out of the way, the next step is the procedure itself. Rhinoplasty is performed as an outpatient procedure using general anesthesia. There are two different techniques that are typically used to achieve a desired outcome: closed rhinoplasty and open rhinoplasty. During the planning phase of treatment, Dr. Freeman will have selected the approach that’s most suitable for you.

Closed rhinoplasty utilizes two incisions on the inside of the nose that allow changes to be made to the internal structures. It procedures less visible scarring but limits your surgeon’s view of the bone, cartilage and underlying tissues. While skilled practitioners such as Dr. Freeman can produce fantastic results with closed rhinoplasty, this technique is often recommended for patients who require more minor adjustments.

Open rhinoplasty utilizes the same two incisions as those used in closed rhinoplasty, plus one additional incision that connects them across the columella. This is the small bridge tissue on the bottom of your nose that separates your nostrils. While the third incision is external, it provides Dr. Freeman with more visibility and access to the internal structures of the nose for more extensive and detailed adjustments. The possibility of noticeable scarring is often cited as a downside to open rhinoplasty, but incision lines are virtually undetectable once they have healed. 

No matter which technique is used, Dr. Freeman will carefully alter the size, shape and contours of your nose to sculpt a more flattering and balanced appearance. If you experience breathing issues, he will also restructure the nasal passages to improve airflow. After the necessary corrections have been made, the incisions will be closed with small sutures. The entire procedure may last between one and three hours.

The Big Reveal

After surgery, you can expect to take one to two weeks off from work and other daily activities. During this time, you’ll notice some pain, bruising and swelling in the treated area. You may also experience minor headaches or nosebleeds. To help manage these side effects, Dr. Freeman will prescribe medication and place bandages, a splint and nasal packing in and around the nose, but these can be removed at your next follow-up visit.

Your results may not be immediately obvious, but the improved contours of your nose will gradually develop as the bruising and swelling subside. Most people feel ready to reveal their new look after six weeks. While the nose will continue to show refinement for the next one to two years, you’ll likely feel comfortable being in public, appearing in photographs and enjoying your results long before this. Eventually, your new nose will settle into its final shape and size, looking and feeling so natural you’ll forget you even had surgery at all.

Learn More

If you want to learn more about rhinoplasty and how this procedure can improve your overall appearance, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. John P. Freeman today. As a highly renowned and board-certified maxillofacial surgeon, he has the skills and experience to sculpt a nose that complements your best features. You can reach our office in Katy, Texas, to schedule a consultation by clicking here or calling 281-599-9445.

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