Most plastic surgeons will tell you that rhinoplasty is one of the most challenging procedures. The nose is a small but complicated part of the body. When reshaping it, facial plastic surgeons have to consider not only the way it will look afterwards, but also how the surgery will affect its functioning.
Since rhinoplasty is so complex, it’s not a surgery to rush into or to decide on at a moment’s notice. The surgery will change your life in several ways, not just in terms of your appearance. Before you elect to have it, consider the following questions and their answers.
Why Do I Want Surgery?
Understanding why you want rhinoplasty is the first step to deciding if it is the right choice for you or not. If your nose has long given you trouble by making it difficult to breathe, the choice to have rhinoplasty combined with septoplasty can be easy. But, if your reason for wanting the surgery is purely aesthetic, the choice can be a bit more difficult. Although you may be unhappy with the way your nose looks, it’s still a part of you and deciding to change it can be a struggle.
Before having the surgery, it’s essential that you check in with yourself and make sure you are doing it for you, not to make someone else happy. If you want the surgery to please your partner or your parents, it’s likely you won’t be happy with the results and might regret it.
What Are the Risks?
Make sure you have a good understanding of the risks and complications that can arise during the rhinoplasty or after it. Your surgeon should be upfront with you about the risks and offer you guidance on the way he or she reduces the chance of complications.
Complications from the surgery are usually rare. They can include bleeding, damage that affects your ability to breathe or smell, and an adverse reaction to the anesthesia. Making certain choices before surgery, such as not smoking and not using medications that thin the blood, reduce your risk for complications.
One major risk of the procedure is not liking the results. An in-depth consultation with the surgeon and the use of computer imaging to help you both visualize the way your nose will look after it heals will lower the likelihood of you being dissatisfied with the results. If you do end up not liking your new nose, revision rhinoplasty to correct the nose’s look or function is an option. It has been estimated that even in top surgeons’ hands, the revision rate runs 10%, oftentimes these revisions being minor touch ups.
How Much Time Can I Spare for Recovery?
Non-surgical treatments have risen in popularity in recent years, in part because of the limited recovery period they require. When you’re considering rhinoplasty, it’s important to think about the recovery period, as it is much longer compared to the downtime needed after a filler or Botox injection.
Think about how much time you can reasonably take off from work. After rhinoplasty, you’ll most likely need to take at least one week off. If your job involves a lot of movement or physical activity, the time you need to take off can be longer.
You’ll also want to ask yourself how much you can spare to change your lifestyle during the recovery. If you hit the gym daily, you’ll need to take a break from your workout habit, at least until your doctor gives you the okay to start up again, which may not be until two weeks or so after your surgery.
Can I Handle the Changes?
One of the most important questions before rhinoplasty might be: are you ready to accept the changes the procedure brings? Ideally, after the surgery, your appearance will be more appealing to you. But it will still be different, which can take some getting used to. Computer imaging can really help in this regard, as it gives you a preview of what to expect.
It’s also important to remember to have patience after your surgery. There will be swelling and bruising immediately after the procedure. While you will start to see results after a few weeks, in some cases, it can take up to a year before the final results are completely visible.
One of the best things you can do before having rhinoplasty is meet with an experienced surgeon. Dr. Jeffrey Epstein is a triple-board certified plastic surgeon who specializes in rhinoplasty and performs around four or five surgeries each week. Dr. Epstein is available for a consultation at his practices in Miami and New York City. Call (212) 759-3484 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Epstein in New York or (305) 666-1774 for an appointment in Miami.