Rhinoplasty isn’t a surgery you decide to have on a whim. Like any other form of plastic surgery, it takes planning and patience. One of the most important steps to take before you have rhinoplasty is scheduling a consultation with a board certified facial plastic surgeon who specializes in the procedure. An experienced surgeon will let you know what you should do to get ready for the surgery and whether it’s the ideal procedure for you or not. While you can’t replace a one-on-one consultation with a surgeon, the checklist below can give you a general idea of what you can expect to happen.
Check Out Your Health
The state of your health is important when you are thinking about having rhinoplasty. Since the procedure is completely elective, many surgeons will only perform it on patients who are generally healthy. Your facial plastic surgeon might ask that you have a number of lab tests done before the surgery to confirm your health. For example, he or she might want to make sure your blood glucose levels are normal and that you don’t have anemia.
The consultation will also include an evaluation of your nose. If you’re having the surgery for more than just cosmetic reasons, you’ll want to mention that to your surgeon. For example, if you have difficulty breathing, it could be because you have a deviated septum or nasal polyps that are restricting air flow.
Take Time Off From Work
Once you’ve decided to have the surgery, the next step is to make sure you can get the appropriate amount of time off from work. Depending on the type of work you do, you might need to take just a week or two off. Talk to the HR department at your job and find out what you need to do to take those days off. You may have to use a combination of sick days and vacation time.
Some jobs are more physically demanding and might require more time off. Talk to your surgeon about the type of work you do. If it is particularly strenuous, or involves a lot of bending and lifting, he or she might recommend you take more than a week or two off.
If you’re a smoker, your surgeon will ask you to try to quit at least two weeks before the rhinoplasty. Nicotine constricts your blood vessels and can slow down healing. It also increases your risk for infection. If you use a nicotine replacement therapy to help you quit, you’ll want to be off of that before the surgery, as well. Discuss your options for quitting with your surgeon. It can be difficult, but the benefit it provides for your long-term health is well worth it.
Talk to Your Friends and Family
It’s entirely up to you who you decide to tell about your surgery. But, odds are that you’ll want to tell the people who are closest to you. Talking to your family and friends about your decision to have rhinoplasty can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Simply say that you’ve decided to alter your nose for whatever reason and that you’ll appreciate their support during and after the surgery. If a friend or relative isn’t supportive, you don’t have to talk to them about the procedure further.
Find a Ride
One reason why it’s important to tell the people closest to you about the surgery is because you’re going to need someone to drive you to and pick you up from the surgery center. That person should also stay by your side for the first day or two to help you out. A partner or spouse is an ideal person to ask to drive you, but if your partner isn’t available or you don’t have a partner, you’ll want to pick someone you can rely on. Go for a friend who always shows up on time.
Confirm Your Medications
Your doctor might recommend that you stop taking certain medications before the surgery. When you go in for your consultation, bring along a list of all the medicines and supplements you usually take with you for review. Include even innocent seeming medications on that list, such as aspirin or vitamin E. Your surgeon will advise against taking aspirin in the days and weeks leading up to your rhinoplasty, as it’s a blood thinner and can increase your risk for bleeding. In the few weeks before the surgery, don’t start taking any medicines without getting your surgeon’s approval first.
Plan for Recovery
You might feel a bit bored during your downtime after surgery. In the weeks leading up to your rhinoplasty, plan a few activities for the recovery period. This might be the time that you finally get started on whatever the popular new TV series is or the time when you finally get to read the latest bestsellers. Pick activities that are enjoyable but that don’t require much effort on your part.
Working with a facial plastic surgeon who specializes in rhinoplasty means that you’ll be better prepared for the surgery and will most likely enjoy a better result. Dr. Jeffrey Epstein is a double board certified plastic surgeon who performs an average of five rhinoplasty procedures a week. He has practices in both Miami, Florida and New York City. To schedule a consultation in NYC, call (212) 759-3484. For an appointment in Miami, call (305) 666-1774.