What is Rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty is a procedure of cosmetic surgery that changes the shape and appearance of the nose. Depending upon the desired results of the patient, this surgical procedure may change the angle of the nose or correct bumps, indentations or defects in the structure of the nose. The surgery consists of the doctor making incisions into the bone and cartilage that forms the support of the nose. Once the incisions are made, tissue and skin is placed over this new structure in order to achieve the desired shape and appearance.
Who are potential candidates for rhinoplasty?
Candidates for rhinoplasty include those persons who have defects in their nose due to illness, birth or genetic defects, or accidents. There are times when these nasal defects can cause difficulty in breathing or chronic congestion of the nasal passageway. Rhinoplasty is undertaken in order to remove these medical problems.
Other people who opt to undergo this surgical procedure wish to change and improve their appearance, and their concerns are primarily cosmetic.
What is it like after surgery?
Like any surgery, the body will need time to heal after the operation. There will be swelling of the nose and bruising around the eyes. Neither of these signs should be cause for alarm, since they are normal. It usually takes ten to fourteen days before the swelling subsides. Surgeons may prescribe pain medication, depending upon the case of the patient. There will be splints on the outside on the nose, and in some cases, also a splint inside. There may also be discharge of fluid and blood, which needs gauze to catch it. This gauze must be changed as necessary.
What are the possible risks?
Although this operation can be done in a few hours with a local anaesthesia, there are still some risks involved. All surgeries carry the risk of infection, and antibiotics will probably be prescribed. Other risks include damage to the wall between the nostrils, which is called the septum, and swelling inside the nose, which can lead to difficulty in breathing. Another risk is that the gauze and tape used can cause skin irritation.
What to do before the operation
It is best to wash your face thoroughly before the operation in order to decrease the risk of infection. After washing, the patient should not put on creams, lotions, moisturizers, make-up, perfume, or nail polish. All jewellery should be removed before the operation. It is best to wear a shirt or a blouse with buttons or a zipper for easy removal.
What to do after the operation
The splint inside the nose should be ready to be removed after seven days. When the patient goes to bed, it is best to use two to three pillows to elevate the head, which should reduce the swelling. A good doctor should be able to avoid nasal packing post-operation, but should it become necessary, the patient will have to breathe through the mouth. Nonetheless, the nasal packing will not stay long – it will be removed in a day or two.
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