Rhinoplasty includes aesthetic and reconstructive surgery of the nose and is designed to address a number of different patient concerns. The nose is a very complex organ that not only has an essential function for breathing but is also a prominent visual feature on a person’s face. Addressing nasal aesthetics must always take into account the potential impact on the functional aspects. The specific nasal tissues that are operated on during rhinoplasty and the techniques used will all have an effect on the time a patient needs to heal.
General Healing After Cosmetic Rhinoplasty
As after any surgery, your body will need some time to heal after rhinoplasty. Heeding post-operative instructions, such as limiting your activity, is extremely important in ensuring you have a smooth recovery. There are several stages of healing which include:
- Swelling and bruising during the first 2 weeks after surgery, which gradually resolve
- Bony healing over 4 weeks in patients where the nasal bones were narrowed surgically
- Softening and molding of scar tissue during 6-12 months
- Additional improvement in nasal contour over several months as the tissues continue to heal
Optimal results from rhinoplasty are usually observed once sufficient time has elapsed – even up to one year – for the cartilage, bones, and skin to gradually assume their final appearance.
Specific Aspects of Rhinoplasty Healing
The age of the patient, the distinctive anatomy of their nasal skin, cartilage, and bones, and desired surgical outcome will all impact healing after rhinoplasty. Some of these aspects include:
- Did the patient have prior trauma to the nose, such as a fracture or dislocation?
- Is it the first rhinoplasty or a subsequent one, which may lead to scar tissue and interference with normal nasal anatomy
- Does the patient require specialized techniques such as cartilage grafts to address the aesthetic concerns, functional issues, or both
Pre-operative in-person consultation with an experienced plastic surgeon like Dr. Hutchinson is essential in helping patients have reasonable expectations from their rhinoplasty.
Additional Procedures at the Time of Rhinoplasty
Whereas rhinoplasty surgery is designed to make the nose look better, some patients may also need to undergo other procedures in order to improve their breathing or provide the best results from cosmetic surgery.
- Septum surgery or partial resection to straighten a deviated septum, which may also be contributing to a crooked nose or nasal asymmetry
- Sinus surgery to clear out obstructed sinus passages
Dr. Hutchinson may refer patients to additional specialists to fully evaluate their nasal airway, and determine if a joint team approach is best to fully address each patient’s concerns.