A “nose job” can refer to any surgical procedure that involves work on the architecture of your nose. This can include a “septoplasty-” work done on the inside to improve your breathing. It can include a “rhinoplasty-” work done on the external nose to achieve a number of goals. It can also include a “septorhinoplasty” which combines work on the inside and outside parts of your nose. Depending on how the healing process goes, a nose job may need to be repeated or redone- a “revision rhinoplasty.” If you’re considering a nose job, here are four things that you should know!
- Nose jobs can be personalized. Some people want the tip of their nose altered in some way. Others are happy with their nasal tip but want a bump removed from the bridge of their nose. Even others simply want to breathe better and aren’t interested in any external change at all. There is no such thing as a “cookie cutter” nose job- the surgical plan can be tailored to your specific desires.
- You don’t need to avoid exercise for months and months. In fact, if you want to, you can be up and taking a walk THE SAME DAY as your surgery. You will have a cast and some tape on the outside of your nose that should stay in place about a week. I don’t want you to get really sweaty because it will make the cast fall off. If the cast does come off early, it’s generally not a big deal- just stick it back on- but it’s best avoided. After the cast comes off, I usually will tell you to take it easy in the gym because getting your heart rate up can lead to swelling of the skin of the nose, worse than it would be otherwise. Now, it’s not permanent, but something you should be aware of. After about six weeks everything should be healed enough that you can even resume contact sports (although if you’re a boxer, I would advise you NOT to have nasal surgery until your career is over…).
- Nose jobs can be done without any external scarring. Depending on what you want done, all of the incisions can be made inside your nose. If you only want your septum straightened or a bump removed from the bridge of your nose, most of the time I can do that without any external incisions. For work on the nasal tip and for revision surgery, I will almost always need to make an incision across the base of your nose. This scar is almost always invisible by six weeks after the surgery, but your nose will be puffier, for longer, than it would be otherwise.
- Finally, you shouldn’t need any packing or splints inside your nose. We as rhinoplasty surgeons used to think that you should put a bunch of gauze inside a freshly operated nose to collect blood and support the internal structure. Well, you might ooze a little after a nose job but nothing that would require such drastic measures. And if a nose isn’t properly supported on its own, then you risk bad things down the road, so we as surgeons now emphasize building structure and support into a nose job so that internal splints usually aren’t necessary.
I’m a firm believer that if a patient is considering a nose job, or any facial surgery for that matter, they should know what to expect. Ask to see before and after photos– not just what previous patients look like after a year, but ask to see what they looked like at a month, two weeks, even a week after surgery. Here’s a link to the before and afters of nose jobs on my site. If you want to see what the healing process looks like, come in for a consult. I’d love to see you and show you what I can do.