What is Rhinoplasty?
The term Rhinoplasty is derived from the Latin for nose, "Rhino", and the Greek for moulding or forming, "Plasty". It is a procedure which is used to change the size or shape of the nose, or to restore functioning following an accident or due to an abnormality. There are two techniques used, open and closed. Both involve incisions being made inside the nostrils, but in the open procedure a second incision is made in the fleshy area between the two nostrils. The skin is separated and adjustments made to the bone and cartilage to achieve the desired effect. Once this is completed the nasal passages are then packed and an external splint applied.
The recovery process will be uncomfortable and you will suffer bruising, swelling and an unpleasant "stuffed up" feeling. Although the pain is not severe it is advisable to use the pain relief your surgeon will have prescribed for you as often as you need it. It will be more effective if you take it as soon as you begin to experience any discomfort rather than wait until the pain is unbearable. The evening or the day following your surgery you may well feel nauseous and possibly vomit. Do not be alarmed if this looks black, this is due to blood you will have swallowed during the procedure and is perfectly normal. If the nausea persists, call your surgeon for advice. You will have been advised to sleep with your head and shoulders raised for the first few weeks after surgery as this will help to reduce the swelling and bleeding.
During the First Few Weeks
The packing from inside the nose will be removed within a few days at your first post operative appointment, and the cast and sutures around 5-7 days later. At this stage the surgeon will generally apply taping to the nose to keep the readjustment in place and to aid the healing process. This will need to be reapplied daily for 6 weeks until the new nose is "stable". You should also notice that, within the first 10-14 days, the bruising will have subsided considerably and any pain or discomfort all but disappeared.
Once the taping has been removed after 6-8 weeks following the Rhinoplasty you must still be vigilant in ensuring that you do not knock or injure your nose. In addition to causing severe discomfort, you may well destroy the integrity of the nose and require further surgery. It will take anything up to 1 year for the swelling to disappear completely and for you to really appreciate the "new you".