Primary Rhinoplasty Overview
Commonly called a nose job, primary rhinoplasty refers to a first-time nasal surgery performed for either cosmetic or functional purposes. Secondary or revisionary rhinoplasty refers to a nose job on a patient who has undergone one or more previous procedures.
Due to the intricacy and specialized techniques inherent in the procedure, rhinoplasty is widely regarded the most difficult surgery in the realm of cosmetic, plastic, and reconstructive surgeries. To achieve perfect results, the surgeon must master intricate nasal anatomy and a complex range of techniques due to the wide variations in each patient’s nose. The surgery requires removing excess bone or cartilage, as well as grafting cartilage to existing nasal structures.
- Preparation: In the two weeks prior to surgery, cease taking all blood-thinning medications and supplements. These include aspirin, NSAIDs, vitamin E, and Gingko biloba. To aid healing, smokers should quit smoking for at least the two weeks before and the two weeks after their surgery. Those over 45 years of age require medical clearance from their primary physician. Patients who wear glasses should consider getting contact lenses, as they cannot wear glasses for at least two weeks after the procedure. This is also the time to arrange transportation to and from the facility, as well as put in for time off work if necessary.
- Anesthesia: The procedure typically occurs under general anesthesia. Patients discuss this with Dr. Vallecillos during their consultation.
- Preoperative Consultation: During your consultation, explain your desired results to Dr. Vallecillos. The doctor will discuss options and realistic expectations. This is the time to express any fears or concerns, and ask any questions you may have. The doctor will share your pre- and post-operative instructions. Follow these exactly to obtain the best outcome from your procedure.
Primary Rhinoplasty Procedure
Typically, the procedure requires one to two hours to complete. Once your anesthetic takes effect, Dr. Vallecillos makes incisions inside the nose, where they are invisible. Next, the doctor makes the required changes to the bone and cartilage, reducing or supplementing as the needs of the patient require. The doctor then re-drapes the tissues over the new structure and closes the incisions. Finally, to maintain shape during healing, he dresses the area with a splint and possibly absorbent materials inside the nose.
Primary Rhinoplasty FAQs
Who is a candidate for a primary rhinoplasty?
The ideal candidate enjoys general good health with a normally functioning immune system. He or she also approaches the procedure with realistic expectations. Because of the many reasons patients choose rhinoplasty, having realistic expectations regarding achievable results is vital.
What is the recovery time for a primary rhinoplasty?
With so many variables to the surgery, there is no single recovery time answer. Most patients may resume work within 24 hours, but those who take pain medication should avoid working while taking this medication. If you experience severe pain, or your implants appear to shift, contact Dr. Vallecillos immediately.
The majority of swelling subsides within one to two weeks, though appearance continues improving for another two to three months, and up to a year passes before your nose refines and heals completely.
Refrain from strenuous work and exercise for two to three weeks following your surgery, and do not engage in contact sports until Dr. Vallecillos approves. As even minimal pressure interferes with healing, those who wear glasses should wear contact lenses during healing. Also, avoid blowing your nose and swimming. These restrictions last from a few weeks to six months; check with Dr. Vallecillos to discover when you are able to resume normal activities.
Are there risks or side effects associated with a primary rhinoplasty?
All surgery comes with certain risks, especially when patients undergo general anesthesia. Common risks include bleeding, infection, blood clots, and scarring. Risks and side effects unique to rhinoplasty include tightness in the treatment area along with restricted facial movements and expressions. Swelling and bruising subside in the first week or two.
Approximately 10 percent of patients develop minor imperfections while their nose heals, typically in the form of small bumps. Within the first year, these imperfections typically resolve, but a small percentage of patients may require a revision surgery. Discuss this possibility with Dr. Vallecillos during your preoperative consultation.
How long do the results last?
For the best results, follow Dr. Vallecillos’ instructions exactly. Patients who follow postoperative care advice obtain lifetime results.