Rhinoplasty, the vaunted “nose job” of plastic surgeons, is one of the more impactful cosmetic surgeries. Even more than a face lift, which simply makes a person look refreshed and young for their age, a rhinoplasty can actually change the look of a person’s face. This is because, after the eyes, the nose is the most noticeable feature on the face. A patient can probably hide a good facelift, but friends, family and coworkers are going to notice if the size and shape of a person’s nose is altered.
Because of this, it is important for a patient who seeks a rhinoplasty to have realistic goals and to have a consultation with a prospective plastic surgeon. There are many questions a patient can ask the surgeon before they commit to the operation, but here are five important questions:
1. What are the surgeon’s credentials?
The surgeon needs to have completed medical school and to have completed a residency in plastic surgery. They must specialize in rhinoplasty, and the patient should ask how long the doctor has been performing the operation. The surgeon should also have hospital admitting privileges for rhinoplasty, and the patient should ask which hospitals those are. The patient should find out if the facility where the operation is to take place is state or nationally accredited, Medicare certified or state licensed.
The surgeon must be a board certified plastic or cosmetic surgeon and a member of a board of a medical specialty society such as the American Society of Plastic Surgeons or the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. They should have proof of their skill and expertise when it comes to rhinoplasty and should happily provide before and after pictures of their patients who have had the procedure.
2. Is the patient a good candidate for the operation?
A patient is a good candidate for rhinoplasty if they are 13 years or older and their facial features have stopped growing. The patient should also be in good physical and mental health and have realistic and specific goals for their nose surgery. Besides this, other criteria for rhinoplasty include a nose that is too large or even too small in proportion to the face; a nose that its wide, or has a drooping, bulbous or protruding tip; a nose that has bump on its bridge; a nose with very flared or pinched nostrils or a nose that is crooked, either due to heredity or injury.
Sometimes doctors will notice that a patient has a deviated septum that interferes with the patient’s breathing. The patient may not even be aware of this and simply believe that the way they usually breathe is normal. A deviated septum can be repaired along with the rhinoplasty, and it may be covered by the patient’s health insurance. A rhinoplasty for purely cosmetic reasons is not often covered by medical insurance.
3. What sort of rhinoplasty does the doctor recommend?
A rhinoplasty can be open or closed. In an open rhinoplasty, the doctor makes an incision in the columella, which is the cartilage and skin between the nostrils. In a closed incision, the doctor makes incisions inside the nose. A closed incision hides any scarring. A person with a small nose may need to have grafts of their own bone or cartilage to make their nose larger. The patient should also ask the surgeon where and how they will perform the nose surgery.
4. How long is the recovery period after rhinoplasty?
Most people can go back to work after about 10 days after a nose surgery and can resume their exercise routine after about two weeks. It sometimes takes as long as a year for the nose to completely assume its new shape.
Right after the surgery, the patient will need someone to drive them home, and stay with them for a day or two. The patient should follow a postoperative schedule given to them by the nurse. This includes returning to the surgeon for checkups and to have any stitches or splints removed, taking painkillers and antibiotics, sleeping with their head elevated and generally being gentle with their nose for a few weeks. Saline drops can be a useful part of recovery – check out https://serp.co/best/saline-drops/ for the best saline drops!
5. What are possible complications and how are they handled?
The surgeon should be frank when it comes to possible complications. They should be discussed at the consultation before the patient agrees to the surgery. The surgeon should also let the patient know how their medical facility handles any complications from rhinoplasty.
To make sure they don’t forget any questions that occur to them, the patient should write them down, and bring them to the consultation.
Set up a Consultation with Dr. Becker
If you live in central or southern New Jersey and are unhappy with the shape or size of your nose, don’t hesitate to call Dr. Daniel G. Becker for a consultation. Dr. Becker is a clinical professor of facial plastic surgery in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania and a director of the University of Pennsylvania Aesthetic and Functional Rhinoplasty Course. He is a leading expert in not just rhinoplasty but revision rhinoplasty. Call the central New Jersey number at 609 436-5740 or the southern New Jersey number, 856 772-1617, for an appointment. For more information, visit the site at www.therhinoplastycenter.com.