Your face is usually the first thing people look at when they meet you. Your facial features are what make you unique and identifiable. The nose is the facial feature right in the middle of our face, so when we look in the mirror each day or at photographs of ourselves, we often focus on our noses. Of all the facial features, noses have the most specific and strict beauty standards in modern society. Almost everyone desires a thin nose with a slope-like shape from the side that appears as if someone could ski right off it.

University of California San Diego computer scientists report that people tend to look at the nose first when trying to see if they recognize someone. If your nose has this much of an impact on how you’re viewed, it’s understandable to want it to look great.

If society’s views on attractiveness, your personal preference, or a mixture of both have led you to consider changing the size or shape of your nose, immerse yourself in as much credible information about rhinoplasty as possible. Make sure you are ready to go through the procedure and the recovery process required to achieve true facial harmony.

What is rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is the third most sought after cosmetic procedure in the US, just behing liposuction and breast augmentation, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. When patients come to Dr. Markarian looking to get a rhinoplasty, they are most often concerned about bumps on the bridges of their noses or the width and/or shape of their noses’ tips. Some patients even decide they want a rhinoplasty for functionality to improve their breathing because the procedure can address issues such as deviated septums. Although rhinoplasty is a popular procedure, it requires the skill of highly experienced surgeons because the nose’s shape and a person’s breathing abilities are interrelated. During rhinoplasty, Dr. Markarian refines and readjusts the bone and cartilage beneath the skin on your nose. There are two routine methods of doing so:

  • Open approach – During an open approach rhinoplasty, incisions are in the columella between the nostrils and inside the nose.
  • Closed approach – The most common technique used by facial plastic surgeons today is the closed approach rhinoplasty, or endonasal rhinoplasty, making all incisions inside the nose, leaving no visible scars.

How long is rhinoplasty recovery?

After your rhinoplasty, you will go home wearing some form of a splint, but Dr. Markarian will remove this after a week. Most of the swelling after rhinoplasty takes about 3-4 months to go down, but it can take up to a year to resolve completely and reveal your final results. According to Mayo Clinic, the swelling is unnoticeable to most people after a couple of months. You should be back to your usual day-to-day activities after a week, but it is important to avoid strenuous activities for 2-4 weeks. Doing so will help your nose heal properly and achieve your desired result.

Will I stay in a hospital after my rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is typically done on an outpatient basis, meaning you will not need to spend the night in a hospital following your surgery. Only on rare occasions is it necessary to stay a night after a rhinoplasty.

How can I be prepared for rhinoplasty recovery?

If you are seriously considering getting a rhinoplasty, you should be aware of the precaution you must take while doing your usual day-to-day activities during recovery. These may seem strict but ensure your surgery site heals correctly, and the swelling and bruising fade away to reveal the nose you have always dreamt of having.

Let yourself rest

Even if you are more active than the average person and have a daily routine that includes strenuous activities, you should avoid doing these during your rhinoplasty recovery as they can interrupt results and lead to consideration for a revision. Taking a month off will be worth it when the swelling dissipates with the nose of your dreams making its debut.

Stash up on pillows

Keep your head elevated for the first six weeks during your recovery from rhinoplasty. Avoid sleeping on your side as it can cause more bruising and swelling and possibly lead to the need for a revision if your nose is displaced.

Be cautious while brushing your teeth

With your upper lip connected to your nose, it can be easy to bump into the treated area while brushing your teeth. Try to brush as gently as possible.

Take baths instead of showers

At least while your bandages are still on, you will want to take baths rather than showers to avoid water getting in direct contact with the treated area. If you have a high-pressure shower, you should avoid using it for a while because this may be too much for your newly restructured nose.

Have plenty of fiber-rich foods on hand

Eating foods high in fiber will help you avoid constipation, which causes strain to the muscles in your face, including the surgery site. You should also eat foods that are easy to chew for the first week following rhinoplasties, such as mashed potatoes and oatmeal.

Try to avoid driving for a week following your procedure

If you need to go anywhere during your recovery period after your rhinoplasty, ensure you have arranged for a friend to take you, as the swelling can make it difficult for you to see the road.

Arrange for a friend to help do tasks for the first few days

Make sure you plan with a friend, family member, or significant other to help get you home safely after your procedure and take care of you and your children and/or pets for the first 1-3 days while your body heals.

Inform work of your absence

Make sure you speak with your boss at work about your surgery weeks in advance, as you will need to take 1-2 weeks off work, depending on the extent of the activity your usual tasks require.

Make sure you have plenty of clothes that fasten in the front

Avoid pulling clothing over your head during recovery. Have plenty of button-ups and/or zip-up shirts and sweaters ready for your rhinoplasty recovery.

Avoid anti-inflammatory medications

Two weeks before your surgery, stop taking Vitamin E, aspirin, ibuprofen, and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Doing so will help reduce the risk of perioperative bleeding.

Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking

Alcoholic beverages and smoking can stunt your healing period and increase your risk of post-op bleeding. Avoid these activities for several days, if not weeks, following your procedure. Also, avoid drinking alcohol and smoking for as long as possible before your rhinoplasty procedure day.

Are there risks with rhinoplasty?

As meticulous as the procedure is, it is rare to run into any serious complications when it comes to rhinoplasty if done by a well-versed surgeon. Dr. Markarian will be open and honest about the potential risks before the procedure.

Am I a good candidate for rhinoplasty?

If you are considering getting a rhinoplasty and feel uncertain whether you are a candidate for the procedure, schedule a consultation with board-certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Mark Markarian in Boston. He will discuss your goals with you and analyze your nose’s condition to determine the right step for you in your journey to confidence. Some common characteristics of a good rhinoplasty candidate include:

  • The appearance of your nose is negatively impacting your confidence
  • The shape or structure of your nose interrupts your ability to breathe properly
  • You have no underlying health conditions that may increase the risk of complications during your procedure
  • You have realistic expectations of your rhinoplasty results
  • You are willing to plan and be patient during the necessary period of downtime