Preparing for Nose Surgery
Finding the Right Surgeon
The most important thing you can do toward having a successful nose surgery is find the right surgeon to perform the procedure. First and foremost, your surgeon should be board certified with plenty of training and experience doing nose surgeries. Ideally, your surgeon will have been performing nose surgeries for at least 5 years; the longer the better. It's important that your surgeon only performs surgery in accredited medical facilities. Because nose surgery is considered by many to be the most complicated type of plastic surgery, it's wise to choose a plastic surgeon who specializes in nose surgery and has experience with advanced procedures such as open nose surgery.
You should feel comfortable with the surgeon that you choose for your nose surgery. In other words, you should feel as though you can communicate clearly with him or her and that you have the same vision for the results of your procedure. Your surgeon may show you simulated results of the procedure using either computer software or tracing paper. Ask to see before and after photos of other patients your surgeon has treated before making a final decision.
If you're seeking a revision nose surgery, your doctor should be extremely experienced doing nose surgeries and have additional experience doing ear and rib cartilage grafting. Because revision rhinoplasties are often more delicate and complex that the first nose surgery a patient has, the doctor should be particularly skillful in performing nose surgery to get the best outcome.
Questions to Ask at the Initial Consultation
It's good to have a list of questions to take along with you to the initial consultation. Below are some valid questions to ask your surgeon during this first meeting:
- Are you board certified?
- Were you trained specifically as a plastic surgeon?
- Are nose surgeries your specialty?
- How many years do you have of nose surgery training?
- Am I a good candidate for nose surgery?
- Where do you intend to perform the nose surgery?
- Will you use an open or closed technique for the surgery?
- What risks are associated with this type of procedure?
- What kind of recovery period should I plan for?
- What will my nose look like after the surgery?
- Do you have before and after photos of other patients you've treated?
Preparing for Surgery and Recovery
It's important to prepare for surgery and the recovery period in order to diminish your downtime as much as possible. Don't smoke and don't drink in the two weeks prior to surgery. Eat nutritious meals and get some moderate exercise to prepare your body as much as possible for the procedure.
Though you will probably feel great after your nose surgery, you need to have someone lined up to drive you home and someone to stay with you for the first 24 hours following the procedure. Over the first 24 hours following the procedure, you can expect to see a lot of swelling around the treated area as well as a headache perhaps. Most patients stay in bed for the first 24 hours after the procedure. Your doctor will prescribe pain medication to make these first 24 hours more comfortable.
Though bleeding and stuffiness are common, patients are not to blow their noses. Most patients are able to get up and start walking around after the first two days of recovery. Within a week, most patients return to work. Strenuous exercise is generally avoided for about 2 to 3 weeks following the surgery. Patients should also avoid being out in the sun for extended periods of time.
Surgical dressing applied to the incisions in the nose should be kept dry during recovery. Within one or two weeks, your doctor will have you return to remove the stitches, dressings, and splints from then nose.