Rhinoplasty has been one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures for decades, regularly ranking among the top five plastic surgeries in the US. It’s easy to see why: The nose is one of our most prominent facial features. When you feel confident about your nose, it’s easier to feel confident about the rest of your appearance.
Although rhinoplasty is popular, it’s also a complex surgery that does require a fair amount of planning and preparation. If you’re thinking about having nasal surgery to change your nose’s appearance or to improve your breathing, here’s your step-by-step guide to the procedure, from deciding on surgery all the way up to preparing for the recovery period.
Step 1: Deciding if Rhinoplasty is Right for You
First things first, is rhinoplasty the right option for you? There are a few things to consider before you move forward.
Usually, surgery is only recommended to people who are in good health. If it’s been a while since you had a preventative care check-up or physical exam, now might be a good time to schedule one. During your physical and check-up, let your primary care physician know that you are considering rhinoplasty and ask them if they recommend any screenings or tests in particular.
Once you’ve got a clean bill of health, it’s a good idea to consider your reasons for wanting the surgery. Is rhinoplasty something that you have wanted for yourself for a while and have only recently had the time and money to consider it? Or, do you feel outside pressure to have the surgery, from your partner, parents, friends, and/or co-workers?
Remember, it’s your nose, and you should only move forward with rhinoplasty if it’s something you truly want for yourself.
Step 2: Researching Rhinoplasty Plastic Surgeons
Once you’ve decided that you want to move forward with rhinoplasty, the next step is to research surgeons and choose the one who seems like a good match for you.
When looking for a surgeon, you’ll only want to consider board-certified facial plastic surgeons. Board-certification means that a surgeon has completed fellowship training, passed exams, and has a certain amount of experience under their belt.
It’s also a good idea to ask a board-certified surgeon about their experience performing rhinoplasty. Some facial plastic surgeons specialize in rhinoplasty, meaning they perform it more than any other surgery. Ideally, you’ll want to work with a surgeon who focuses on rhinoplasty.
Step 3: Scheduling Your Consultation
After you’ve chosen a qualified surgeon, go ahead and schedule a consultation with them. Think of the consultation as the surgeon’s job interview. During the meeting, they should give you as much information as possible about the procedure, answer any questions you have and generally impress you with their bedside manner and knowledge.
It’s a good idea to go into your consultation prepared, as there are some questions you’ll want to get answered. Some questions to ask during the consultation include:
- What’s your experience performing rhinoplasty? How many surgeries have you performed?
- How long have you been in practice, and are you board-certified?
- Do you think I’m a good candidate for the surgery?
- How do you perform rhinoplasty?
- What can I expect after the surgery? How much work will I have to miss? Is there anything I need to avoid or anything I can do to make the recovery period as comfortable as possible?
- How will my nose look after the surgery? How long will it take for results to be visible?
- Are there risks or potential complications I should know about?
Don’t be surprised if the surgeon asks you a few questions, too. They’ll most likely want to know why you’re considering rhinoplasty and are likely to ask for information about your past medical history and your goals for the procedure.
Your surgeon might take pictures of your nose in its current state for the “before” photo. They’ll also explain to you what rhinoplasty can and can’t change about the nose and what they’ll do during surgery to help you reach your aesthetic goals.
Step 4: Scheduling the Surgery
If you’re ready to move forward with rhinoplasty after your consultation with the surgeon, the next step is to choose a time and date for the procedure. Ideally, the surgery date will work with both your schedule and the surgeon’s.
One thing worth considering when picking a date for your procedure is whether or not there are any major events coming up in your life. Since it can take several months, if not a full year, before your final rhinoplasty results are visible, it’s a good idea to schedule your surgery well in advance of any major life events.
Your surgeon can help you decide on a timeline that’s a good fit based on your life’s calendar. Depending on circumstances, they might even advise postponing the surgery until after a big event happening in the near future.
Step 5: Prepare for Recovery
You’ve picked a date and you’re ready for surgery. The next phase in the planning process is to prep for the recovery after rhinoplasty.
You’ll want to request time off from work if needed, or find people to cover your usual responsibilities. If you’ve got children, it might be a good idea to schedule a visit to their aunt’s/uncle’s or grandparents, at least for the first week or so after your surgery.
It’s also a good idea to prepare your house for the first few weeks after rhinoplasty. Fill your prescriptions, pick up some books and magazines, and prepare a comfortable area for your recovery. Stock your fridge and freezer with nutritious prepped meals and food that’s super easy to make. It’s also a good idea to have some cold compresses in the freezer, to help keep swelling and bruising down right after surgery.
When you’re planning on having rhinoplasty, one of the most important steps is choosing the right surgeon. Dr. Michael Schwartz is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon practicing in West Palm Beach, Florida. He will be happy to talk to you about your options and to answer any questions you have about rhinoplasty. To schedule a consultation, call 561-655-5562 today.