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What to Expect After Nose Reshaping

Nose reshaping, also known as rhinoplasty or simply a "nose job" is done for a number of reasons. Nose reshaping can make the size of the nose larger or smaller, it can alter the bridge of the nose or the tip of the nose, it can narrow the nose or it can modify the size and shape of the nostrils.

Nose shaping is most often done on an outpatient procedure performed at a clinic or hospital and it is done under general anesthesia. Nose reshaping surgery is broken down into two different categories. What differentiates one type of nose reshaping surgery from the other is the method by which the plastic surgeon chooses to access the inside of the nose. To start the surgeon makes an incision directly inside the nose, which is referred to as closed rhinoplasty, or in other instances he will make an incision across the columella (the thin strip of tissue that separates one nostril from the other), which is known as open rhinoplasty. It is really only one tiny cut that makes one method different from the other.

Open rhinoplasty is the nose reshaping method preferred by most plastic surgeons because the skin that is located on the tip of the nose is able to be lifted and this allows the surgeon to be able to shape the cartilage as precisely as possible. The disadvantage to this type is that open rhinoplasty is more likely to bring about more scarring than is closed rhinoplasty. Discuss both methods with the plastic surgeon to determine which one is best suited to your individual situation.

After the surgery is over either soft plastic splints or a special cotton dressing will be carefully placed inside the nose to stop the bleeding and encourage healing. On the outside an external splint will be put in position in order to both protect and support the nose as it heals. Both the internal and external supports will have to stay put for approximately a week’s time.

Soreness will accompany nose reshaping surgery. Starting on the day that you have the surgery and continuing for the next few days and up to a week's time, the bruising and swelling will both get worse. Be aware that developing a black eye (or even two) is not an unusual occurrence as you begin down the road to recovery after rhinoplasty. To relieve some of the swelling and discomfort apply cold compresses around the nose area but not directly on the nose. Often a patient's initial appearance after nose reshaping is worse than is the pain that they experience.

Healing after nose reshaping surgery is very gradual so it is important to be as patient as possible as you heal. Most patients of nose surgery are very happy with the end results. However there are some instances where patients are not satisfied. If this happens then a follow-up surgery can be scheduled but the second surgery (or secondary rhinoplasty) cannot be performed for at least another 12 months.

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