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What Happens During a Rhinoplasty Procedure

Plastic Surgery

September 16, 2019 | 3 minute read

health professional  wearing white lab coat

If you need to improve your nose’s function or change its shape, rhinoplasty might be the right choice for you. You can choose how you want your nose to look after the procedure and then the surgeon will get to work. Before you undergo plastic surgery, it is normal to want to know what happens during the procedure. Find out more about the procedure.

Rhinoplasty procedure

The anesthesia

While rhinoplasty is often an outpatient procedure, people still need to undergo anesthesia. The surgeon can use IV sedation or general anesthesia. Surgeons look over the surgical plan and the patient’s medical history before choosing the anesthesia to use for the procedure.

The incision

Surgeons choose from two types of incisions. If the patient only requires a minor adjustment, the surgeon will likely choose a closed rhinoplasty. With this procedure, the surgeon makes a small incision inside the nostril. This does not give the surgeon access to the entire nasal structure, but the surgeon can still make small changes, and the scars are completely hidden.

If extensive work needs to be done, the surgeon will choose an open rhinoplasty. The surgeon will make a small incision between the nostrils, providing access to the entire nasal structure. The surgeon will place the incision so that it is hidden in the natural contours of the nose, making it nearly invisible.

Reshaping the nose

After the incision is made, the surgeon can reshape the bone and cartilage inside the nose. This can be done by removing bone or cartilage or adding cartridge to the nose. If cartilage must be added, the surgeon usually takes it from the septum, although surgeons can also take it from the ear or rib.

Draping the skin and closing the incisions

Once the nose has the proper shape, the surgeon drapes the skin back over the nose and closes the incisions. The surgeon might also place splints inside and outside of the nose to promote healing. These splints are typically removed during the first post-op appointment a week after the procedure.

Seeing the results

Patients are eager to see the results after rhinoplasty. Many people notice a marked improvement after a week or two, but it takes 12 to15 months to enjoy the full results. Residual swelling is still present up to that point, which is why it is impossible to see the full results. However, as the swelling continues to go down, the results become increasingly noticeable.

Is rhinoplasty right for you?

Now that you know what to expect during the nose surgery, you have one more question. Is it the right choice for you? Schedule an appointment with a plastic surgeon to go over your options. The surgeon can use computer imaging to show you what to expect after the surgery. This will give you a much better idea if this is the right choice for your nose. Then, you can move forward with the surgery.

Request an appointment here: or call Optimal Plastic Surgery at (657) 444-9291 for an appointment in our Yorba Linda office.

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