Published: December 16, 2022
Category: Uncategorized

Positioned right in the middle of your face, your nose is quite literally the focal point that defines your other facial features. That’s why a nose that does not match the rest of your face can disrupt its overall proportions and balance. One that harmonizes well, on the other hand, can create beauty and symmetry.

Because it’s such a central facial feature, it’s not surprising that many people want to improve the appearance of their noses. Rhinoplasty is the third most conducted plastic surgery in the United States. Beyond aesthetics, the reasons for getting a rhinoplasty include repairing deformities due to injury, correcting birth abnormalities and correcting breathing problems. 

No matter your reason for needing or wanting a rhinoplasty, it’s important to familiarize yourself with what this surgery involves so that you can plan for what’s ahead and make sure you’re making the right decision. These are a few things we believe all prospective rhinoplasty patients should know:

The Results Can Be Unpredictable

Even the most skilled and experienced plastic surgeon cannot guarantee that your nose will look exactly how you’ve discussed during your consultation. That’s because it’s hard to achieve consistent and predictable results with a procedure as complex as rhinoplasty. 

The same rhinoplasty technique can create different results in different patients due to the wide variability of nose shapes, nasal structures and overall facial anatomy. It’s also hard to predict how the dynamics of tissue healing will affect the final results. 

That isn’t to say that you’ll end up with a nose entirely different from the one you were hoping for. A skilled surgeon will ensure to achieve what you’ve asked, like lowering the nasal bridge, reducing base width or contouring the nasal tip. However, your final results may show slight variation from what your “ideal” results would be. That’s why it’s so important to have realistic expectations before getting rhinoplasty.

The Recovery Is Lengthy

It can take up to a year for the post-op swelling to completely subside and for the final results to emerge, as explained by the American Society of Plastic surgeons. The reason for this is that the soft tissues of the nose hold swelling longer than any other place on the body. 

During the first few days of recovery, your nose will be covered in bandages, and you will need to wear a splint inside or on top of your nose. There will likely be prominent bruising around your eyes, which will take seven to 10 days to clear. 

It will also take six weeks for bones and cartilage to heal. It’s important to avoid sleeping on your stomach, practicing impact sports, doing resistance workouts, wearing glasses and blowing your nose during this time to avoid injuring your nose while it’s healing. It’s often recommended to avoid exposing your nose to tanning beds and the sun in the first year due to the risk of hyperpigmentation. 

Rhinoplasty Is Surprisingly Tolerable

Rhinoplasty is a major surgical procedure involving anesthesia, incisions, excisions, bruising and swelling. But despite that, it isn’t as painful as it looks. Most patients experience mild to moderate discomfort around the nose and central face that is easy to manage with pain medication.

The medication you’ll be on during the first three to seven days of your recovery should be enough to help you sleep and function. According to a 2020 prospective clinical study, rhinoplasty patients typically rate their discomfort as worst during the first three days, with most returning to their usual selves by day eight. 

So, if you’re worried about post-operative discomfort, know that you might find the experience annoying rather than debilitating. Many of our patients are happy to discover their recovery is smoother and more comfortable than they thought it would be. 

Rhinoplasty Has Evolved Over the Years

In days past, rhinoplasties usually involved removing lots of cartilage, skin and bone to make the nose appear smaller. But this can sometimes lead to complications and unfavorable outcomes, like pinched nostrils and nasal valve collapse. 

Today, many skilled surgeons practice what is known as structure rhinoplasty. With structure rhinoplasty, surgeons use harvested cartilage, implants and structures to reposition and shape the nose while maintaining its strength and functionality. Done skillfully, this helps create a natural look and is less likely to lead to complications down the line. 

Structure rhinoplasty is an ideal choice for patients needing revision rhinoplasty since the procedure allows surgeons to preserve what is left of nasal tissue. It is also used to repair a nose compromised by an injury or a birth defect.  

Your Choice of Surgeon Matters

A plastic surgeon who is an expert in facelifts may not be equally skilled when it comes to rhinoplasties. Rhinoplasty remains one of the most complex and challenging plastic surgeries. And that’s even with our growing understanding of nasal anatomy and technological advancements.

There are many reasons why this is the case. From the complexity of nasal anatomy, to the huge variability in nose shapes and sizes, to difficulty predicting outcomes, a “nose job” is tough. That’s why you need to choose a skilled, experienced and qualified surgeon. 

When choosing your surgeon, make sure they’re board certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery. Ask to see their portfolio and ask them about how much experience they have performing rhinoplasties. 

If you are looking for a qualified surgeon for your rhinoplasty, you won’t go wrong with Dr. Brock Ridenour. Dr. Ridenour has over two decades of experience performing rhinoplasties using advanced techniques. That’s why it’s not surprising that his private practice has been listed as one of St. Louis’ “Best Cosmetic Surgery Centers” in the Ladue News Platinum List. 

Request a Consultation at Ridenour Plastic Surgery

No matter if you’re a St. Louis County local or live elsewhere, you can ask to be treated at our facility. To learn more about rhinoplasty or to schedule your consultation, contact board-certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Brock Ridenour and his team in St. Louis, Missouri, at 314-878-8600 today.

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