Rhinoplasty is connected to lots of trepidation and hesitation, having an almost mystical aura about it that is uncommon to any other plastic surgery field. Here are some questions that you may have been pondering, with answers that we hope will help shed some light on this complex but ultimately very explainable and technical topic.
Does a Patient’s Nose Have to be Broken During Rhinoplasty?
A very persistent yet absolutely untrue myth. The answer is a definite negative. Nope, it does not have to be broken. Some procedures may involve heavy reconstruction of the nasal bone and cartilage (such as after trauma when the nose is already broken and needs to be restored) but most procedures will be subtle and local to the place that is being worked on.
Do you Need to Have your Nose Broken to Have or Need a Rhinoplasty Procedure?
Most patients who seek cosmetic rhinoplasty do not have any nasal complaints with regards to its functionality, only complaints that have to do with their appearance. Many of these cases do not even require any surgery on the nasal bones or septum, concentrating primarily on sculpting the nose skin, tip and nostrils to improve the overall nose-face balance, restore harmony and create better facial proportions. Most work is done on the skin around the bone and cartilage, leaving it completely intact.
What is the Difference between Cosmetic Rhinoplasty and when I Have a Broken Nose?
For those cases when a patient seeks rhinoplasty following nasal trauma and wants to restore its appearance and functionality, the more accurate term is septoplasty or septorhinoplasty. It is the term used for the procedure when it is performed after nasal injury. It refers to a surgery that involves the nasal septum, which can be twisted or broken as a result of nasal injury and is meant to re-align or restore it.
How Do I Know if my Nose is Broken?
This is actually fairly simple. Following the injury, wait until after the swelling has receded and see if your nose looks the same as it did before. Even if it doesn, it may still be broken if you are having difficulty breathing properly. Septal fractures can take several days before they start to become discernable as the injured person will usually attribute the breathing difficulty to swelling, and become suspicious only when it is persistent. If you are not sure, always consult a doctor as a broken nose is easiest to repair when the fracture is still fresh.
Seek evaluation as soon as possible (optimally, within the first 2 weeks). Resetting the bones back in place will carry a significantly decreased risk of requiring future surgery due to unnecessary and unpleasant complications in both appearance and functioning.
What is the Average Recovery Time after Rhinoplasty?
The cast will usually be safe to remove after a week, although you will still likely experience some bruising and swelling around the nose, upper lip and under the eyes. This can be expected to persist somewhere between two and four weeks for the bruising and up to six months for the swelling. It can also vary from none to some depending on the amount of bone that was broken and other individual factors.
When the majority of the swelling begins to subside, you will be able to see the underlying structure appear, making the improvements recognizable. Note that even after the swelling is completely gone, the nasal bridge and other parts of the nose take about a year to shift and settle a small degree to attain its final appearance. Those changes are subtle, however and not recognizable to anyone but you and your surgeon and are never a source of worry.
It can be said that recovery after a rhinoplasty procedure can and will vary depending on the person, specific characteristics of the patient’s nasal tissues and the extent of the surgical procedure and use of internal splints or packing. The general prediction is that you will likely be able to return to your work and daily activities two weeks after surgery. The restriction on physical activities that require stress is six months at the least and should be taken with all seriousness.
The discomfort will not fully subside around the 2 week mark, however, and it will be difficult for anyone to even tell that you had surgery by then, allowing you to feel comfortable in your daily interaction. Consult your surgeon on the necessary precautions that have to be taken to ensure full recovery after rhinoplasty and be sure to follow them. Note that extra precautions may be necessary after ethnic or African American rhinoplasty to prevent the forming of scars and hyperpigmentation.
Feel free to email or call us with any questions you still want to clarify regarding your planned ethnic or African American rhinoplasty procedure. Good luck!