Tucson Nose Job (Rhinoplasty) Surgery Information, Benefits and Risks

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What is rhinoplasty (nose job)?

Rhinoplasty is a plastic surgery procedure designed to change the appearance of the nose. Surgery can also help to relieve functional breathing obstructions if a septoplasty is performed at the same time.

When is rhinoplasty used?

A rhinoplasty is performed for people who are unhappy with the appearance of their nose. Through surgery, the size and shape of the nose can be adjusted to better match the rest of the face. Bumps can be shaved down and the tip can be refined. If you are having issues with breathing due to a deviated septum, it can be corrected at the same time.

What is involved at a rhinoplasty consultation?

When you come in for your initial consultation, you will meet with Dr. Maloney and Lindsay, the clinical coordinator. Maloney Plastic Surgery is one of the only practices in Tucson, AZ to offer VECTRA 3D (three-dimensional) technology to our patients. One of the first things we will do at your consultation is use VECTRA imaging technology to take a 3D image of your face. This exciting technology will allow Dr. Maloney to perform a “rhinoplasty” procedure on the 3D image to show you how rhinoplasty will look on you! You are then given a user number so you can access your saved images from home to review with your friends and loved ones if you choose. We are excited and proud to offer this amazing technology to our patients.

After VECTRA imaging, Dr. Maloney will examine you to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. He will discuss details of the surgery, show you before-and-after photos and answer any questions you may have. Lindsay will review surgical fees and financing options and answer additional questions with you.

If you choose to have surgery, you will return for another consultation about 2 weeks before your scheduled surgery. At this appointment, Dr. Maloney will review the surgical plan with you, go through consent forms, review your VECTRA preoperative photographs and give you prescriptions.

Lindsay will go over all of your surgical instructions and give you a packet of information so when you leave this appointment you are ready for surgery.

How do I prepare for a rhinoplasty?

After meeting with Dr. Maloney and choosing a surgical date for your rhinoplasty, plan for your care and recovery after surgery. You will need to arrange a ride to and from the surgery center the day of surgery and arrange for someone to stay with you for the first 24 hours after you go home. Plan to take 5 days to 3 weeks off work after surgery, depending on the type of work you do (speak to Lindsay, Dr. Maloney’s Clinical Coordinator for additional information). If nasal bones need to be broken, you may have facial bruising that lasts up to 3 weeks. If your employer requires paperwork for time off, please obtain it ahead of time and bring it to our office.

If you smoke, you must quit a minimum of 2 weeks before surgery. We suggest 6 to 8 weeks, but 2 weeks is the minimum. Smokers heal slower and may have wound healing problems. Smoking may require modifications to the surgical plan.

If you take aspirin or other medications that may cause bleeding, stop taking them 3 weeks before surgery to reduce the risk of bleeding. If you take diet pills (prescription or over-the-counter) or Metformin (a common diabetes medication), stop 1 week prior to surgery to avoid anesthesia risks.

At your pre-operative consultation with Dr. Maloney you will be given a map to the surgery center and your prescriptions. Get these prescriptions filled before surgery so they are at home when you will need them. Pick up some bags of frozen peas or corn to use as icepacks after your procedure. You need to stay hydrated, so have plenty of water or sports drinks around the house. You should mix sports drinks with water 50/50. Begin taking an over-the-counter stool softener because narcotic pain medication and anesthesia can make you constipated.

The morning of surgery you cannot have anything to eat or drink after midnight, including water. Do not put any lotions, deodorant or make-up on the day of surgery. Do not wear any jewelry to the surgery center.

Wear comfortable clothes that are easy to put on and take off. A shirt that zips or buttons up the front is preferable, as are loose workout pants or sweat pants. Bring your photo ID to check in to the surgery center. You will check in and then be taken back to the preoperating area where Dr. Maloney will discuss the surgical plan, answer any additional questions you have and mark the surgery site. You will also meet the anesthesiologist and ask him/her any questions you may have.

How is a rhinoplasty performed?

The surgery takes about 1 to 3 hours depending on what needs to be done. The anesthesiologist will put you to sleep for this operation to ensure your safety and comfort. Dr. Maloney will make an incision on the columella (the skin between your nostrils). What is done during your rhinoplasty depends on the correction Dr. Maloney is going to make. The tip of the nose may need to be refined, a hump on the top of the nose may need to be filed down or the nose may need to be broken to make it more narrow or to widen it. The middle part of the nose, the septum, may also need to be straightened. Some people require a combination of the above procedures. Depending on the procedures you require, packing may be placed inside the nose as a splint. Many times a splint is also placed on the outside. You will wake up in the recovery room and be ready to go home in about an hour.

What should I expect after a rhinoplasty?

Rest and eat a healthy, high-protein diet to help speed up recovery. Sleep with your head elevated for 2 or 3 days to help minimize swelling. You should be up walking around every few hours to reduce the risk of blood clots. Your nose will be swollen and you may experience bruising under your eyes and on your cheeks after surgery. Swelling and bruising usually subsides within 3 weeks; however, it may take up to 6 months for all swelling to disappear. You may remove your dressings and shower 1 to 3 days after surgery depending on what the office staff advises. You will return to the office for your first post-operative exam 1 to 3 days after surgery. Packing is usually removed around day 5. A low-grade fever is not uncommon after any operation. If you have any questions during the recovery phase, please do not hesitate to call our office any time, day or night.

What are the benefits of a rhinoplasty?

After the procedure, your nose will have a better size and shape to fit your face. Any deformities will be reduced or corrected, and your nose will better match the rest of your face.

What are the risks of a rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty has both aesthetic and health risks, and it is your personal decision whether benefits outweigh the risks. The most common risks include scarring, bleeding, infection, asymmetry, excessive firmness or changes in skin sensation. There are also more uncommon but complicated risks, such as deep vein thrombosis. For a full list of risks, go to plasticsurgery.org.