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

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What is a rhinoplasty (nose job)?

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

When is a rhinoplasty used?

A rhinoplasty is performed for people who are unhappy with the appearance of their nose. 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 a patient is having issues with breathing due to a deviated septum, this 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 both 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” on the 3D image and show you how a rhinoplasty would look on your nose! You will also be given a user number and 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 also discuss details of the operation, show you before and after photos and answer any questions you may have. Lindsay will then review surgical fees, financing options and answer additional questions. If you choose to have surgery, you will return for another consultation about two weeks prior to your operation. At this second appointment, Dr. Maloney will review the surgical plan with you as well as go through consent forms, review your VECTRA pre-operative photographs and give you your 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, you should plan for your care and recovery after the operation. 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. You should take five days to three weeks off of work for this operation depending on the type of work you do (speak to Lindsay, Dr. Maloney’s Clinical Coordinator for additional information). If your nasal bones need to be broken, you may have bruising that lasts up to three 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 two weeks before surgery. We suggest 6-8 weeks, but two weeks is the minimum. Smokers heal slower and can have wound healing problems. If you take aspirin or other medication that causes bleeding, you should stop taking it three weeks before surgery because it causes increased bleeding and therefore more bruising. If you are taking any diet pills (prescription or over-the-counter) or Metformin (a common diabetes medication), you should stop one 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. You should also start taking a stool softener as narcotic pain medication and anesthesia can make you constipated.

The morning of surgery you cannot have anything to eat or drink after midnight, this includes water. Do not put any lotions, deodorant or make-up on the day of surgery. Do not wear any jewelry to the surgery center. You should wear comfortable clothes that are easy to get on and off. A shirt that zips or buttons up the front is preferable, as are loose workout type pants or sweat pants. Bring your photo ID when you check-in to the surgery center. You will be taken back to the pre-operating area where Dr. Maloney will come and discuss the plan again, answer any additional questions you have and mark the surgical site. You will also meet the anesthesiologist and ask him/her any questions you may have.

How is a rhinoplasty performed?

The operation takes about 1-3 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 widen it. The middle part of the nose, the septum, may need to be straightened as well. Some patients require a combination of the above procedures. Depending on what procedures you require, packing may be placed inside the nose as a splint. Many times a splint is placed on the outside as well. 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?

You should rest and eat a healthy diet with protein to speed up recovery. Sleep with your head elevated for at least the first two days. You should be up walking around every few hours to reduce the risk of blood clots. Your nose will be swollen and you may have bruising of your lower eyelids and cheeks after surgery. The bruising can last about three weeks, so be patient during the recovery process. Swelling is mostly gone at about three weeks, however you will still notice a gradual decrease in swelling for six months. You may shower 1-3 days after surgery depending on what the office tells you. You will also return to the office for your first post-operative exam 1-3 days after surgery. The packing is usually removed by day five. 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 be a better size and shape. Any deformities will be reduced 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 the woman’s personal decision whether the benefits outweigh those risks. More commonly seen risks include scars, 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.