Because the nose is the central feature of the face, even small imperfections can cause a lot of insecurity. If you are unhappy with your nose, you may decide that rhinoplasty (also known as nose surgery) is right for you. Undergoing surgery can be daunting, but knowing what to expect before, during, and after surgery can help make things a little easier.

Before Your Surgery

Once you decide to undergo nose surgery, you will need to schedule your consultation. I will ask you what you don’t like about your nose and what kind of results you are looking to achieve. I will also perform a physical exam and ask about your medical history, previous surgeries, and any allergies. Then comes time to take photos of your nose. A minimum of six photos will be taken from various angles. I digitally manipulate these photos so you can have a general idea of what your nose will look like once surgery is complete. This process will assist in creating a detailed plan for your surgery, including the type of incision and where I will obtain the cartilage I will use to rebuild the structure of your nose. Having a detailed surgical plan is important because every rhinoplasty is different, and the results are tailored to each patient.

During Your Surgery

During your surgery, you will be under general anesthesia. Rhinoplasty usually takes three to four hours to complete, depending on how complex the procedure is. Factors that affect the length of the surgery include:

  • Type of incision (internal or external)
  • Location of cartilage donor sites (nose, ears, rib, etc.)
  • Severity of the issue being addressed

After Your Surgery

Once the surgery is completed, a splint will be placed on the outside of your nose. Nasal packing and an internal splint may be used as well. Most patients can go home after a short observation period. Your nose may be sore and swollen, as well as the area around your nose and eyes. You will also likely experience some bruising. I will prescribe pain medication to help with any discomfort. The external splint will be removed in seven to 14 days, and any internal stitches or splints will be removed at the first office visit following your surgery. Your nose may feel congested due to swelling.

You should be able to return to work in about one week. Most of the swelling should subside in three to six weeks, but there may be some residual swelling for up to one year after your procedure. It is important that you follow all aftercare instructions carefully to ensure proper healing.

It will take some time for you to get used to your new look. Even tiny changes to the nose can make a huge difference in the overall appearance of the face. Your results will be permanent, although you can expect slight changes over time due to natural aging.

If you are ready to start your journey to a new nose, contact Dr. Reichner’s Orange office at (714) 997-5200 to schedule a consultation.