What's it like: To get a nose job

Through rhinoplasty, a surgeon can change the shape or size of your nose, but it is not without risk or cost.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Published: February 10, 2013

After your surgery, you might experience “black eyes,” or black and blue near your eyelids. It can be hard to taste or eat after the surgery. Breathing through your nose will be limited. It's important to refrain from sneezing or blowing your nose.

What are the risk factors?

For one, you might not get the results you wanted. It's important to have honest conversations with your surgeon before the procedure to ensure the best results.

As with any surgery, bleeding, infection and poor wound healing are a risk. If your surgery isn't done with proper technique, you could have a worse outcome.

Other risks of rhinoplasty include recurring nose bleeds, difficulty breathing through your nose, numbness in your nose, skin contour irregularities, chronic pain, unfavorable scarring or a hole in the nasal septum.

What's the recovery time?

You're usually on prescription pain medications, if you wish to take them, for about a week. You might experience a headache, which is sometimes caused from your pain medication. If you are experiencing severe headache, you should contact your doctor.

Your surgeon will want to see you a day or so after the surgery to see how you're healing. You will have cotton packing that your doctor will remove somewhere between a day and a week after surgery. You will likely wear an external splint held with some tape. The splint is meant to reduce swelling and hold the structure in place.

You might have to wear an internal splint inside your nose to support the structures. Your doctor will remove that in about a week. After the splint is off, you should see some results from the surgery.

What's the follow-up?

It can take up to a year before you see the full results, especially around the tip of the nose. This means your surgeon cannot do a revision until your nose has finished shaping.

In some cases, you might have a follow-up surgery to correct your chin. Sometimes, the procedures are performed together to ensure your face looks balanced.

Source: Dr. Kamal Sawan, chief of plastic surgery at OU Physicians; The Mayo Clinic; National Institutes of Health; American Society of Plastic Surgeons; National Human Genome Research Institute.


by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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