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What Does the Process of Rhinoplasty Look Like?

Nose reshaping can either reduce the size of the nose (reduction rhinoplasty), or increase it (augmentation rhinoplasty). The operation can be performed from inside the nostrils, referred to as a closed rhinoplasty, or by making a small cut on the nose and elevating the skin, known as an open rhinoplasty.

Below, we explain how both reduction rhinoplasty and augmentation rhinoplasty work, and what you can expect during your procedure - from start to finish.

A Closer Look at the Process of Rhinoplasty

Before going under the knife, you must first understand the process of rhinoplasty to manage your expectations and to prepare yourself adequately. To help shape your predictions and expectations, the operation begins with an in-depth consultation with your surgeon, who will evaluate your medical history, discuss your desired outcomes, and advise you on the most appropriate surgical method.

Before the surgery, you'll undergo several tests, and possibly imaging studies. These will assess your nasal structure and identify any underlying health issues. You may need to stop certain medications, avoid alcohol, and refrain from smoking for a specific period leading up to the surgery.

On the day of the surgery, you'll be given either general or local anesthesia, based on the complexity of the operation and your doctor's recommendations. Then, the surgeon will proceed with either a closed or open rhinoplasty, as previously outlined. In both methods, the objective is to modify the bone, cartilage, or both to achieve the desired shape and size.

Understanding the healing process of rhinoplasty is equally crucial. The postoperative phase is marked by varying levels of discomfort, swelling and bruising, which typically diminish over time.

Rhinoplasty 1 Week vs 1 Month: What to Expect

The recovery process is gradual, with significant differences observed between the one-week and one-month marks post-surgery.

One Week After Rhinoplasty

In the first week following rhinoplasty, patients typically experience the most noticeable symptoms of recovery. Swelling and bruising around the nose and eyes are common during this period. These symptoms are a normal part of the healing process as the body adjusts to the changes made during surgery.

Patients often report a feeling of stuffiness in the nose, which can be attributed to swelling inside the nasal passages. Pain is usually manageable with prescribed medication, and it's essential for patients to rest and avoid strenuous activities. Sleeping with the head elevated is recommended to reduce swelling.

It's also common for patients to have a splint placed on their nose to protect it and maintain its new shape. The splint is typically removed after about a week, depending on the surgeon's assessment.

One Month After Rhinoplasty

By the one-month mark, patients generally see a significant reduction in swelling and bruising. The shape of the nose starts to become more apparent, though it's important to note that final results can take up to a year to fully materialise.

Most patients feel comfortable returning to their normal daily activities, including work and light exercise, at this stage. However, activities that might risk an impact to the nose should still be avoided.

Residual swelling, particularly around the tip of the nose, can persist for several months. Patients must continue following their surgeon's advice regarding care and activity restrictions to ensure optimal healing.

Nasal breathing typically improves significantly by this time, as internal swelling subsides. Patients should still avoid wearing glasses or sunglasses that rest on the bridge of the nose to prevent indentations on the healing nasal tissues.

The recovery process after rhinoplasty is unique to each individual, influenced by factors such as the extent of the surgery, the patient's overall health, and adherence to post-operative care instructions. While the first week is characterised by more pronounced symptoms and restrictions, the one-month mark usually brings a noticeable improvement in appearance and comfort. However, patience is key, as the nose continues to heal and evolve over several months.

Regular follow-up appointments with the surgeon are essential to monitor the progress and address any concerns during the recovery phase. Full recovery can take up to a year, with subtle refinements continuing to manifest over this period. Regular follow-ups with your surgeon are advisable to monitor the healing process and make any necessary adjustments.

If you've had a rhinoplasty that has gone awry, then our team of solicitors can help you. With decades of experience in botched surgeries and cosmetic surgery negligence, we are well-equipped to assist you in making a rhinoplasty claim.

To find out if you have a claim for rhinoplasty compensation, get in touch with our specialist team of medical negligence solicitors. Call us today on 0808 256 1295, or request a call back by completing the contact form.

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Mike Saul


Michael Saul is a partner at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors, where he brings his extensive specialist legal expertise and passion for helping people to the forefront of his work. With a proven track record of success in cosmetic surgery negligence cases, Michael has dedicated his career to providing clients with the highest level of representation and achieving favourable outcomes.

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