Patients who are starting the journey of exploring the option of rhinoplasty do have a lot of expectations and I think it's important when those patients are trying to understand what they want from a plastic surgeon and from their surgery that they go personally to meet with that plastic surgeon and discuss exactly what it is that they would like to have done to their nose. I think it's very helpful for the patient to perhaps bring pictures of noses that they find attractive, to find pictures, pre and postoperative pictures on the Internet that show a nose that is similar to their nose and the result from that nose that they find attractive so that they can communicate those feelings and those desires to their plastic surgeon.

It's really interesting plastic surgeons have an idea of what they can do to a nose? How they can improve a nose when they see a patient and patients definitely have in their mind an idea of what they find attractive and those two entities, those two people have to have a melding of the mind and it's very difficult I think in verbal communication to do that but having pictures to draw on, to point to people who are recognizable to talk about those noses, helps that melding of the mind and when the plastic surgeon understand what the patient wants based on photographs and what the patient feels like they've communicated adequately to the plastic surgeon again based on visual photographs, I think it's much more likely that the patient ultimately gets what they want from their procedure but also feels that they got what they want from their procedure because they know from the very beginning that the plastic surgeon understood well what they were asking for.

Many patients ask how much time will they need to take off when they have a rhinoplasty and I tell patients it's best to plan to have one full week off of work or school so that they have adequate time to recover. It's important for them to know that at that time, they may still have visual evidence of having had surgery in the form of bruising or swelling, generally by one week the most obvious swelling is gone but bruising still may be present underneath the eyes and that can be something that can be concealed with makeup if that particular patient is used to using makeup for purposes of concealing. I think that it's important for patients to recognize that if they do work from home, they probably would be able to return to work to their daily functions of work sooner so that they may plan to not be able to really adequately respond to the demands of work for the first 72 hours but certainly if it requires only that they are speaking on the phone or interacting with people through their computer on the internet that they may very well be able to return to that sooner.

Part of the reason I tell patients that they have a school environment or a work environment that requires that they are in front of other people, the reason that I tell those patients that they need to plan for a week with the flexibility of extending that for several days, the reason I tell them that is that they are often going to have a splint on the outside of their nose and some patients may have splints on the inside of their nose that affects their voice, affects their ability to breathe through their nose temporarily and clearly many patients don't want to go to work with a splint on the outside of their nose. My patients or patients that undergo rhinoplasty in general are going to have a splint on the outside of their nose and that splint serves a multitude of functions.
The first function that it provides is that it stabilizes bones if bones have been manipulated and relocated in the process of creating the aesthetic result that the patient desired. Again, you can think of it as a cast that's holding those bones in place during the initial healing phase of their postoperative course. Another important purpose that the splint provides is that it reduces selling. It's an external compressive force that doesn't allow the swelling to expand beyond the boundaries of the splint and in doing so during the phase of the healing when they are going to have the most swelling it's keeping that swelling down. That's the second function. Then the third function of the splint is that it reminds patients not to ouch their nose in the immediate postoperative course and it also allows family members and small children to kind of recognize that there's something that needs to be avoided and the interactions between that patient and the people around them.

Rhinoplasty Results and Recovery: What to Expect During Healing

Dr. Adam Weinfeld addresses the most common topics associated with rhinoplasty, including patient expectations and what to expect during recovery.