Does Getting a Nose Job Hurt?
You’ve surely seen them – bandaged noses in movies, on TV shows, and perhaps even walking down Madison Ave. In some social circles, they are a rite of passage. And while you might not see what lies underneath the characteristic white tape, you know what it means – a nose job. All that post-treatment wrap and care must mean that it hurts, right? Not as much as you might think. Rhinoplasty is a real surgery, but by using advances in the field, we make every effort to keep the procedure as comfortable as possible for the patient.
When it comes to comfort, it’s important to remember that there are two basic types of rhinoplasty procedures: open and closed. When a rhinoplasty comes to mind, many people think of the classic (and, to be honest, out-dated) open procedure, where an incision is made in the area between the nostrils, the nose is unmoored from the face, and the finished product is packed with gauze. As you might imagine, it can be painful.
But this is not what I do. I only perform closed procedures, which means no visible scarring, less bruising and swelling, and, in general, less pain. There’s also a shorter recovery period. We sometimes refer to it as the “un-nose” job!
Each rhinoplasty is unique (see our gallery of before-and-after images here), but in general, a closed procedure lasts between two and three hours, and you’ll be under general anesthesia, directed by a highly trained anesthesiologist. I carefully make hidden incision inside the nose, then lift the skin that covers your bones and cartilage. At that point, I’ll be able to reshape your nose in the way we’ve previously planned, either by using existing cartilage or adding tissue. Finally, I’ll re-drape the skin back over your nose, stitching the inner parts of your nose (and avoiding exterior scarring).
Unlike many other nasal surgeons, I do not use packing after a procedure, but you can expect to wake up in the recovery room with a splint on that outside of your nose. This protects and supports your new shape as it heals. There will likely be some swelling, but don’t plan to be laid up in bed for weeks catching up on Netflix. In a matter of days, you’ll be excited to get out and show off your new look, which will only continue to evolve and improve over the next months as it adjust to your bone structure. Many of my patients return to work or school in about a week, though it is best to wait a month or so to get back into more strenuous activities.
As with any surgery, there are risks. Although uncommon, you might experience excess bleeding, a poor reaction to anesthesia, or even a postoperative infection. Still, a rhinoplasty is a common procedure – and I’ve preformed more than 7,000 of them. The vast majority of my patients experience a quick recovery and are pleased with their new look.
Posted in: Rhinoplasty