How should I prepare for a Nose Job? Preparing for Rhinoplasty: Introduction
Updated: Nov 22, 2019
A Guide for Cozy, Pleasant, Uneventful Recovery after Rhinoplasty
By Dr. Eric Waterman & Dane Wilson
If you're planning to have a rhinoplasty surgery, there are many things you should know beforehand. Preparing for facial plastic surgery is a multifaceted process. There are mental elements, physical elements, and logistical elements, among other considerations that will help you navigate the process of healing. With our advice and first-hand lessons from our patients, this guide will help you prepare for rhinoplasty surgery and the recovery process, so that you know what's coming your way. Read along, take notes, and you'll have everything you need covered before your surgery day! Please read every section, and as I note below, if your surgeon's recommendations are different than our own, follow the instructions of your surgeon.
This guide addressed rhinoplasty procedure preparation and what to expect during stages of recovery. I will break down my advice in two main themes:
What you should do, and
What you should know.
Perhaps ironically, surgeons aren't always the best at explaining medical things to their patients. In this guide, I hope that I can lay out a lot of information that many doctors struggle to articulate. It's not all roses and rainbows after rhinoplasty, but that doesn't mean the procedure isn't worth it. Having realistic expectations and an understanding of what rhinoplasty recovery entails is the best preparation one can ask for when approaching their surgery.
**Note** that this guide is not a replacement for visiting your surgeon to discuss your preoperative regimen. It's an outline for what to expect when you're looking forward to your nose job. If you are recovering from a Rhinoplasty procedure and you are in doubt of what to do, call the office of your surgeon. If you are bleeding and it won't stop, go to the E.R. closest to you and inform them of your recent procedure so they can inform your surgeon.
OK back to business!
First things first...
Rhinoplasty is a serious surgery with all the risks of any other serious surgery. These include catastrophic risks, from stroke, heart attack, blood clots, or anesthesia reactions, for example. There are additional risks that pertain specifically to rhinoplasty, such as septal perforation or dental pain. You should go over all the risks of surgery with your surgeon to be sure you understand the procedure and all potential outcomes.
While serious risks should be understood, they don't reflect the typical experience of recovery. It is important to respect these vital risks, but never at the expense of planning and preparing for a normal and relatively uneventful recovery.
A note about Anxiety as it pertains to recovery:
If you are prone to anxiety, facial plastic surgery will almost certainly make you anxious during recovery. Facial plastic surgery is a big decision with long-lasting effects, but anxiety around this moment does not need to be debilitating and can be managed quite well with the proper information and planning.
Anxiety about surgery like rhinoplasty is normal, even for individuals who aren't typically anxious.
Witnessing a sudden change in your facial appearance, combined with the swelling, bruising, and physical effects of surgery that are most prominent after surgery, can be unsettling, even provoking a response of anxiety, shock, or surprise. Anticipating this unsettling moment will help you understand in the moment that your feelings are normal.
If you are prone to anxiety, you should expect to feel this way during the beginning of your recovery, and you should discuss how you will manage your anxiety with your surgeon as part of your recovery regimen.
Having a solid plan and thorough understanding is the best anti-anxiety strategy, post-rhinoplasty.
Below you will find links to different chapters. These are intended to be read in advance of your surgery, so you can better understand the course of recovery as time passes. I will update links as chapters are added.
What to do the day of your procedure: Arriving home and getting comfortable.
Week 1: What to know about the longest week ever. (Coming SOON)
Month 1: Getting back on your feet.
Up to 3-months: The waiting game.
After 3 months: Preparing for long-term care.