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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find the nose I want?

Do not try to find somebody who has a face like yours. That is way too difficult to do. It is better to imagine a room with 100 people in it. Your task is to select 5 people who, in your opinion, have the best noses. You take these people to a separate room. After your surgery you should rightfully be in this room too. Now look for photos of people who you might have chosen to be in this room with you.

Can I blow my nose after rhinoplasty?

Yes, you may blow your nose gently. It helps to moisten the inside of the nose with the nasal spray before blowing the nose. Don't blow hard as it may cause bleeding.

Something large came from my nose two weeks after surgery. What was it?

It is common for a large crust to come from the nose about two weeks after surgery. It happens more commonly if the turbinates have been reduced. In the weeks after surgery the fine hairs, called cilia, on the mucus membrane are not working properly. The cilia should propel the mucus to the back of the nose but when they are not working the mucus stays put and becomes dried out. Eventually the dried mucus comes away and often it looks like a piece of packing that might have been placed inside the nose during surgery.

When can I resume exercise at the gym?

You can resume your exercise routine about two weeks after surgery. Don't do anything that might increase nasal swelling so avoid having your head lower than your heart. Exercise gently at first and see how you go.

Can I take a trip in an aeroplane?

Yes you can. Take a box of tissues just in case you have a nose bleed!

How long does the swelling last?

12 months. The nose is refining over this time and it looks quite good even at two weeks after surgery. It will look better at 6 months and better still at 12 months.

Will rhinoplasty change the lips in any way?

This depends on the operative plan. A long nose may be associated with a short upper lip and shortening the nose can lengthen the lip. Taken further, the lip may be elevated to expose more of the upper teeth on smiling.

Does rhinoplasty help sinusitis?

It certainly can particularly if the nose was previously bent and a septoplasty has been performed to straighten the septum.

Will rhinoplasty change my breathing?

It can do. A survey of Paul O'Keeffe's Template Rhinoplasty patients over three years ending 1997 showed improvement in 90%. That was due to tightening of the lateral alar ligament, an integral part of the operation. By contrast, conventional closed rhinoplasty has an incidence of reduced airway patency on breathing in due to slackness of the lateral alar ligament. The soft sides of the nose are sucked in during inspiration, blocking the nose. This can be helped by a minor operation, removing a small part of the ligament and stitching it tighter.

How common is septal perforation following rhinoplasty?

Very rare following rhinoplasty alone. Septal perforation, a hole going through from one airway to the other, can occur following septoplasty or SMR (submucous resection of the septal cartilage). Great care is required during these operations to prevent this complication. Septal perforations may occur in approximately 1% of septoplasties/SMRs. Small perforations cause dry mucus to stick to the septum and when it comes away bleeding may occur. There can be a whistling sound while breathing. Small perforations can be repaired. Large perforations cause less problems and are usually best left alone.

A friend of mine has pain following rhinoplasty. How likely is that?

A painful nose is not usual after rhinoplasty but it can happen. The nose receives nerves from different directions, some coming down from the top of the nose, some from the cheeks and some from inside along the septum. Nerves do not like to be squeezed by scar tissue so that could be a cause for pain in the nose following rhinoplasty. The nerves coming down the nose from the top run under the nasal bones and over the upper cartilages where they may be damaged or cut. You would expect to see more pain and discomfort on the sides of the nose than we do see. To answer the question, perhaps 10% of patients complain of some pain in the nose but it is usually not a problem. Only a very small minority would rather they had not had the surgery.

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