If you are unhappy with the shape or size of your nose you’ve likely spent many years wondering what it would be like to have a nose job.
Having cosmetic surgery is not something people usually talk about openly, so you may wonder what it’s really like to have this procedure and whether it’s something that would be right for you. You probably have a lot of questions.
Would it be very painful? Would you look like you’d gone 10 rounds with Rocky Balboa? How long would you need to take off work? Would you be happy with the result?
One brave blogger decided to document her rhinoplasty journey, publishing a nose job diary and a series of photos on Instagram. In her daily updates, 24-year-old Australian Rhiannon Langley detailed how she felt in the run up to the surgery, immediately after and during her recovery.
One of our own patients, Kara Caradas (pictured above), has given an exclusive interview about her rhinoplasty experience with Ocean Clinic Marbella and will appear in the July edition of Society Magazine.
If you can’t wait until then, let us give you a peek behind the bandages and explain exactly what happens during nose reshaping surgery…
What happens at your consultation?
At your initial consultation the surgeon will ask you what you hope to achieve, before assessing your nose to see what alterations are possible. He will advise if your desired outcome is achievable (and if not, what would be possible) and explain how the reshaping would be achieved.
Depending on what you want changed – be it the tip of your nose or the bridge – it may be necessary to make an incision in the columella (between your nostrils). This is known as open rhinoplasty. Closed Rhinoplasty is carried out completely internally. It may also be necessary to break your nose to create the shape you desire and the doctor will advise you if this is the case.
The doctor will likely show you before and after photos of other patients who have previously undergone similar nose reshaping. He may also be able to give you a computer generated impression of what your new nose would look like.
Although you may have been given an idea of cost prior to your consultation, because every nose surgery is different, it is not until the consultation that the surgeon can give you an exact quote.
What happens if I decide to go ahead with the surgery?
If you decide to go ahead with the procedure you will be booked in for surgery and asked to return for a pre-op check. Your surgeon will take your blood pressure, weight, x-ray your nose and also carry out a blood test, to ensure you are fit and well for the surgery.
He will talk you through the procedure once again to make sure you are informed of any possible side effects, the recovery process and after care. The surgeon will also take photographs of your nose so that you may see the difference following surgery.
What happens on the day of my surgery?
You will no doubt be feeling very nervous, but the surgical team will be on hand to reassure you and answer any questions. You will probably be a little hungry because it is necessary to fast from midnight prior to the day of surgery.
You will be taken to your room, made comfortable and prepared. At Ocean Clinic Marbella we have 5 well-equipped bedrooms in our recently extended patient care unit, designed to make your stay as comfortable as possible. We also provide sofas in each of our rooms, enabling your friend or loved one to stay by your side.
Once you are taken into surgery, you will be hooked up to various monitoring systems before receiving general anaesthetic via an IV line in your arm.
Nose reshaping surgery usually takes between 1-3 hours. If you're having your nose made smaller, your surgeon will make cuts inside your nostrils to reach the bone and cartilage. Some of the bone and cartilage will be removed to achieve the shape you have agreed with your surgeon. There will be no external incisions, unless you are also having your nostrils made smaller. In which case, small incisions will be made in the skin of your nostrils, which will leave fine scars on each side.
If you're having your nose made larger or giving it more bulk, your surgeon may make a cut between your nostrils in order to reshape the bone and cartilage (open rhinoplasty). If you require extra bone or cartilage (a graft) to build up your nose, this may be taken from your ears or ribs or an artificial implant might by used instead.
The incisions in your nose, both inside and out, will be closed with dissolvable stiches and nasal airway splints placed inside the nostrils to provide support. Bandages will be applied to the outside of the nose and, if the nose was broken, a splint will also be applied on the outside. You can watch a 3D animation of the entire procedure here.
How will I feel when I wake up?
When you awaken you will probably feel a little dizzy, disoriantated and nauseous. You will need to rest in your room until the effects of the anaesthetic have passed. You may need pain relief to help with any discomfort as the anaesthetic wears off.
You will not be able to breathe through your nose because it will be packed with dressings, which will be removed after 24-48 hours. You will usually be able to go home when you feel ready, although you will need to arrange for someone to drive you home. Try to have a friend or relative stay with you for the first 24 hours.
When will I be ready to return to work?
If your nose was broken during surgery, you will have to wait 7-12 days before the splint can be removed. By this point your stitches should also be fully dissolved.
You should feel well enough to return to work after this, but because you are likely to be swollen for a couple of weeks, a two-week break is advisable, if at all possible. You should also avoid any strenuous exercise or contact sports, such as rugby or football, for at least six weeks.
While you should see improvement in the appearance of your nose after a couple of weeks, it will be 6-12 months before you see the final results. You will be given a date for a follow-up appointment to check everything is healing as expected and that you are happy with the results of the procedure.