What should I do and what can I expect before the actual surgery on my nose?
Rhinoplasty, or nose surgery, is a big deal. This is true whether your goals are functional or aesthetic. Maybe you have made the decision based on the need to improve your breathing by having something done about your deviated septum or have finally decided to change the appearance of an enlarged or misshapen nose.
Whatever your motivation, despite the fact that rhinoplasty is a very popular and successful procedure, you should understand that nose surgery is complicated. The nose is a relatively small appendage, and making structural changes to it is one of the more challenging of all cosmetic surgeries.
The rhinoplasty surgeon that you choose should be highly skilled and experienced, with excellent credentials and accreditations. Not only is a thorough understanding of nasal anatomical structure important, but equally important is facial aesthetics.
Beyond training and experience, however, there is another aspect that is crucial to a successful outcome. Your surgeon must spend the time and energy necessary to understand your motivation for the procedure. This is where your surgery actually begins; in the preoperative consultation and analysis.
You have likely spent a great deal of time thinking about your nose surgery. Deciding what you want your outcome to be. Weighing the pros and cons. All of that will be a waste of time, though, if you do not adequately share your expectations with your surgeon. Not doing so can be a prelude for disaster.
A successful surgery begins in the interview room. You may be sedated during the actual procedure, but your open and frank involvement in the consultation is critical. Building the patient/surgeon relationship goes a long way toward improving patient satisfaction and overall better surgical outcomes.
During the pre-op interview stage, your surgeon will want to get a clear understanding of:
- What is your perception of the structural or aesthetic defect?
- What are your expectations from the surgery?
- Are your goals and expectations realistic?
- After a description of what can actually be done, do you have a clear understanding of what to realistically expect?
- Are the specifics techniques used by the surgeon the most appropriate for this situation or should you be referred to another surgeon?
- Are you a patient that can be satisfied?
Once these questions are answered to the satisfaction of you and your surgeon, there will be a physical examination. This will include your overall physical condition. You should then expect detailed photos to be taken. The more in-depth these pre-op procedures, the greater the surgeon’s ability to successfully achieve the patient’s goals.
Wait! You’re Not Done!
You will have your own list of things to do before your surgery, which will include:
- Arrange post-op care – you will need someone to drive you home following your surgery and stay to help for the first few days after your procedure.
- Stop medications – discuss with your surgeon what medications you should stop prior to your surgery. Taking aspirin, supplements and certain medications can act as blood thinners, making surgery dangerous.
- Stop smoking – if you are a smoker, discuss with your surgeon how far in advance of your surgery you should stop. Smoking is known to reduce blood flow to the tissues in your nose, which can result in poor wound healing, skin loss, scarring, and infection.
Bottom line, you may never hold the scalpel, but it’s your surgery. The more you do to prepare, the greater the likelihood of ending up with the success you want.
Dr. Brian D. Cohen is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with extensive training in cosmetic/reconstructive plastic surgery and has had years of experience performing a wide array of cosmetic surgery procedures, specializing in procedures of the face, eyes, nose, breast, and body and is known for his exemplary and compassionate care by his patients. Knowing that Dr. Cohen has been selected by his peers in Super Doctors for 9 years in a row in 2021 gives you the confidence that he is highly respected for his performance in his specialty.
Information on locations and office hours for Cohen Plastic Surgery can be found by clicking here.