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Risks & Side Effects

When considering any type of surgical procedure, it is important to understand the risks associated with the surgery. Rhinoplasty is one of the most common cosmetic surgeries performed each year, but it carries the same potential risks as all other operations. While achieving your aesthetic goals is ideal, maintaining your overall health should be the top priority of you and your surgeon. Although most rhinoplasty procedures are problem-free, patients should educate themselves on the potential side effects and risks of rhinoplasty, as well as their own personal risk factors. Discussing these risks with an experienced, board-certified surgeon is vital to ensuring a healthy outcome.

Surgery Risks

When it comes to understanding the risks of plastic surgery, it is important to consider those associated with any surgery, as well as the dangers of the specific procedure. These risks apply to revision and ethnic rhinoplasty as well and should be discussed in full detail with your surgeon, prior to receiving surgery. The potential rhinoplasty risks associated with all surgeries include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Adverse Reaction to Anesthesia
  • Hematoma (when blood collects under the skin)

Risks that are specific to rhinoplasty include:

  • Numbness
  • Nosebleeds
  • Scarring at the base of the nose
  • Bursting of small blood vessels on the surface of the skin
  • Swelling
  • Permanent nerve damage
  • Under-or over- correction that necessitates revision rhinoplasty.

Choosing a qualified cosmetic surgeon can significantly reduce the health risks associated with rhinoplasty. Patients should use their consultation as an opportunity to ask questions about the procedure, including its risks, benefits, and side effects. In addition, following your surgeon’s instructions for pre-and post-surgery care will help to avoid health complications.

Side Effects

In addition to health risks associated with the rhinoplasty procedure, there are a number of potential short-term side effects. Because rhinoplasty surgery is a highly individualized procedure, the side effects experienced will vary by each patient. Taking a moment to learn about these side effects- what they are and how long they’ll last- should help you feel more confident about this important decision, and more comfortable about the outlook for your rhinoplasty procedure.

Pain after Surgery

Nose surgery is one of the most powerful ways to enhance your appearance. However, because it requires extensive alterations of nasal bone and cartilage, patients may experience pain or discomfort following the procedure. Fortunately, this discomfort is usually minor and most patients find that over-the-counter analgesics are enough to manage this pain. For patients who are particularly sensitive to pain, your rhinoplasty surgeon may be able to prescribe stronger pain medication.

Swelling

One of the most common side effects from rhinoplasty is swelling around the eyes and nose. The swelling is most noticeable in the days following surgery, but largely subsides after about two weeks. It is important to note, however, that some minor swelling may be present for up to six months following rhinoplasty surgery. The final results of rhinoplasty are typically seen in one year.

Bruising

Bruising is another side effect that is often associated with rhinoplasty. The degree of bruising that follows surgery will vary depending on patient sensitivity and the extent of the surgery itself. This bruising is usually contained to the area around the eyes and can last for up to ten days. While bruising is not a sign of any more serious complications, you should monitor your condition in the days following surgery. If anything seems abnormal, your physician can advise you as to whether any measures besides rest and time are necessary during your rhinoplasty recovery.

Visit the DocShop gallery to view rhinoplasty before and after photos.

Photo credit: Minas Constantinides, MD, FACS, PC

Many Patients Want to Know ...

Is there scarring after a nose job?

Yes, there is scarring after rhinoplasty, but most people will not be able to see it. Closed rhinoplasty creates an incision on the inside of the nostrils, where the scars will be completely hidden. The less common open rhinoplasty procedure creates one small incision in the skin separating the two nostrils. This cut usually heals very well, leaving behind only a very fine scar that most people will not notice. With either type of nose job, permanent outward marks should be minimal at most. Learn more about the different types of rhinoplasty procedures.

Contact a Surgeon

Contact a local plastic surgeon to find out if you are a good candidate for rhinoplasty.

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