Rhinoplasty & Septoplasty
Rhinoplasty involves reshaping the nose in order to reduce its size, remove a hump on the bridge, narrow or otherwise alter the look of the nostrils, or change the angle between the nose and the upper lip. This is primarily a cosmetic procedure that affects the outward appearance of the nose.
Septoplasty, which can be performed in conjunction with rhinoplasty, seeks to correct septal abnormalities inside the nose that can result in difficulty breathing. This is often used to fix a deviated septum or as a corrective surgery following a broken nose or other injury.
Common Rhinoplasty Questions
- How Long Does Rhinoplasty/Septoplasty Take? Both procedures take 1-2 hours under general anesthesia. Both are outpatient procedures.
- Are There Any Risks? Nasal airway obstruction or difficult breathing after surgery may occur.
- How Much Does Rhinoplasty/Septoplasty Cost? $6,500 to $8,000. Insurance may apply.
- When Will I Start to Notice Results From My Procedure? Major swelling will subside in about 4 weeks, with mild swelling possible for 2-3 months. Each individual’s healing process is different, and your nose will continue to heal for up to 1 year. Results of a rhinoplasty or septoplasty procedure are permanent once your nose is fully healed.
- Will There Be Follow-Ups? Follow-up office visits will be scheduled at 5 days, 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, and then yearly after that.
At your first visit, our surgeons will:
- Discuss your medical history such as any previous trauma, allergies, or surgical procedures performed on your nose.
- Review any problems you have reported as well as the aesthetic qualities that you would like to correct.
- Examine both the external features and the internal configuration of your nose to see how to best meet your desires.
During the initial consultation, you are free to ask any questions and discuss any concerns. Our doctors cannot make any decisions regarding whether or not a patient should undergo rhinoplasty or septoplasty, but they can advise you about the best course of action and anticipated results. Those that decide to have the procedure will have preoperative photos taken. Surgical fees will also be discussed.
Before Your Rhinoplasty/Septoplasty
Our nurse and office manager are responsible for making all scheduling arrangements regarding the procedure and will confirm those arrangements with you. We do our best to accommodate each patient’s requests.
At Boulder Plastic Surgery, we believe that good health is critical for optimal recovery. It is important that you tell the doctors about any medications or supplements you are currently taking because they could have adverse effects during the procedure.
Before undergoing surgery, you’ll start a three phase healing program:
- About a week in advance, you will stop taking anything that could possibly increase bleeding or interfere with the anesthesia.
- Right after surgery, you will be given nutrients that will minimize inflammation and pain as well as detoxify any anesthesia or medications.
- Phase three involves adding healing nutrients to support the recovery process.
Also prior to the procedure, you may undergo routine laboratory tests, which include an electrocardiogram for those over the age of 50, a pregnancy test if applicable, and blood counts/blood chemistry. These tests look for abnormalities that could hinder the surgery or anesthesia.
The Day of Surgery
Rhinoplasty and septoplasty are performed under general anesthesia.
If you have undergone septal surgery, you will have plastic splints in the nose for five to ten days. Some patients have slight difficulty breathing through the nose due to the drainage of material and fluid.
Once the procedure is completed, you will be transferred to a recovery area for observation. That period of observation typically lasts a few hours. After that time passes, you are allowed to leave with a person who will drive home and remain with you for the evening of the surgery.
After Your Rhinoplasty/Septoplasty
To remain as comfortable as possible, you should take pain medication with a small amount of food. To minimize swelling and discomfort, apply ice packs for 72 hours following the surgery.
It is normal for drainage to occur up to 72 hours after the procedure, which will decrease day by day. For patients that experience significant drainage, a small gauze pad can be taped under the nose.
You may also notice bruising, which is normal and should improve within ten to fourteen days. Although we encourage patients to return to normal daily activities as soon as possible, it is recommended to wait two weeks before returning to light exercise. You should be able to be back at full intensity at around eight weeks.
You should be able to return to work in 5-7 days following your procedure.
- Bruising will typically last for 2-4 weeks.
- Swelling will be moderate-to-significant for up to 4 weeks. Any additional mild swelling will subside over 2-3 months. (Will vary based on the extent of the procedure.)
- Refrain from exercise for 3 weeks, after which you can resume physical activity at 1/3 of normal intensity. Limit exercise to 2/3 of normal intensity after 6 weeks. You can return to full intensity workouts at 8 weeks.
- Avoid hitting your nose or getting a sunburn for 8 weeks following the procedure.
- Other possible side effects include temporary swelling and bruising around the eyes, headaches, stiffness, and some minor bleeding.
“Thank you for taking such concern and care for me — I’m very pleased with my results. You listen to the patient and that means a lot. Your staff is wonderful and everyone made my surgery go smoothly. I had very little pain or discomfort and attribute this to post-op plan and your fantastic skills. I appreciate you very much!” – KM
“Thank you for working so quickly to get my surgery scheduled. Your staff is very professional and well organized–a rarity these days. And, thank you again for seeing me on such short notice. Oh by the way, you do great work!” – DG