1206 Somerville Rd
Decatur, AL 35603
The rhinoplasty procedure can have a number of overlapping goals. The procedure is indicated to re-shape a nose made crooked by injury or re-shape a nose strictly for cosmetic reasons. While at the same time, techniques can be done to improve breathing. The anatomy of the nose is actually quite complex and it's shape has to be assessed in context with the rest of the patient's face shape and the patient's ethnic background. There is not one perfect shape for a nose! Every nose on every patient has to be addressed individually. My philosophy is not to do too much. An over corrected, aggressively altered nose is obvious and un-natural.
Rhinoplasty which is performed just to re-shape a nose because the patient is just unhappy with the shape is not an insurance covered operation and is considered cosmetic surgery. Insurance coverage can be obtained to straighten a nose that has been made crooked by an injury. Insurance coverage can also be obtained when re-shaping the nose is related to an improvement in breathing.
During your initial consultation we will discuss all of the aspects of the operation and how it relates to you. We will have a second visit that is the pre-operative visit where I will answer all of your final questions, write the prescriptions for the medicines you will need after the surgery and you will do your pre-operative visit at the hospital.
The rhinoplasty operation is done as an outpatient procedure or day-surgery at Decatur Morgan Hospital using general anesthesia. It is done in the main operating rooms at Decatur Morgan Hospital and takes just over 2 hours to perform. We do the operation in the morning and you will get discharged to home late in the afternoon. You will go home with a hard splint on your nose. You have to keep this splint dry so you cannot shower until it is removed.
It is crucial that for 10 days prior to your surgery you do not take any aspirin, arthritis or other muscle ache pain medicines. These medicines will make you bruise more and can lead to other complications. The ONLY pain or headache medicine that is safe to take is Tylenol (acetaminophen) because this does not affect blood clotting and bleeding.
All patients are unique and the response to post-operative discomfort is variable. Most patients state that nose surgery is uncomfortable because they feel very "stuffy." The nose is tender to touch because of the work on the bone. Most patients take the narcotic medicine for a few days and then switch to Tylenol for pain. As I said, patients are all unique and their pain tolerance is very different.
I will remove the skin sutures and the external splint in the office in 5 or 6 days after the surgery. Removing the splint sometimes can be uncomfortable because the nose is still tender. Sutures at the base of the nose can pinch when they are removed.
For a desk job that does not require any heavy lifting you should expect to be away from work for 1 week. Even after a week you may still have a small amount of bruising around the eyes. For a job that requires physical exertion or heavy lifting you should expect to be away from work for 2 to 3 weeks depending on your exact job description. Jobs that require the wearing of safety goggles can be assessed on an individual basis.
Children in school should expect to be out of school for a week. They cannot resume physical education or athletics for 1 month after the surgery.
Most patients feel close to normal by 3 weeks after the surgery.
You will need to come to the office the day after your surgery for a quick check. At this visit I will just assess your splint, your bruising and the blood supply to your nose. Someone will need to drive you to this appointment because you will be on narcotic medications and your eyelids may be swollen and your vision maybe a little blurry.
Your next appointment will be in 4 or 5 days so that I can remove your external splint and sutures. You can shower the night that I take your external splint off. The next appointment will be in another week. Your next appointments will be weekly for a few weeks until I feel sure your nose is healing well. Then I will see you monthly for a couple of months. I will see you again approximately 6 months and then 12 months after your surgery and do a final assessment of your result, assess the quality of your scars and get your final opinion on the surgery.
As discussed in the above sections, you can shower daily beginning the night that your external splint is removed. You cannot do any strenuous work or heavy lifting for at least 2 weeks after the surgery. Athletics cannot be resumed until a month after the surgery.