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Preparing for Rhinoplasty

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good candidates
initial consultation
pre-op preparation


Good Candidates for Rhinoplasty


A good candidate for rhinoplasty is a patient with a nose which is out of proportion with the rest of the face, in good health, emotionally stable, and with realistic expectations.


Initial Consultation


At the initial visit, your doctor will likely ask you to describe in detail what you would like improved. Be specific about what you would like done.

Your doctor will be limited by the internal and external structures of your nose. They cannot create any nose, but it can be helpful to bring pictures of noses that you like. After examining your nose, your plastic surgeon can give you an idea of what improvements can be made on your particular nose. If your surgeon fully understands your expectations, she'll be able to determine whether your goals are realistic.

Your doctor will consider your entire face when planning the operation. If you have a very weak chin, this may create the illusion that your nose is larger than it is. Some patients choose to have chin augmentation along with rhinoplasty. Your physician will discuss this with you.

Be sure to tell your plastic surgeon if you've had any previous nose surgery or an injury to your nose, even if it was many years ago. You should also inform your surgeon if you have any allergies or breathing difficulties. You are at increased risk for complications if you have diabetes, poor circulation, heart, lung or liver disease, smoke, have a family history of blood clots, take certain medications, etc. You'll want to discuss your medical history thoroughly with your physician before you choose to undergo surgery.

Rhinoplasty Pre-Op Preparation


Before Rhinoplasty Surgery:
[ ] Do not take aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications (your doctor can provide you with a list of OTC medications to avoid)
[ ] If you smoke, quit smoking for at least 2 weeks pre-op (and anticipate no smoking for the recovery, smoking greatly increases your risk of complications; smoking has been shown to increase the chance of poor wound healing. This can lead to skin death (necrosis) and cause scars, skin loss and lead to subsequent surgery to excise the dead skin)
[ ] Obtain a copy of your doctor's protocol
[ ] Make arrangements to have someone drive you to and from the operation
[ ] Arrange for someone to care for you the first 24-72 hours after surgery (consider hiring a nurse for the first 24 hours, this is can be very tiring and emotional for loved ones)
[ ] Fill prescriptions (especially pain medications and antibiotics) before surgery
[ ] Consider a pill case with time chart for taking medications
[ ] Purchase thermometer, antibacterial soap, dressings, gauze,
[ ] Purchase any homeopathic medicines (i.e. Bromelain and Arnica Gel, for swelling and bruising) Be sure to discuss this with your doctor
[ ] Set up home recovery area: lots of pillows, books, magazines, journal, stationery, T.V., remote control, videos, favorite CDs, humidifier, nasal spray, hot water bottles/heating pads, bucket with lid in case of vomiting
[ ] Black out windows so you can rest during the day
[ ] Whistle, bell, walkie-talkies or intercom system for requesting help
[ ] Prepare and freeze meals for 2 weeks
Consider quick snacks: Protein shakes, soup, applesauce, jell-O, frozen dinners, yogurt, oatmeal, cottage cheese, juice (purchase flexible straws for easier drinking)
Be sure to have adequate protein - the body needs it for proper healing
Talk to your doctor about low-sodium foods to reduce swelling
[ ] Prepare Icepacks (can also use packs of frozen veggies or fruit, gel packs, etc/) to reduce post-op swelling
Purchase large clips to hold packs in place
[ ] Moisturizers, scar reducing creams and petroleum jelly for incisions (if open surgery)
[ ] Laxatives (pain medications are often binding)
[ ] Eye Drops (after any surgery, eyes can be dry)
[ ] Consider hand-held shower head and bathroom chair
[ ] Telephone with speaker phone near your bed (turn off the ringer so it doesn't disturb you while you sleep)
[ ] On the day of surgery, wear loose clothing which will be easy to get off and on after operation (a shirt that buttons in front)
[ ] Follow your physician's directions carefully regarding medications, eating & drinking, etc.

Insurance Coverage
Most insurance policies don't cover elective cosmetic surgery. However, rhinoplasty surgery may be covered if it corrects a breathing problem, birth defect, or for reconstructive purposes. Check with your insurance company, and be sure to obtain proper pre-authorization for your surgery.

Questions to ask your insurance:
  • Does my policy cover the costs of the surgery, the anesthesia, revisions, and/or other related hospital costs?
  • Will there be an increase in my insurance premium?
  • Will future coverage be affected?


To see before and after photos, check out
Rhinoplasty Before and After Pictures.



Information provided is for general education about cosmetic surgery. This information is subject to change. SmartRhinoplasty.com does not guarantee that it is accurate or complete, and is not responsible for any actions resulting from the use of this information. General information provided in this fashion should not be construed as specific medical advice or recommendation, and is not a substitute for a consultation and physical examination by a physician. Only discussion of your individual needs with a qualified physician will determine the best method of treatment for you.

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