After operation

Post-operatively there is not normally much pain (patients tell me). You wake up with a plaster or plastic splint applied externally but only rarely do I place packing in the nostrils. Nevertheless the lining of the nose inevitably swells and stops you breathing through your nose for the first few days. The external splint is left on for about 5 days. It is there to control swelling rather than to immobilise your nose. When it comes off you will have an idea of the new shape but some swelling still affects the picture. Over about three weeks the acute swelling settles. Likewise it takes several weeks for the nasal airways to clear completely.

However the tissues overlying the nasal skeleton become woody and don’t soften completely for 6 months or more so the final appearance takes this long to be completely manifest. 

Your skin quality will determine how sympathetically it re-drapes on the modified skeleton. Thin, dry skin will ultimately show everything (including any imperfections!)  Thick, oily skin may to some extent “remember” how it was preoperatively and not fully reflect the changes underneath. Ideal skin quality for nasal surgery lies somewhere between these two extremes.

You will have numbness of the skin of the tip of your nose, more marked after “open” rhinoplasty. This normally gradually recovers over 6 -12 months.

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