The decision to receive any surgical procedure always comprises a certain level of risk, and rhinoplasty is no different. When choosing whether or not to have the surgery completed, one must weigh the potential risks with the potential benefits that can be achieved. In the end, choosing rhinoplasty is a very personal and delicate decision that should be well researched. Any qualified and experienced surgeon will be happy and willing to discuss all of the risks, and address any concerns, prior to the procedure.
Risks Common to Majority of Surgeries
There are certain risks that are present any time an involved surgical procedure is administered. During the rhinoplasty procedure, anesthesia is utilized. A qualified anesthesiologist should administer the anesthesia, but there are always safety concerns involved with this practice.
If the procedure lasts for a lengthy period of time, there are risks of cardiac and pulmonary complications. These risks are present during all longer surgical procedures. These complications occur when an increased number of blood clots begin to develop within the venous system. These complications occur relatively rarely within rhinoplasty patients.
As with any surgery, it is important to practice good post-op care in order to avoid infection of the wound as it heals.
Risks Specific to the Rhinoplasty Procedure
Majority of the risks and concerns surrounding rhinoplasty are related to the cosmetic outcome of the surgery. There is a chance that the wound may not heal as intended, leaving visual imperfections. These imperfections can include the appearance of scarring, skin discoloration, nose asymmetry, or the appearance of curves or bumps.
The end functionality of the nose may not reach the desired outcome if the wound does not heal as desired. After the surgery, the nasal passages may not be as open as necessary, restricting the amount of airflow.
Other possible side effects of rhinoplasty include: a change in skin sensitivity around the nose, swelling, bruising, and discomfort. These symptoms normally dissipate over time as the area heals.
If significant problems do occur, cosmetic or otherwise, they can typically be corrected with the help of follow-up treatments or revisional surgeries.
How You Can Reduce These Risks
The most effective way to reduce these risks is to listen carefully to the instructions set forth by your physician. Any pre-op and post-op directions should be followed as closely as possible in order to achieve a safe and healthy recovery. Your physician should provide very clear at-home care guidelines that will help you keep the wound clear of infections and support the healing process.
The post surgery instructions that you will receive will likely encourage you to rest as much as possible during the first few weeks after the surgery. It is essential not to exert yourself, or participate in any strenuous physical activities soon after the surgery. Remember, even when the discomfort of the surgery has subsided, the nose is still setting and healing into its new permanent shape.
Do Not Be Afraid to Ask Questions
Do not hesitate to communicate any concerns with your doctor before and after the procedure. By asking questions, and being vocal about your needs, you may even determine that maybe rhinoplasty is not the right choice for you. If you do decide that the surgery would be beneficial for your nose, understand that the procedure is not an exact science. Every nose is unique and will respond to the process in its own way. This means that it is nearly impossible to determine exactly what the results will be, and that a second minor surgery may be necessary to achieve your goals. With the right knowledge, patience, and care, rhinoplasty can be a safe and very effective procedure.