If you suffer from breathing problems, like sleep apnoea, or you’ve had an injury that has damaged your nose or nasal cavity, your doctor may refer you to a surgeon for a functional Rhinoplasty procedure. Functional Rhinoplasty differs from cosmetic Rhinoplasty in that its purpose is of medical benefit rather than an aesthetic benefit. If you are requiring functional Rhinoplasty here is an overview of what you can expect during and after the surgery.
It is important to note that no two Rhinoplasty surgeries are the same. Every nose is different and hence every surgery has a different set of procedures to be followed, depending on the problem area and the goal of the surgery.
For example, if the surgeon is reconstructing the nasal bone structure after an accident or incident, the surgery will involve adding materials to the structure to fortify it. If the issue is a deviated septum, the surgeon may either remove material or just move it back into place. Rhinoplasty can be done through a small incision on the exterior of the nose, or it can be done inside the nose, whichever best serves the readjustment of your cartilage and bone.
Depending on how complex the surgery may be, your surgeon may choose to use a local anesthetic or may opt for general anesthesia.
Recovery is just as important as surgery
In the case of local anesthetic, the nose will be numbed and you will be given a sedative which may make you feel groggy but will not put you entirely to sleep. With general anesthesia, you will be completely unconscious for the entirety of the procedure and will require a breathing tube.
If you elect to go with local anesthesia, the surgery is often performed as a day procedure and you may be able to go home shortly after your post-surgery recovery has been monitored and the surgeon is satisfied. This is the same for many cases under general anesthesia, too, but with general anesthesia, you may be kept overnight.
Your full and quick recovery will depend entirely on your post-surgical care at home. It is ideal to get lots of bed rest with your head elevated above your chest, this will aid in reducing swelling and bleeding.
During this time it is common to experience some congestion, as there will be splints and dressing inside your nose that should remain in place for up to a week post-surgery, as advised by your surgeon. You may also have an external splint to prevent damage to your nose should you absentmindedly try to rub or scratch it.
At this point in your recovery, some minor mucous drainage and bleeding is to be expected and may be soaked up by a small piece of gauze tape placed under your nose. This pad should not be tightly affixed to your nose, but rather held on loosely with medical tape.
During your recovery, it is advisable to avoid blowing your nose and running or other strenuous exercise which may impede the healing process. Once you have healed you will notice that you can sleep and breathe more easily, indicating a successful surgery. If you are interested in a functional and/or cosmetic Rhinoplasty surgery, you should talk to your doctor at the outset.