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FAQ – Nose reshaping

When would nose reshaping be appropriate?
The nose is the centre of our face and reflects our personality. Those who do not like their own nose often suffer for a great many years. Successful surgical correction puts an end to this mental suffering and boosts the self-esteem of those affected.
Surgical techniques are state of the art and are safe and successful when performed by a meticulous, experienced surgeon.

What happens during surgery?
After making invisible incisions on the inside of the nose, the cartilage and bone structure will be finely reshaped according to your wishes.
It is mostly distinctive nose bridges that require reshaping, nose tips that must be lifted, nostrils that require fine-tuning and bone structures that must be narrowed. Crooked noses often lead to malpositioning of the nasal septum, which can also affect breathing. Surgery then also involves straightening the septum. In the event of other defects or a saddle nose, the surgeon may have to transplant additional cartilage or bone to even out the nose bridge.

The shape of my nose has troubled me for some time and I’m considering having it reshaped. What should I do?
You may be suffering from a distinctive hump on your nose, or maybe you find it too small, large, pointed or long. Today’s possibilities of rhinoplasty are diverse: straightening, augmentation, reduction, widening, narrowing, removal of humps and many more – they are meanwhile all routine for an experienced plastic surgeon.

Please remember that a reshaped nose also implies a change in your facial appearance, hence it is extremely important to be advised in full on nose reshaping. This will allow you to discuss your expectations as well as the different possibilities that may apply in your case.

Will there be visible scars?
Whenever possible, the surgeon will attempt to gain access from within the nose so that there are not any visible scars.

At what age can I undergo a nose reshaping?
In general, you shouldn’t have a nose reshaping when underage, as your body hasn’t finished growing yet. However, nose reshaping may be advantageous at a young age for those suffering from severe breathing difficulties.

How long will I be unable to work?
You will need to wear a special nasal cast after surgery, which will be removed or renewed after one week. Once this cast has been removed, you will have to wear a special bandage that will also allow you to return to work.
Depending on your job, you will be able to resume work after 10-20 days.

Can I pick a nose shape from a magazine?
We strongly advise against this. The new nose should suit your face and its individual proportions.
Besides, the nasal passage should not be made too narrow, as you still need to be able to breathe and smell normally afterwards!

What about sports, showering, taking a bath and tanning?
Anything that stimulates blood flow (e.g. hot baths, sauna, sports) should be avoided for 4 to 6 weeks.
Intensive tanning should be avoided for at least 2 to 3 months.

Are good results guaranteed?
Usually the procedure turns out according to plan, though the results are not entirely predictable due to individual tissue reactions.

What are the risks?
Irritation of the olfactory and gustatory senses disappears as the swelling subsides. Permanent irritation is extremely rare.
On rare occasions, skin alterations (e.g. redness) or painful scars may appear.
Tingling and numbness are commonplace. These will subside over the following weeks.
On rare occasions, the nose remains sensitive to touch for longer periods of time.
The shape of the nose may still change after several weeks or months.
General surgical risks such as infection, healing disorders and after-bleeding are extremely rare.

Can thick skin be a problem during nose reshaping?
Thick skin can be a problem, however specific techniques exist that allow reshaping of the cartilage so that it appears slimmer.

Will I be able to wear my glasses after surgery?
We recommend not wearing glasses for 6-8 weeks after nose reshaping. If the glasses are really lightweight, you may be able to wear them by attaching them to your forehead with a plaster to avoid putting pressure on your newly reshaped nose.

What is a parrot beak?
A parrot beak is when the front (cartilaginous) part of your nose bridge is noticeably higher than the rear (bony) part.

Is there any medication I shouldn’t take before surgery?
You should not take any acetylsalicylic acid (e.g. aspirin) or vitamin E, as these can encourage after-bleeding and the formation of haematomas.

Will I need to reschedule surgery if I have a cold?
If it is only a runny nose, surgery can be performed, however you should be prescribed antibiotics as a precaution. The procedure should be rescheduled if the cold worsens to avoid the risk of sinusitis, which could also affect the final results.

How long does it take for excess skin to regress after a nose reshaping?
It may take up to 12 weeks for the skin to fully adjust to the new shape.

How long will my nose be swollen after surgery?
In most cases, swelling only subsides once the cast has been removed. The swelling will subside within the following 3-6 weeks, however it will not subside fully until after 6 months. Persistent swelling can be treated with medication (e.g. with cortisone).

How can swelling be avoided?
You should avoid any kind of physical activity within the first 4-6 weeks to keep swelling to a minimum. Seated activities and gentle walks are ok. Cold packs will only help during the first 2 weeks. There is medication that can help reduce the swelling. Please consult your doctor.

How long should I tape up my nose?
It makes sense to tape up your nose until a maximum of 3 weeks after surgery after which it will no longer be beneficial.

What about sensitive skin?
If your skin is easily irritated, you shouldn’t tape up your nose anymore. Otherwise the resulting inflammation can lead to scarring. The swelling will subside without taping up the nose – it will merely take a little longer.

What will I need to take into account if travelling by plane after surgery?
Both the nose and the connection to the middle ear is swollen after surgery. This may lead to complications during takeoff and landing, as you will be unable to equalize the pressure. You should avoid any active equalizing, as this may put too much pressure on your nose! During the first few days after surgery, you should use a nasal gel or cortisone (as required) before flying to be able to equalize naturally by letting the mucous membrane go down.

What is the best sleeping position after having had a nose reshaping?
If sleeping on your side, there shouldn’t be any problems during the first 3 weeks. Recommendations vary on a case by case basis; please consult your doctor.

What if I get a cold after surgery or if I suffer from hay fever?
Sneezing and blowing one’s nose may lead to a change in form even 4 weeks after nose reshaping – depending on the result and the surgical technique.
Please consult your surgeon, who will be able to recommend treatment.

Is it dangerous to laugh or talk too much after having nose reshaping?
It is unheard of that talking has affected the reshaped nose three weeks after surgery.

Will I need to avoid sunlight and tanning?
This is up to the responsible doctor. Usually you will be able to go out in the sun or go to the solarium after just a few weeks. However you shouldn’t expose your nose to the sun for too long, and you should cover the scars with sun cream, as they may turn brown otherwise.

What about sports?
You should refrain from sports for at least 4 weeks (and a maximum of 3 months) after surgery. This depends entirely on the surgical method. You should also consult your surgeon regarding this to. It is not actually the concussion that may be assumed to be problematic, but rather the swelling of the face that may occur when working out, which may lead to a plumper, thicker nose.

What about washing my hair?
You should ask someone to help you washing your hair with your head bent backwards. Consult your surgeon about when you are allowed to wash your hair with your head bent forwards again.

How long will I need to treat the nasal mucosa with ointment?
It depends on the surgical method that has been used as well as on what has been corrected. Please consult your surgeon. Usually you can stop using the ointment after 3 weeks.

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