The Rhinoplasty Process: From Consultation to Surgery

The Rhinoplasty Process: From Consultation to Surgery

Rhinoplasty (also known as “a nose job”) is the third most popular cosmetic procedure among Americans. While it is a popular procedure, choosing to get a nose job is a decision that requires thoughtful consideration. As a plastic surgery office with extensive experience performing rhinoplasties, we wanted to tell you what you can expect at each step of the process, from your first consultation, to surgery, to recovery.

Your First Consultation

If you are thinking about getting a nose job, set up an appointment with at least three plastic surgeons for an initial discussion, so you can compare their approaches to surgery and experience. During the first meeting, be completely candid about your goals and ask any questions you might have.

Expect the surgeon to ask about your medical history and examine the bones and cartilage of your nose and face. He or she will also take digital photos. The digital images will be manipulated on a computer screen in an attempt to create the nose you want. If you and your surgeon agree on what your new nose will look like, then you’ll set up a time for a second meeting. Meanwhile, your surgeon will work on an operative plan.

The Second Consultation

In your second consultation prior to surgery, you’ll review the operative plan that your surgeon has created. If there is anything you don’t like or are unsure of, then speak up. Your surgeon wants you to be happy with your new nose.

If you are satisfied with the plan, then you’ll set up your surgical appointment. Depending on the practice and your schedule, the surgery can be set up anywhere from a week to six weeks after your second consultation.

Preparing for Surgery

You’ll want to stay healthy before surgery. In the weeks prior to surgery, be sure to:

  • Avoid taking aspirin and other blood-thinning medications.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Eat a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.

The night before surgery you should:

  • Wash your face thoroughly.
  • Avoid food after midnight.
  • Avoid using cosmetics or products on your face or hair.
  • Get a good night’s sleep.

It’s also a good idea to get your medications and stock up on “soft” foods so they’re ready for you when you get home from surgery.

The Day of Surgery

Finally, it’s the day of your surgery. The procedure varies for each person, but there are certain steps that are common to all nose reshaping surgeries.

  1. Anesthesia

Doctors perform rhinoplasty using one of two sedation methods:

  • General anesthesia puts patients completely to sleep.
  • IV sedation with local anesthesia numbs the face and induces a “twilight sleep.”

2.     Surgery

During surgery, the surgeon creates tiny incisions inside the nostrils or under the nose. Then he or she carefully lifts the skin to access the underlying bone and cartilage and reshape the tissue as needed. When the work is complete, the doctor lays the skin back down and stiches the incisions closed.

3.     Nasal Packing

After closing the incisions, the doctor will place pieces of gauze, or nasal packing, inside the nostrils. This will help reduce bleeding and keep the septum in place. It is typically removed within a few days of surgery, and goes a long toward maintaining the results of surgery.


Rhinoplasty can involve several weeks of recovery. Your surgeon will provide specific instructions, but in general, everyone recovering from rhinoplasty surgery should:

  • Get plenty of rest and sleep with their heads elevated.
  • Apply cold compresses to the face.
  • Eat soft, nutritious foods.
  • Avoid blowing their noses.
  • Change bandages as instructed.
  • Take baths rather than showers.
  • Brush their teeth gently.

If you are thinking about rhinoplasty, then contact Northeastern Plastic Surgery who understands your desire for a beautiful, youthful looking body and facial appearance. Dr. Fodero and the staff are very friendly, helpful, and available to answer any questions you may have. Please contact us today to learn more about the services we offer.