Posts Tagged ‘rhinoplasty’

3 Tips to Consider When Scheduling Your Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty, or nose surgery, requires planning. Emory Aesthetic Center explains the recovery process and when to schedule your procedure.Whether your reason for rhinoplasty is functional, cosmetic (to improve appearance) or both — understanding the process and what to expect for your recovery, will help you best plan your surgery. Here are 3 recommendations from the experts at Emory Aesthetic Center to help you decide the best time to have your procedure.

1. Allow time to get comfortable with a surgeon first

It’s important to give yourself enough time to schedule one or more consultations with facial plastic surgeons experienced in performing this procedure. Rhinoplasty is one of the most difficult surgeries of the face. Meticulous attention to detail and extensive knowledge of the nose’s anatomy is essential to good results. Take the time to find the right one.

Summer is a popular time of year for cosmetic surgery. If you choose to have your procedure in the summer, you may want to schedule these consultations as early as January or February.

2. Do your due diligence

Once you’ve chosen your surgeon, make sure you’re on the same page about your overall expectations for improvement in function and appearance. Most offices will book surgery a minimum of six to eight weeks out from your consultation giving you the chance to:

  • Obtain photos of noses you like to review with your surgeon
  • Review your surgeon’s recommendations for your procedure
  • Look at your surgeon’s work on past patients
  • Seek another opinion
  • Get any needed medical clearances
  • Stop taking medications before surgery

3. Consider your recovery needs for rhinoplasty

Recovery from rhinoplasty can be uncomfortable. Severe pain is not the norm, but you may experience the following after your surgery:

  • Significant congestion
  • Mild headaches
  • Sore throat
  • Bloody discharge
  • General discomfort

If a moderate amount of work was done, or if surgery was performed on the nasal bones, you’ll likely have a fair amount of bruising and swelling around the eyes. This won’t decrease significantly until two to three weeks after surgery.

You should plan to take a minimum of two weeks off from school or work. During that time, all physical activity will be restricted. Contact sports of any kind aren’t permitted for six weeks.

If you’re a student, you’ll most likely want to have surgery in the summer when you can take the time you need to heal without disrupting your studies or activities.

If you’re working and have no predetermined downtime, you’ll want to consider the fall or winter. Plastic surgeons will have more availability and you’ll find it easier to recover when you’re generally less active and spending more time indoors.

Emory Aesthetic Center

Your nose’s function and appearance will improve greatly during the six weeks following surgery, but it takes about one year to see final results. Let the highly-skilled facial plastic surgeons at Emory Aesthetic Center walk alongside you on this journey.

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The 5 Most Common Plastic Surgery Myths

A cosmetic surgeon debunks common plastic surgery myths heard from patients.Thanks to the internet, many patients are well educated about cosmetic surgery procedures when they schedule a consultation. But despite some good online resources, a few plastic surgery myths remain. Learn the truth from cosmetic surgeons at the Emory Aesthetic Center.

Plastic Surgery Myth #1: Liposuction or a tummy tuck will jump-start weight loss.

You may hope that having liposuction or a tummy tuck will help you commit to losing weight for good but it is not the place to start your weight loss journey.

Both do a great job of changing your shape and may help you lose a couple of pounds, but remember, the results are insignificant compared to what you can achieve through diet and exercise.
Here are a few other truths about these procedures and weight loss:

  1. You’ll get the best possible results when you’re at a healthy weight for surgery.
  2. You’ll have less risk of complications if you’re at a healthy weight for surgery.
  3. You’ll likely be less motivated to make healthy lifestyle changes right after your surgery. You’ll be focused on healing and feeling better about how you look.
  4. You’ll be happier with the results from your body contouring surgery over time if stay at a healthy weight.

Plastic Surgery Myth #2: You must have breast implants to get a breast lift.

Many women who believe their breasts have become “droopy” can benefit from breast implants; but implants aren’t always necessary.

So how do you know which procedure is right for you? In front of a mirror, lift up your breasts or consider how they look in a bra:

  1. If you like the size overall, you may need a lift (mastopexy), but not an implant.
  2. If your breasts aren’t drooping, but you’d like to change their size or shape, you may need an implant, but not a lift.
  3. If you feel your breasts are just too small to match the rest of your body and you consider them droopy, then you may need both a lift and an implant.

Plastic Surgery Myth #3: Plastic surgery is only for women.

More men have cosmetic surgery these days. In fact, statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) show that plastic surgery procedures in men have increased by 325 percent since 1997.

Some common procedures in men are:

Plastic Surgery Myth #4: Liposuction will reduce cellulite and tighten skin.

Liposuction can provide excellent improvement in body contours, but it won’t improve significant cellulite or tighten loose skin. The best candidates for liposuction are at a healthy weight and have good skin quality.

If your skin is loose due to aging, weight fluctuations, or pregnancy, liposuction isn’t the best option for you. Procedures that both reduce fat and tighten skin include:

Plastic Surgery Myth #5: General anesthesia is too risky; local anesthesia is better.

One of the greatest accomplishments in medicine is the safety and consistency of modern anesthesia.

Depending on the extent of your surgery, general anesthesia is sometimes the safest and most comfortable option. It allows us to use different blends of medications, such as inhaled gases and IV medicines, to keep you comfortable and your vital signs normal.

At the Emory Aesthetic Center, our team of board-certified anesthesiologists and certified registered nurse anesthetists will talk with you about your options and recommend the anesthesia care that’s best for you.

Do you want to learn more?

Emory Aesthetic Center has a skilled team of board-certified cosmetic surgeons who offer extensive experience in a variety of procedures.

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Rhinoplasty 101: (Almost) Everything You Need to Know

rhinoplasty250x250Whether you struggle to breathe through your nose or you’re uncomfortable with your appearance, rhinoplasty (or a “nose job”) may be the answer. Rhinoplasty is a very intricate procedure that requires great skill and precision. So choosing the right facial plastic surgeon is one of the most important steps toward a successful surgery.

How Do I Choose a Plastic Surgeon?

The first step is to schedule a consultation with a facial plastic surgeon who focuses on rhinoplasty. Getting at least two opinions is a great way to become aware of different concerns, considerations and differing styles of particular surgeons.

There are many different reasons to get rhinoplasty, and everyone has their own unique idea of what they would like their results to be. So it’s very important to discuss these issues in detail during your consultation.

It’s also important to know that your surgeon will stand by you if there are any complications or if you need further surgery. Ask about how they handle those situations. If you get the feeling that you wouldn’t be supported if you have concerns after your surgery, that doctor may not be right for you.

What Happens at an Initial Consultation?

You and your surgeon will discuss your desires and expectations. Sometimes computer imaging is used to help you both clarify what results you’re looking for and understand what you can realistically expect.

The surgeon will likely examine the outside and inside of your nose. They may also perform minor maneuvers to determine if there are functional issues, and possibly make recommendations based on their experience.

What Happens During Surgery?

Rhinoplasty typically takes anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours. Most often, it’s performed in an outpatient surgery center using general anesthesia. You’re able to go home once your surgery is complete, and will likely follow up with your surgeon within a week.

What Can I Expect Right After Surgery?

It’s common to have bloody drainage from your nose for the first 24 – 48 hours after surgery. Congestion is also very common during the recovery period. Pain medicine is usually prescribed for several days. You can expect discomfort, but significant pain is not the norm.

If your nose had to be broken as part of the narrowing or refining process, you may have tape and a cast for the first week. These will be removed at your 1-week appointment, which will be your first opportunity to see your new nose.

What Can I Expect During the Recovery Process?

Sometimes, patients are surprised with what they see when their bandages are removed. It’s important to remember that you will not see the “final” results from a rhinoplasty until one year after the surgery. Make sure to mention your concerns as they arise, but know that time and patience will alter and resolve most of them. Your surgeon may encourage you to wait while your body handles the healing process.

For the first 3 – 6 weeks, there will be significant fluctuation in tip and bridge swelling, as well as breathing changes. After the first 6 weeks, things start to stabilize more. You’ll most likely see your surgeon every few weeks to start with and then gradually increase time between visits.

What Can Emory Aesthetic Center Do for Me?

The Emory Aesthetic Center has experienced, board certified cosmetic surgeons that help guide you through every step of the process — from initial decisions to successful recovery. In addition to improving your appearance, we provide meticulous attention to detail and a comprehensive understanding of the functional aspects of nasal breathing.

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About Dr. Sethna

anita-sethna-avatarDr. Sethna understands that facial plastic and reconstructive surgery demand a marriage of science and artistry, and she enjoys using precision, skill, and vision to make her patients’ dreams reality. Dr. Sethna’s meticulous attention to detail and her passion for maintaining a natural look ensure optimum results for her patients.

A dedicated teacher, Dr. Sethna is devoted to assisting residents in facial trauma or reconstructive cases at Grady Hospital. She relishes the opportunity to educate residents and medical students in all aspects of patient care. Dr. Sethna has a strong interest in several areas of facial plastic surgery research and has presented at national meetings on the importance of resident and fellow education in rhinoplasty techniques and adjunctive measures to decrease discomfort during cosmetic procedures.

Takeaways from the Emory Aesthetic Center’s Getting Ready for the Holidays Live Chat

eac-holiday-260x200Thank you to everyone who joined us on Tuesday, October 13th, for our live online chat on “Getting Ready for the Holidays”, hosted by Emory Aesthetic Center’s facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Anita Sethna.

Believe it or not, the holidays will be here before we know it. In this live chat, Dr. Sethna provided advice and answered questions on how to get your skin glowing for the festive season. She discussed effective non-surgical treatments that will give you a brighter, rejuvenated look. She also answered questions around cosmetic surgical options and recovery to ensure your are ready just in time for the season. Here are just a few highlights from the chat, including one question we didn’t have a chance to answer:

Question: Can you perform a nose job with injections? My friend said that he had it done and I can see a difference.

anita-sethna-avatarDr. Sethna: Non-surgical rhinoplasty is a relatively new concept in injectables, but not one that should be taken lightly. There are no FDA-approved injectables for injection into the nose. That being said, in very select cases either after a rhinoplasty has already been done, or if a small issue in the bridge needs to be corrected, injection of a hyaluronic acid filler (juvederm , restylane for example) can be injected to correct the concern. A rhinoplasty surgeon familiar with the anatomy and blood vessels of the nose should be the one performing the injection. The risks of improper placement or unintended consequences can be severe in the nasal skin if performed by an untrained individual. As always, a consultation with a rhinoplasty expert to determine whether your concerns are even amenable to non-surgical (injectable) rhinoplasty is recommended prior to any interventions.

Question: What is the simplest thing someone can do to look fresher and rejuvenated?

anita-sethna-avatarDr. Sethna: On a daily basis, skin care is probably the easiest and biggest bang for your buck. The ingredients that are most helpful are tretinoin, or some type of retinol, that is essentially a daily exfoliant that is helpful in stimulating collagen and removing surface dead skin cells.

 

 

Question: When would you recommend a chemical peel and what does it best treat? Wrinkles? Complexion? Wondering if I should have one.

anita-sethna-avatarDr. Sethna: There are many different types of chemical peels and many different concentrations that can be used to achieve a different type of cosmetic result. Very limited amount of down time can be achieved with a lower concentration of peel solution and can improve overall brightness of the complexion and possibly improve the appearance of darker spots or age spots. If deeper wrinkles are present or overall skin tightening is desired, most of the time a deeper peel will need to be performed in an operating room or under sedation, with a recovery time of closer to seven days. Most peels can be repeated to get more drastic results and can be repeated with varying intervals depending on the depth of the original peel. Ultimately, the best recommendation on whether or not it will be helpful will be to come in for a consultation to address what your overall goals are and whether a peel could accomplish those.

If you missed out on this live chat, be sure to check out the full list of questions and answers on the chat transcript. You can also visit emoryaesthetic.org for a full list of services and treatments offered by the Emory Aesthetic Center.

If you have additional questions for Dr. Sethna, please feel free to leave a comment in our comments area below.

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Can Men Get Plastic Surgery?

guysAt the Emory Aesthetic Center, we have traded in our Cosmopolitan subscription and replaced it with Sports Illustrated. Why? It’s simple. Plastic surgery is no longer just for women.

Today, we are seeing more and more men of all ages requesting plastic surgery for cosmetic reasons. We’ve discovered that men are just as worried about their appearance as women. But it is important to know that men’s needs may be different, as most cosmetic procedures have been designed with women in mind. Factors to consider include skin thickness, beard growth, and body type.

Let’s review the top plastic surgery procedures men are requesting by the numbers.

Face-Lift/Neck-Lift
Results last: 10 to 15 years
Recovery: 7-10 days
Cost: $12-14,000

Eyelid Lift
Results last: 15 to 20 years
Recovery: 7-10 days
Cost: $6-8000 for upper and lower (half of that for just upper)

Body Liposuction
Results last: Depends on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and weight
Recovery: 1-2 days
Cost: minimum $4500-unmlimited based on areas treated

Breast Reduction
Results last: Permanent
Recovery: 2-3 days
Cost: $8-10,000

Rhinoplasty
Results last: Permanent
Recovery: 5-7 days
Cost: $7-9,000

Botox®
Results last: 6 to 9 months
Recovery: 0 days
Cost: $300-600 per treatment

Dermal Fillers
Results last: 1 to 2 years
Recovery: 1-2 days
Cost: $450-800 per syringe

At the Emory Aesthetic Center, our board-certified physicians understand that the delivery of plastic surgery is different for men than women. We will approach your individual goals with personal attention and help you choose the procedure that is right for you.

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About Dr. Anderson

Erica Anderson, MDErica Anderson, MD, is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and currently holds an appointment as Assistant Professor in the Division of Plastic Surgery at Emory University. Dr. Anderson completed her general surgery residency and plastic surgery residency at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and associated hospitals in Denver, CO. She completed a year of advanced training in Aesthetic Surgery at Grotting Plastic Surgery in Birmingham, Alabama.

Dr. Anderson returns to Emory University after being in private practice in Arlington, Virginia. While there, she maintained a busy aesthetic and reconstructive practice and also served as Medical Director for the Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Center at Virginia Hospital Center.

Dr. Anderson’s academic and research interests are largely focused on clinical outcomes with regards to cosmetic surgery. Her areas of clinical interest are diverse including cosmetic surgery of the breast and body as well chest wall reconstruction and wound care.

Dr. Anderson is married with 3 children, Trent, Connor and Fiona, and 2 vizslas, Max and Mimi.

9 Nose Job Myths Explained

Nose Job MythsAccording to the American Society for Plastic Surgery, rhinoplasty ( nose job) has ranked as one of the top cosmetic surgical procedures for the past several years, with approximately 220,000 people undergoing the procedure in the U.S. alone last year. However, despite its popularity, there are a number of common misconceptions about the procedure. As a physician who sees many patients that request rhinoplasty, I thought this would be a good opportunity to dispel some of the misconceptions that my patients frequently present to me.

  1. Anyone who performs plastic surgery can perform my rhinoplasty.  This one is critical. Many patients assume that anyone who performs plastic surgery can perform rhinoplasty. The nose is one of the most complex and misunderstood areas of the anatomy, especially in the facial region. Board-certified Facial Plastic Surgeons are required to perform extensive numbers of rhinoplasty before achieving certification. Some Plastic Surgeons also have been trained specifically to focus on the intricate aspects of the facial and nasal anatomy. It is critical that you inquire about board certification for facial plastic surgery, or at least the number of rhinoplasties your surgeon has performed prior to undergoing this procedure. Revision rhinoplasty, though relatively common, is not easy and you never want to plan to have a revision if everything is done well the first time.
  2. Rhinoplasty is a simple operation.  This is a common misconception, especially for those patients who present desiring what they consider a small “bump” to be removed, or a wide nasal tip to be narrowed. One of the reasons rhinoplasty is such a complex procedure is that each millimeter of change in one area could lead to dramatic changes in form and function in another region. Reducing a hump on the bridge of the nose based on the side view may lead to an appearance of excessive width on front view. This necessitates small cuts to be made in the bone to balance the front view with the side view. That doesn’t mean that some cases aren’t straightforward—they can be, but many cases require maneuvers to be made in other areas of the nose to ensure a good cosmetic outcome.
  3. Rhinoplasty cannot be covered by insurance.  In some cases, this may be true. If every portion of the surgery requested is purely for cosmetic changes, insurance likely will not cover the surgery. However, in many cases, patients present with functional issues that can be addressed simultaneously. Significantly deviated septums, post-traumatic changes, significant breathing difficulty that has not been alleviated with conservative medications or intervention can all be addressed during nasal surgery. If this is the case, and insurance approves these interventions, certain portions of your nasal surgery may be covered. Not every office handles this the same way. Make sure you ask about your options when considering functional work and insurance coverage possibilities during your consultation.
  4. Rhinoplasty is an expensive procedure.  As mentioned above, in some cases such as functional, breathing or traumatic concerns, insurance approval can be sought to reduce or even cover the costs associated with rhinoplasty. The average cost for rhinoplasty in the U.S. is about $4500. However, in addition to the fee for the surgery itself, there are facility fees and operating room fees for the instruments, surgery center, and anesthesia, leading to a total cost that can range up to $9000. If your procedure is purely cosmetic, many offices participate in plans that allow for the financing of cosmetic interventions. Make sure to inquire about these options with the coordinator at your surgeons’ office.
  5. My nose will look fake after rhinoplasty.  In decades past, most rhinoplasty patients underwent the same few maneuvers to achieve a smaller, more petite nose. As the science and art of rhinoplasty has advanced, so has our understanding of the many anatomic and ethnic variations that exist in this meticulous procedure. The rhinoplasty surgeon of today understands that each individual has characteristics they wish to preserve, as well as areas they wish to improve upon. Not every patient wants a scooped nasal bridge or small nasal tip. Most consultations for rhinoplasty will allow enough time to discuss exactly what the changes are you wish to undergo. Some offices even provide options for computer imaging to allow the discussion of preferences to be hashed out in exact detail. The goal of the Emory Aesthetic Center is always to achieve a natural looking nose that disappears into the background of your face, not one that stands out.
  6. I can ask for any nose I want.  This misconception goes right along with the one before. Nasal anatomy is extremely complex. Each patient presents with unique anatomy as well as unique ethnic characteristics that are important to preserve. The fault of early rhinoplasty surgeons was an attempt to convert each nose to the same template. This leads to complications in breathing and structure over the years, not to mention a nose that may not fit your overall appearance.It is vital to share with your surgeon exactly what areas of your nose are bothersome or concerning to you. The best chance for success is to have an open and honest dialogue regarding your concerns. This also means that your surgeon may have recommendations about how to balance your desires with your current facial structure and shape.
  7. Rhinoplasty is a painful procedure.  I counsel my patients that rhinoplasty recovery may feel similar to recovering from a bad cold. During the procedure, most surgeons prefer patients to be placed under general anesthesia. This allows the highest level of safety by allowing the anesthesiologist to control your airway and keep a close eye on all your vital signs. You will be completely asleep and unable to feel any discomfort. Once you are awake, prescription pain medications will be given to you to minimize discomfort. That being said, a moderate amount of congestion, some eye swelling and possible bruising around the eyes is common for about 7-10 days. Most patients do well with pain medication and staying away from strenuous activity for about 2 weeks. At one week post-surgery, most patients are feeling just a little more than congestion, and can return to work.
  8. I will have breathing problems after rhinoplasty.  Breathing problems after rhinoplasty can occur. There is a small risk in any elective cosmetic procedure that revision may need to take place, however, most of the time these are minor procedures with minimal recovery time. The properly trained rhinoplasty surgeon will take functional concerns into account even if your surgery is strictly cosmetic. The advantage of undergoing surgery with a board-certified Facial Plastic Surgeon or Plastic Surgeon with extensive experience in rhinoplasty is that we have been trained to make desired cosmetic changes while still understanding the supportive and functional aspects of the complex anatomy of the nose. A nose that has been narrowed too significantly, a tip that has been pinched to allow excessive refinement or a bridge that has been reduced dramatically without instilling needed support will very quickly develop breathing issues. When these aspects are anticipated and prevented, the desired changes can be achieved safely and with lasting results.
  9. Only women get rhinoplasty.  Although the majority of the 220,000 patients who underwent rhinoplasty last year were female, approximately 25% of them were male. Male patients often desire both functional and cosmetic improvements, especially reducing a hump, making a nasal tip less boxy or bulbous or narrowing the bridge. Having a consultation with a surgeon well-versed in rhinoplasty will also ensure that as a male patient, your nose will continue to balance your overall masculine aesthetic.

We hope the discussion above will help dispel some of the most common misconceptions about rhinoplasty. Ultimately, when patients are well-prepared for the surgery and recovery, nasal surgery carries a high satisfaction rate. Make sure that you take the time to ask questions about your concerns, priorities and desires prior to undergoing nasal surgery, and listen to the advice and recommendations of your surgeon. Ensure your rhinoplasty surgeon is board-certified in facial plastic surgery or has a significant number of rhinoplasties under his or her belt before scheduling your procedure. The board certified cosmetic surgeons of the Emory Aesthetic Center can help you think through your particular concerns and develop a plan that is tailored specifically to your desires and needs.

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About Dr. Sethna

Anita Sethna, MDAnita Sethna, MD, understands that facial plastic and reconstructive surgery demand a marriage of science and artistry, and she enjoys using precision, skill, and vision to make her patients’ dreams reality. Dr. Sethna’s meticulous attention to detail and her passion for maintaining a natural look ensure optimum results for her patients. A dedicated teacher, Dr. Sethna is devoted to assisting residents in facial trauma or reconstructive cases at Grady Hospital. She relishes the opportunity to educate residents and medical students in all aspects of patient care. Dr. Sethna has a strong interest in several areas of facial plastic surgery research and has presented at national meetings on the importance of resident and fellow education in rhinoplasty techniques and adjunctive measures to decrease discomfort during cosmetic procedures.

How Can Surgery Improve My Nasal Breathing?

Nasal SurgeryEach year, thousands of people undergo nasal surgery (over 200,000 people according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons). Some patients have cosmetic concerns, others have functional concerns, while many have a combination of both they would like to address. In all these cases, the best outcome will occur when your cosmetic surgeon takes into consideration the functional aspects of your nasal surgery.

The main cause of breathing obstruction in someone who has not had significant nasal trauma or prior nasal surgery is often a deviated septum or enlargement of the filtering structures on the inside of your nose called turbinates. Septal deviation is extremely common, but does not always require surgical intervention. Those who have significant deviation of the septum, however, may benefit from undergoing surgical repair and straightening.

Turbinate hypertrophy, or enlargement, is a relatively common condition that can be addressed in many safe and effective ways by reducing the amount of tissue that has caused the swelling in the first place. This can be done without actually removing the structures themselves. Insurance companies may often require, if you have this finding on physical examination, that you undergo a short-term trial of nasal steroid medications to see if medical treatment will improve symptoms without surgery.

In some patients, and commonly in those who have undergone some type of nasal surgery or trauma in the past, we often find that certain areas important for breathing have been narrowed in an attempt to make the appearance of the nose more appealing. Narrowing certain aspects of the cartilage or bone within the nose can often have a benefit in terms of appearance, but can sometimes have a long-term effect on breathing. In these cases, we must attempt to use remaining cartilage in the nose or possibly even cartilage from other sources, to rebuild support to these areas. Undergoing this type of reconstructive surgery can be intimidating for the patient, but for those of us who perform this surgery regularly, we see that it can be very rewarding in its outcomes.

The most challenging part of modern nasal surgery is not only understanding the intricate and complicated anatomy of the nose, but being able to achieve balance between the form and function to achieve the ultimate result. We have learned a great deal from nasal surgery that was performed over the last several decades. In the past, in order to achieve a smaller and more complimentary nose, copious amounts of cartilage were often removed. This ultimately risked nasal breathing and led to unwanted long-term changes to the nasal tissues. Modern nasal surgery emphasizes that each nose and each face is different, and that certain structures must remain in order to have a long-lasting, and functional result.

As with every surgery, it is important to understand that there may be risks. Discuss openly with your surgeon the risks that may be involved, how they can be minimized and what level of experience he/she has. The Emory Aesthetic Center offers experienced cosmetic surgeons that will help guide your nasal surgery decision process in order to achieve the best result for you. Most likely, you will love the look of the final result and be able to breath well from it for years to come.

About Dr. Sethna

Anita Sethna, MDAnita Sethna, MD, understands that facial plastic and reconstructive surgery demand a marriage of science and artistry, and she enjoys using precision, skill, and vision to make her patients’ dreams reality. Dr. Sethna’s meticulous attention to detail and her passion for maintaining a natural look ensure optimum results for her patients. A dedicated teacher, Dr. Sethna is devoted to assisting residents in facial trauma or reconstructive cases at Grady Hospital. She relishes the opportunity to educate residents and medical students in all aspects of patient care. Dr. Sethna has a strong interest in several areas of facial plastic surgery research and has presented at national meetings on the importance of resident and fellow education in rhinoplasty techniques and adjunctive measures to decrease discomfort during cosmetic procedures.

Rhinoplasty: Nose Job Surgery & Recovery

RhinoplastyFor many patients, rhinoplasty (or a “nose job”) is something they have considered for years but have delayed for fear of recovery or fear of the changes that may result. This is completely understandable. Undergoing this type of surgical procedure can change the way not only others see you, but also how you see yourself. Even small, millimeter changes can make a huge impact.

Patients presenting for consultation for nasal surgery often run the gamut from wishing for a small “bump” to be removed from the bridge, to major reconstruction involving both breathing concerns and cosmetic improvements. There’s no cookbook method of improving one’s nasal appearance. As cosmetic surgeons we strive to match your desires and goals with what is structurally sound and aesthetically pleasing.

The consultation itself is at least an hour-long process. The goal initially is to assess the breathing, structure and balance of the nose with other aspects of the face and to discuss, in detail, what your concerns are. This is the opportunity to bring up any worries about your appearance, and ask any and all questions related to recovery. Once the assessment is complete, we then discuss the plan for addressing the issues. It’s important for both the patient and surgeon to agree on what issues are, and what can be corrected and to what degree. This almost always involves a set of several photos being taken and reviewed, and sometimes involves computer imaging.

At the Emory Aesthetic Center, we perform computer imaging as a tool. Because rhinoplasty involves such a critical aspect of ones self-image, computer imaging can be a useful adjunct to pictures and drawings. It gives the patient and surgeon a method of mutual communication and education.

Once a decision has been made regarding surgery, what is the recovery process like and how long is it before results can be seen? I counsel my patients that recovery generally takes about 10 days – that’s when patients can return to work or school with much less discomfort. The recovery process can be quite varied – some patients take prescription pain medication for a few days and then switch to Tylenol; others require the pain medicine for a week or so. Swelling and bruising around the eyes, and swelling on the nose itself is also quite common, and starts to dissipate around 5-7 days but in some cases can last 10-14 days. The most common complaint is congestion, rather than pain. Because of the surgery inside the nose, swelling can cause difficulty breathing through the nose for about a week.

Patients return to the office for an evaluation the day after surgery for a quick checkup and to ask any follow-up questions, and then at one week to have the outside dressings removed. Although results can start to be seen when the dressings are removed, the final results are not seen for up to 1 year following surgery. This can be surprising for some – but because of the intricate system of drainage of the nose, the tip and bridge can stay slightly swollen, and only with the passage of some time, will it settle into its final contours. I request patients return frequently to monitor the healing process and ensure their concerns are addressed.

At the end of the day, rhinoplasty is a very personal and emotional decision. But if certain aspects of your nose make you uncomfortable, or don’t allow your personality to shine through, there is no reason to delay the decision to pursue surgery. At the very least, obtaining a consultation allows the surgeon to discuss how reasonable your expectations are for improvement and give you a plan for correction.