What happens during your first consultation?
Before a rhinoplasty procedure can be scheduled, a consultation with a plastic surgeon will be required. During the consultation, he or she will discuss with you all the factors necessary to determine whether you are a candidate for surgery (whether the procedure is likely to work for you and achieve the desired results).
The discussion will likely cover the below factors:
- Your medical history: First and foremost, your motivation for wanting the surgery and the desired result will be discussed. From there, your surgeon will ask questions relating to your medical history. This can include whether or not you have a history of nasal obstruction, previous surgeries and a list of any medications and supplements you may be taking. If it is known that you have a bleeding disorder, such as haemophilia, your surgeon will likely rule out the possibility of having the surgery.
- A physical exam: If there are not reasons why you aren’t a candidate for surgery at this stage, a complete physical examination will be conducted, and may also include blood tests and other necessary lab tests. Your surgeon will also inspect the skin, as well as the inside and outside of your nose. This is to assess whether the desired changes are achievable and how your physical features may affect the possible results. Your surgeon will assess the thickness of the skin and the cartilage at the end of your nose. A thorough exam is necessary to ensure that the impact of the procedure doesn’t in any way result in impairing your ability to breathe properly post-op.
- Photographs: If the surgeon is satisfied with their assessment and there are still no reasons to rule out the procedure, photographs of your nose will be taken from different angles. Computer software may then be used to manipulate the images to show you the kinds of results that may be possible. These images are often used for before-and-after assessments, as a reference during the surgery and for long-term reviews.
- Your expectations: You and your surgeon will then further discuss your motivations and expectations in more detail. It’s important that you are completely honest about your expectations of the surgery. Your surgeon will have a much clearer indication as to what the procedure can and can’t do for you at this stage of the consultation. He or she will detail how the surgery is likely to meet your expectations, or alternatives where it may not be possible and why. Sometimes a surgeon may offer an alternative for consideration. A small chin can sometimes create the illusion of a larger nose. If you are not a candidate for rhinoplasty, this procedure may be an option for you to give your facial profile an improved proportion. In some cases, a chin and rhinoplasty procedure may be recommended and done at the same time.
From this point, if your surgeon agrees that you are a candidate for surgery, you may then schedule your procedure. In preparation for the procedure you will need to take into consideration that you will need to arrange safe transport from the hospital or outpatient surgical facility following the procedure as you will not be fit to drive yourself (as the anaesthetic wears off).
You may also like to arrange for someone to stay with you the first few days after surgery in case you need assistance with personal care tasks, as you can experience lapses of memory, slowed reaction time and impaired judgement as the anaesthetic wears off in the body.
Your surgeon will also request that you avoid medications containing aspirin or ibuprofen for at least 2 weeks prior to and after surgery as these can slow down the blood-clotting process and increase your risk of internal bleeding. Any medications or supplements you continue to take must be approved or prescribed by your surgeon.
Smokers may be asked to stop smoking before the procedure and during recovery. Smoking typically slows down the healing process (constricting the blood vessels, resulting in less oxygen and blood being able to get to the body’s tissues) and can make you more susceptible to infection-related complications.