Your nose is one of the first features that people notice about you, so it makes sense that you want it to look perfect. As importantly, your nose plays a critical role in your ability to breathe. If you have cosmetic or medical concerns about the structure of your nose, you may be a good candidate for rhinoplasty at Keller Plastic Surgery in Santa Barbara, CA.
However, this procedure is not for everyone. For example, rhinoplasty is a great solution for people who have suffered a traumatic injury resulting from a fall or sports injury, but individuals who have certain conditions may benefit more from another nose reconstruction procedure. Today, we’re discussing what we look for in a good candidate for this procedure.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Rhinoplasty?
People in Fairly Good Health
One of the first things we look for when determining who is a good candidate for rhinoplasty is the medical history and current health of the individual in question. When you come in for your initial consultation, we strongly recommend that you make a list of all medications and nutritional supplements you are currently taking.
Certain medications can cause contraindications during the procedure. Furthermore, the side effects of medications may remain after you have stopped taking the drugs. Therefore, we also need to know about any medications you have taken in the past two weeks.
If you are taking medications because your primary care physician advised you to, ask him or her if it is safe for you to stop taking them for a couple of weeks before and after your procedure.
People With No Heart Conditions
As with most procedures, you must be free from heart conditions to be considered a good candidate for this procedure. For example, heart disease or a history of heart attacks or strokes will preclude you from this procedure.
If your heart isn’t healthy, you can’t safely be put under general anesthesia and your body may not respond well to sedation, either. Furthermore, people with heart conditions, like heart disease, often take NSAIDs or other blood-thinning medications daily out of necessity.
For example, baby aspirin is often recommended for individuals with high blood pressure who have a family history of heart attacks. For their safety, they can’t stop taking these medications, but they also can’t undergo the procedure safely while taking these medications.
People With No Lung Conditions
To be considered a good candidate for this procedure, it is also important that your lungs are healthy. Examples of lung conditions that may preclude you from candidacy for this procedure include lung cancer, COPD, pneumonia, and bronchitis.
If you think you have a breathing problem, see your primary care physician right away to have your lung health tested before you consider this procedure. Strong lungs are required to be put under general anesthesia safely.
People Who Are Not Pregnant or Nursing
It’s important to understand that you shouldn’t consider this procedure if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Pregnancy takes an incredibly large toll on the body. However, a lot of energy is required during the recovery process.
To ensure there are no side effects from the anesthesia and you recover as quickly as possible, do not consider this procedure if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant in the near future.
You should not consider this procedure while you are breastfeeding, again, due to the incredible amount of energy required to breastfeed a child and recover from a procedure. If you’ve had a child recently and are currently nursing, we recommend that you wait until you’ve stopped lactating to consider this procedure.
People Who Don’t Smoke
Something else we look for when assessing who is a good candidate for this procedure is whether a potential candidate smokes. To be considered a good candidate for this procedure, you must be able to go 12 weeks without consuming any nicotine.
It is crucial that you do not consume nicotine in the first six weeks before your procedure because nicotine elevates your blood pressure. This may affect how your body is affected by anesthesia. It is just as important to not consume nicotine in the six weeks following your procedure.
Nicotine, and all the other chemicals in cigarettes and dip, stress out your body, elevating your blood pressure. Among other side effects of smoking, recovery is slowed significantly when your body is stressed.
People Who Can Pause Alcohol Consumption
It’s also crucial that you don’t drink alcohol in the six weeks leading up to the procedure to help ensure that your blood pressure falls within a healthy range when you are administered anesthesia. It is also very important because adequate hydration is one of the most critical preparation steps you can take, and alcohol dehydrates the body significantly.
There are also several reasons why you can’t drink alcohol within the first six weeks following your procedure. Its effect on your blood pressure is the primary reason.
However, it’s important to understand that alcohol elevates your blood pressure by dehydrating you. It’s a poison that your body eliminates as efficiently as possible by increasing urination, flushing out the alcohol, water, and micronutrients in your body.
People With Realistic Expectations About the Procedure
Another thing we look for when identifying a good candidate for this procedure is the expectations of the individual in question. What will happen during your procedure depends on the goals you are trying to achieve, but some parts of the procedure are universal.
For example, we will administer general anesthesia to numb your entire body and put you to sleep, or we will administer local anesthetic and a sedative to numb your face and induce sleep. We will also sanitize the skin on and around your nose and use sterile equipment in a sterile room to eliminate the risk of infection during the procedure.
Your nose will only be broken during your procedure in very rare cases, such as after severe trauma from a sports injury or motor vehicle accident. If you wish to augment your nose, cartilage is usually removed from your nasal septum, but it can also be taken from your rib, ear, or another part of your body.
People With Realistic Expectations
Yet another thing we look for in an individual who is considering this procedure is one who has realistic expectations about the results. During your initial consultation, we will provide you with a more in-depth explanation of the results you can realistically expect. If you have concerns about the structure of your septum, those can be addressed during the procedure.
However, most people seek this procedure to augment the size of the nose or enhance the appearance of the nose. During your initial consultation, we can provide you with Before-and-After pictures of work we’ve done in the past for people with similar starting points and end goals to you.
However, it is crucial that you understand it can take up to 14 months for your skin to heal and cartilage to settle, so you can’t expect to see your ideal results immediately after the procedure.
People Who Understand the Recovery Process
As important as it is to under what to expect during the procedure and from the results, it is also crucial that you have realistic expectations about the recovery process. Your recovery won’t be painful or uncomfortable, because you can take certain painkillers to ensure your comfort throughout your recovery process.
However, you can expect to feel drowsy for the first 24 hours post-op and within 24 hours of taking prescription narcotics. And while, depending on your job, you will only need to take a week or two off from work after your procedure, it is absolutely crucial that you listen to your body during the first six weeks post-op.
Do not rush into exercise, especially vigorous exercise, and rest whenever you feel tired. Explain to your supervisor that you can return to work, but you may need to take more breaks than usual. Also, be ready to drink plenty of water and eat plenty of protein and fiber.
People Whose Facial Growth Is Complete
Good female candidates for this procedure are at least 18 years old, and good male candidates for this procedure are at least 23 years old. It is at this time that the face stops growing so we can assess the permanent structure of your face.
It’s important to not undergo this procedure too soon if you just want to increase the size of your nose because it may grow as your body continues to develop.
People Who Wish to Increase the Size of the Nose
Remember, it’s important to wait to undergo this procedure until your face has finished growing. If you’re afraid your nose is too large, your face may grow and your nose may appear proportionate to the rest of your facial features.
If, however, you’re afraid that your nose is too small and you undergo this procedure too early, you may need a follow-up procedure after your face has finished growing and your nose is once more disproportionately small.
As stated previously, there are several ways to augment the nose. Usually, cartilage is removed from the nasal septum and added to the exterior of the nose. However, there are other parts of your body that cartilage can be harvested from if it can’t be harvested from the nasal septum without compromising the structure of your nose and affecting your ability to breathe.
People Who Want to Reduce the Size of the Nose
While most people who seek this procedure wish to augment the size of the nose, you may also be considered a good candidate if you are concerned about your nose looking to large for your face.
For example, you may be a good candidate for this procedure if you are concerned about the width of your nose’s bridge, the length of your nasal tip or the size of your nostrils.
Discover If This Is the Ideal Procedure for You Today
If you are concerned about the function or appearance of your nose, you may be a good candidate for rhinoplasty. However, this procedure is not the ideal solution to every nose-related problem, and not everyone is healthy enough to undergo the procedure. To discover definitively if this is the ideal procedure for you, contact us now at Keller Plastic Surgery in Santa Barbara, CA to schedule an appointment with Dr. Keller.
With over 38 years of experience and board certification, Dr. Keller has proudly helped the residents of Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and other Southern California communities. Whether you are concerned about the size, shape, or function of your nose, we can help you improve your self-confidence and quality of life.