How to Prepare for Rhinoplasty

Before a rhinoplasty procedure, with or without internal functional surgery to improve the airway, the patients should be fully prepared.  It is important that one knows everything that will happen so that there is no anxiety leading up to the procedure. Any and every question you have should be answered. 

Preparing for rhinoplasty: the do’s and don’ts

There are always important dos and don’ts. These should be discussed at the initial consultation with the office staff and the physician. It is always best to bring a list of questions with you. The more time the rhinoplasty surgeon spends with you, the better. Only the doctor can discuss all of the medical preparation, anesthesia, and recovery issues with you. Every patient is different; every patient has different concerns, and all must be properly addressed.

What to do before rhinoplasty surgery:

  • Select a date that is compatible with your work and leisure schedule.  Do not try to “squeeze it in.” Give yourself enough of a “buffer.” Typically, 7 to 10 days after surgery is a comfortable estimate as recovery time. By 10 days you should be able to resume all normal activities including strenuous exercise.
  • Receive an office listing of medications, prescription and non-prescription, and even supplements that are to be avoided.
  • You should have a preoperative physical by your own personal doctor.  It is not best to have it done by the surgeon who is not qualified to evaluate all of the aspects of your health. Surgeons perform surgery; internists and family practitioners should know the most about your general medical condition. Your surgeon’s office should give you a form to take to your doctor since many of the subjects of his evaluation have anesthesia and surgical consequences
  • You should have a scheduled conversation with the anesthesiologist before the day of surgery. This is very important.  It is not ideal to meet the anesthesiologist in the holding area where you may be sedated and incapable of having a clear conversation. The ideal way, which is our practice, tells the patient that he or she will receive a call from the anesthesiologist the evening prior to surgery, no later than 9 p.m. If there is no telephone call by the anesthesiologist by that time, to contact me.
  • A specific preoperative instruction sheet concerning basic preparation issues. It should cover what foods should or should not be consumed the night before and by what time. The preoperative instruction sheet should tell you what kind of clothing to wear and also discuss facial cleansing. A reminder not to bring your jewelry or valuables. Also, a reminder about not taking aspirin prior to surgery. If there are any pimples or rashes on your nose, you must contact the office immediately at any point prior to surgery because that needs to be checked out. Pimples are small infections and no elective surgery should ever be performed in the setting of any infection. There should also be a timeline for recovery and a list of phone numbers to call if you have any questions, ideally including the doctor’s cell phone or home line.
  • A final preoperative visit with the office manager, at which time the final written instructions are given covering all of the points mentioned above. Consents will be signed. There will be confirmation of the time of the surgery and also who will be coming to the surgery center for home care teaching by the staff in the recovery area, and who will be picking the patient up after surgery. 

Final thought on rhinoplasty preparation

Since the patient is not an expert on anesthesia, surgery, or recovery, it falls upon the surgeon and office staff to provide any and all information.  We feel the patient should come to surgery with every question answered and every bit of information that one would want to have in hand.