Rhinoplasty is the surgical modification of the structure and function of the nose, also known as “nose job surgery” or nose reshaping. A functional rhinoplasty is a nasal surgery that is designed to correct a specific anatomic issue and improve the nasal airway (breathing). This procedure is generally performed “open” (using an external incision); please see the procedure page for open rhinoplasty. Septoplasty (straightening of a crooked or broken septum) is frequently performed at the same time.
As a nose specialist, Dr. Ransom offers his patients a unique ability to address both the internal and external parts of the nose. Functional rhinoplasty, however, is not a cosmetic surgery. Recovery from functional rhinoplasty will depend on the exact areas addressed and techniques used. In general, the majority of the swelling of the nose resolves in about a week. A small amount of swelling may last longer than this.
The nasal passages will also be swollen, giving a sensation of a “stuffy nose” for a few days. Topical medications can be used, after the initial healing, to decrease this symptom. Dr. Ransom does not use any nasal packing, which allows the patient to breathe normally more quickly after the surgery and significantly reduces postoperative discomfort. Typically, patients will have a flexible plastic cast on the nose for about a week.
Patients with significant breathing problems and nasal obstruction, and who have not undergone a previous cosmetic rhinoplasty, are candidates for functional rhinoplasty. Most patients have a history of nasal trauma, either recent or remote, and experience ongoing issues with breathing, snoring, or recurrent sinus infections. Dr. Ransom will assess your nasal structure and function during your consultation and is happy to discuss the details of all types of nasal surgery.
Please note that all patients are different and individual healing times and results may vary. The statements regarding procedures and recovery made here are general rules.
In most cases, you will have a cast on the nose for about a week after the procedure. This helps to protect the nose from accidental trauma, and also stabilizes the bones during the initial healing phase. No packing is used in the nose, which makes recovery much more comfortable. Your nose may feel “stuffy” for a few days, but this resolves quickly. Pain is minimal. You will likely feel tired for a couple days and should limit your activities and concentrate on resting and recovery. Contact sports, racket and ball sports, heavy lifting, and straining must be avoided until Dr. Ransom gives you the “okay” – this is typically a couple weeks.
For most patients, the initial recovery is quick – typically a week. Due to swelling inside the nose, many patients feel “stuffed up” for a few days. Bruising is limited, though some swelling will occur throughout the nose. Much of this resolves over the first week, but some swelling will persist after that and may take longer to go away completely. Pain is minimal and Dr. Ransom does not use nasal packing, making recovery more comfortable for his patients. Functional improvements are typically seen after the internal swelling resolves, generally within a few weeks of the procedure.
Dr. Evan Ransom is an Ivy League-educated and Ivy League trained Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon. He is a Double Board Certified Head and Neck Surgeon and Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and fellowship-trained in facial plastic, reconstructive, and laser surgery. His practice is in the San Francisco Bay Area, serving patients from San Francisco, Oakland, Marin County, Palo Alto, Silicon Valley, Walnut Creek, the East Bay, and all over Northern California.