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Facial Feminization Surgery: Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty is the process of reshaping the nose, often with the goal of removing any bumps, straightening any places where the nose appears crooked, approving functionality, and/or helping to alter the shape of the tip of the nose. Typically, noses that develop under testosterone-dominant first puberties are larger, have wider bridges, and have a longer down-pointed tip, so feminizing rhinoplasty would focus on altering those features. A gender affirming rhinoplasty as a part of FFS, sometimes referred to as a “MTF transgender nose job,” is a procedure whose recovery involves activity restrictions and inflammation. Generally speaking, like the rest of FFS, final results are not visible until 12 months after surgery. 

Facial Feminization Rhinoplasty Recovery

Our surgeons note that rhinoplasty recovery involves a lot of swelling and bruising in the immediate post-op period under the eye area. Your surgeon will remove nasal sutures and splints at the first in-office post-op appointment about one week after surgery. Sutures from a rhinoplasty are placed in the nose bridge; once healing is complete, the incision site typically becomes invisible though a patient’s history with scarring still plays an important role as hyperpigmentation and hypertrophic scars are still possible. Much like healing for procedures in the upper third of the face, there are activity restrictions recommended for the first 3 weeks, and at 6 weeks patients can resume full activity. More specifically, we ask that patients place no pressure on the nose–such as ice packs, glasses or sunglasses–for at least the first six weeks. Generally, we ask that patients wait a minimum of six months after getting FFS to undergo any other surgeries that involve general anesthesia because of the delicateness of the soft tissue. 

After this initial period, the nose itself will have some degree of swelling for 3-6 months. Following the 6 month mark there will be some minor swelling, and the nose will continue to take its final shape as the cartilage heals on the inside in its new positions and as the skin of the nose shrinks over its new form. The final result of rhinoplasty is visible around one year after surgery, but published research notes that the appearance of the nose after rhinoplasty may continue to shift over the course of 5-10 years after surgery, depending on the techniques used.

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