In the past, most rhinoplasty patients took great pains to keep their surgery a secret, both before and after the procedure. But times have changed! Though some people still like to keep their cosmetic treatments under wraps, plenty of others turn to social media and other public forums to chat about their plans, report on their surgery and get advice from other people who have already undergone rhinoplasty. In fact, platforms such as Instagram are full of rhinoplasty diaries chronicling every step of the process. Typically, the diaries begin with preoperative photos of the patient’s nose and continue well into the postoperative period, once the swelling has subsided.

 

But does this mean you should record the progress of your rhinoplasty? Is all this sharing a good idea?
Why Before-and-Afters Are So Important

Before-and-after photos can be helpful not only to the patient trying to track his or her progress, but also to the surgeon performing the procedure as well as to other people who are considering rhinoplasty surgery.

 

Before photos allow patients to show their surgeons what they look like and what issues they wish to address – before even stepping into the office. For patients that live in rural areas this saves time and money, as they can discuss their goals — including whether or not they are realistic — before the in-person preoperative consultation. Similarly, before photos are an invaluable tool for surgeons when they have yet to see a patient, as these photos allow the surgeon to get an idea of what actions may need to be taken as well as how to advise the patient. Before photos can also be shared with other prospective patients on social media, who may have input or questions.

 

After photos allow patients and their surgeons — not to mention their social media contacts — to track the progress of the results, from the days immediately following surgery to several months afterward.
Recording Your Rhinoplasty Progress

Not only does recording the progress of your procedure’s results via still photos and videos allow you to track the progress, it also enables you to get feedback from others. If you are worried about a particular aspect of the outcome (e.g., swelling, scarring) you can email a photo to your surgeon and then use social media to ask fellow rhinoplasty patients for any comments or input. This is particularly useful if you live in a rural area where you don’t have a lot of access to other rhinoplasty patients. Sharing your experience, reading about others’ experiences and getting feedback is also great because it’s good to know you are not alone. (Fellow rhinoplasty patients are able to locate each other social media via hashtags such as #rhinoplasty, #beforeandafter and #rhinoplastydiary.)

Keeping a diary of your postoperative progress can provide encouragement both to other patients that are in the midst of the recovery process and to potential patients, as both can see that you eventually get through the discomfort, swelling, etc. Some patients post photos or videos at regular intervals so that fellow patients and prospective patients can see what they look like in the first few days, after a week, one month, two months and beyond. You can also record milestones along the course of your recovery, such as the end of any bruising, soreness and swelling; the first time you’re able to leave the house; and the date of your splint or cast removal (if applicable).

Of course, posting pictures of swelling and bruising for all the world to see isn’t for everyone. Some may want people to think that their nose is just naturally beautiful while others aren’t interested in any extra attention. Patients that choose to chronicle their rhinoplasty procedure on social media caution that you will get a lot of comments — both positive and negative — by posting photos of your surgery online.

In the end it is up to you to decide how to track the progress of your procedure and with whom you share it. Just remember that the more you share the more you’ll learn, and the more you will help others in your position.

To learn more about recording the progress of your rhinoplasty procedure, contact the office of Dr. Sam Rizk today.