Q: I am a 19-year-old Asian female from Singapore. I want to fly to CA to have rhinoplasty with rib grafting since I have thick skin and a flat nose. How long should I stay in the area after the procedure? I really worry about graft infection and absorption due to thick and oily skin. Also, is the infection rate a constant as long as I have the grafts in my nose? Or the rate is the highest during the first couple of months and decrease to almost 0 after I fully healed? Thank you!
A: Surgeons will vary on their preference, but for my out of town/out of country patients my preference is a 2 week stay in Beverly Hills/Los Angeles. The highest risk of infection is between 1-2 weeks after surgery while the nose is early in its healing stages. Sutures and a cast will be on your nose for a week, but the incision lines are still a little raw until 2 weeks after surgery.
2 weeks after surgery the incision lines will be nearly healed, and makeup can be applied to the nose. This is the point that most patients feel comfortable going back to their daily routine. With autologous grafts (rib grafts) the risk of infection is exceedingly low, and after the nose is healed there is no increased risk of infection over your natural nose.