Rhinoplasty, also known as nose surgery, is a common procedure to improve the appearance and proportion of the nose. It can also be performed to correct birth defects, breathing difficulties, or to repair deformities caused by injury. Changing the size, shape, or proportions of the nose can often help improve self-confidence.
The best candidates for rhinoplasty have realistic expectations and are interested in improving the appearance and/or function of the nose. Before you decide to have rhinoplasty carefully think about your expectations and discuss them with your surgeon. The following conditions could indicate that rhinoplasty surgery is right for you:
• Nose is not in proportion to the rest of the face.
• Nasal tip is drooping, upturned, hooked, or enlarged.
• Nose bridge has humps or depressions.
• Nostrils are too large or wide.
• A history of nasal obstructions or breathing problems.
Rhinoplasty is often postponed on younger patients until the nose has completed its growth, typically around 15 or 16 years of age.
Open vs. Closed Rhinoplasty
There are two different techniques, or surgical approaches, used for rhinoplasty. These include open and closed rhinoplasty. Patients considering nose surgery should be aware of the differences. The open rhinoplasty approach, also called external rhinoplasty, uses a few hidden incisions made inside the nostrils and adds a small bridging incision, called a trans-columellar incision, to connect the right and left nostril incisions. With the addition of this tiny visible incision, the nasal skin can be folded upward (much like opening the hood of a car) giving the surgeon more access to the internal structures of the nose. This allows for more precision and ease while sculpting the nose. When properly performed, the open rhinoplasty incision heals remarkably well and becomes nearly invisible. The closed rhinoplasty approach, also called endonasal rhinoplasty, use surgical incisions that are only positioned inside the nostrils, avoiding visible scars. The endonasal approach may reduce swelling, numbness, and recovery time. However, this approach limits surgical access to the internal structure of the nose making it more difficult to perform more complex rhinoplasty maneuvers and repositioning of the nasal skin. The approach you choose greatly depends on your needs and desired results. Your surgeon will recommend the approach they feel is most appropriate to the goals established during the rhinoplasty consultation.
What to expect:
It’s important to the plastic surgeon and staff that your surgical experience is as easy and comfortable as possible for you. Rhinoplasty surgery can be performed in a surgical center or hospital outpatient facility. The surgery usually takes from two to five hours depending on the complexity of the case, and is performed under general anesthesia. Depending on the desired result, some bone and cartilage may be removed, or tissue may be added during surgery. After the surgeon has rearranged and reshaped the bone and cartilage, the skin and tissue is re-draped over the structure of the nose, and the incisions are closed. To support and protect the structure of your new nose as it heals, a splint and packing may be placed inside your nose, along with a splint and/or bandages placed on the outside. After the surgery is completed, you will be taken into a recovery area and closely monitored. You may be able to go home after a few hours unless you and your surgeon decide an overnight stay is best for your recovery. Pain medication and antibiotics may be prescribed to help alleviate discomfort and reduce the risk of infection. Recovery time will vary for each individual. All packing and splinting around your nose will be removed in about a week. In the immediate days following surgery, you may experience bruising and swelling around the nose and eyes which may take up to 10-14 days to reduce. In general, it may take several weeks before you are back to feeling normal. Scars will fade and residual swelling will continue to resolve, but it may take up to a full year for the final result to appear.
Each year thousands of people undergo successful rhinoplasty surgery, experience no major problems, and are pleased with the results. Significant complications from a rhinoplasty are infrequent. However, make sure you understand what surgery involves, including possible risks, complications and follow-up care. Rhinoplasty surgery poses various risks, including:
• Numbness around the nose.
• Recurring Nosebleeds.
• Persistent Swelling.
• Difficulty breathing through the nose.
• Permanent nerve damage.
• A Hole in the septum (septal perforation).
• Need for revisionary surgery.
Like any major surgery, rhinoplasty surgery poses a risk of bleeding, infection and an adverse reaction to anesthesia. It’s also possible to have an allergic reaction to the surgical tape or other materials used during or after the procedure You can help minimize certain risks by following the advice and instructions of your surgeon, both before and after your rhinoplasty surgery. If you have any concerns about the risks involved with the rhinoplasty surgery, please consult your surgeon.