Rhinoplasty

The nose is the most prominent feature of the human face. For many people, it is simply a part of their good looks and rarely merits a second thought. For countless others, the nose is an almost constant source of embarrassment. Today plastic surgery can correct a multitude of faults. Rhinoplasty can shorten, tilt-up, build up or straighten. Rhinoplasty can make the most prominent feature on your face a permanent source of pride. It can give you a whole new appearance and a new outlook on life.

Rhinoplasty is one of the oldest operations in plastic surgery. Often this procedure can be combined with functional improvement of the nasal airway through correction of abnormal internal nasal structures. Rhinoplasties are individualized to meet the patient's needs and expectations.

Rhinoplasty Procedure and Requirments

During a rhinoplasty procedure, the surgeon is able to reshape, reduce or augment a patient's nose for cosmetic, and sometimes functional purposes. An individual undergoes this procedure to usually correct a birth defect, to repair an injury, or to improve breathing, or for aesthetic purposes. You must be at least 13 years old to qualify for this procedure. Meeting the age requirement is important because patients must have finished their facial growth before proceeding with this surgery. If you are considering rhinoplasty, it's imperative to have good overall health. You should not be smoking and should have realistic expectations about the outcome.

Rhinoplasty is usually an outpatient procedure performed under IV sedation or general anesthesia and takes from 1 to 2 hours. There are two methods for performing a rhinoplasty: open and closed. The surgeon will choose the appropriate procedure for each individual patient.

Post-Rhinoplasty Procedure

Immediately after surgery, the patient's nose and eyes are usually bruised and swollen. Splints and some packing material will remain inside the nose for a few days. Most patients feel like themselves within a few days and are able to return to regular activities in about a week. During recovery, the rhinoplasty patient should refrain from strenuous exercise and showering, use sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher and avoid nose blowing, vigorous toothbrushing or any activity that puts pressure on the nose.

Rhinoplasty Risk

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks involved when a rhinoplasty procedure is performed. An individual can be exposed to excessive bleeding, adverse reaction to anesthesia, localized pain, and discoloration or numbness. Occasionally, a patient may be dissatisfied with the cosmetic results of the operation and a second surgery, called a revision rhinoplasty, may be desired. For most patients, however, rhinoplasty is an uncomplicated procedure with pleasing results.

Revision Rhinoplasty

Revision or secondary rhinoplasty is a procedure that corrects deformities caused by a previous operation on the nose. Patients who are dissatisfied with the results they have received on a previous rhinoplasty, and want to opt-in for a revision for either functional or cosmetic reasons. In some cases, a revision rhinoplasty may be performed.

Revision rhinoplasty at times can be a more difficult procedure to successfully perform in comparison to primary rhinoplasty. This is because of the fact that there may be less cartilage to work with and that there may be scarring or tissue contracture or tightening within the nose. In some cases, additional cartilage may be taken from the ear or even the ribs to reconstruct the nose.

For dissatisfied patients, revision rhinoplasty is not always the only option available to correct problems with previous surgery. Some doctors can correct deformities or fill gaps or grooves within the nose with injections of medical liquid silicone.

Patients should consult with their doctor or plastic surgeon if they are dissatisfied with the results of a previous rhinoplasty and see what options are available to improve both the appearance and the function of the nose.

Rhinoplasty FAQs

Rhinoplasty, or nose surgery, is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures performed. During a rhinoplasty, the surgeon is able to reshape, reduce or augment a patient's nose to improve appearance.

A rhinoplasty may be performed as a reconstructive procedure to correct a birth defect, a repair surgery to remedy an injury like a broken nose, or simply for cosmetic reasons. Sometimes the procedure is performed in conjunction with endoscopic sinus surgery for patients with ongoing sinusitis or with a septoplasty, a procedure to correct a deviated septum. In these cases, the operation effectively treats health and breathing problems, as well as improving the patient's appearance.

What Are The Benefits Of A Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty has several specific goals. Some facilitate breathing as well as improve facial appearance. During a rhinoplasty, the surgeon may make your appearance more pleasing to you by:

  • Removing a hump on your nose
  • Modifying the bridge of your nose
  • Reshaping the tip of your nose
  • Reshaping or resizing your nostrils
  • Repairing your nose after an injury
  • Increasing or decreasing the size of your nose

Are You A Good Candidate For A Rhinoplasty?

In order to be a candidate for a rhinoplasty procedure you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be at least 13 years old so that facial growth is complete
  • Be in overall good health
  • Not be a smoker
  • Have realistic expectations about the outcome of the surgery

How Is A Rhinoplasty Performed?

Rhinoplasty is usually an outpatient procedure performed under IV sedation or general anesthesia. It usually takes from 1 to 2 hours to complete. Surgeons use one of two techniques when performing nose surgery. In a closed rhinoplasty, incisions are made within the nostrils. In an open rhinoplasty, the incision is made across the columella, the tissue between the nostrils.

With both methods, the surgeon gently lifts the soft tissues covering the nose. The surgeon sculpts the bone and cartilage to the desired shape. Any additional cartilage needed to augment the nose can often be taken from the septum. If the patient has a deviated septum, the surgeon will adjust the septum and the inner structures of the nose to improve breathing. Then the tissues are re-draped and stitched closed. If the patient desires nostril reshaping, this is done as the final stage of rhinoplasty.

What Is The Recovery From A Rhinoplasty Like?

Immediately after surgery, your nose and eyes are usually bruised and swollen. Splints and some packing material will remain inside your nose for a few days. During this period, you may experience some nasal pain or a dull headache, as well as some bleeding and drainage from your nose. Most patients are comfortable enough to return to regular activities in about a week. Contact lenses can be worn immediately after the procedure, but glasses may need to be taped to your forehead or propped on your cheeks for up to seven weeks.

Are There Any Restrictions In The Weeks Following A Rhinoplasty?

While you will be able to resume normal activities about a week after surgery, you will have to protect your nose while it heals by observing the following directives during the post-operative period:

  • Avoid strenuous activities
  • Take baths instead of showers
  • Avoid blowing your nose
  • Avoid constipation
  • Avoid making exaggerated facial expressions
  • Brush your teeth gently
  • Avoid pulling clothing over your head
  • Use sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher
  • Limit dietary sodium
  • Do not use ice packs

Are Most Patients Pleased With The Results Of A Rhinoplasty?

Patients with realistic goals for rhinoplasty are generally very happy with the new shape of their nose. The exact results depend on your nasal bone and cartilage structure, your facial shape, the thickness of your skin and your age. While you will look and feel fine within a week or two, you may have minimal swelling for as long as a year after the rhinoplasty procedure. Although your appearance may not be absolutely optimal until a year has passed, you will more than likely be extremely pleased with the results of your nose surgery soon after the procedure.

What Are The Possible Risks Of Rhinoplasty?

Complications arising from a rhinoplasty are rare and, when they do occur, usually minor. These may include infection, nosebleed, or a reaction to the anesthesia. Some few patients may experience recurring nosebleed or numbness in or around the nose. On rare occasions, the nasal septum may be perforated, but this can be repaired. In general, a rhinoplasty is considered a very safe surgical procedure.

Will Insurance Cover Your Rhinoplasty?

Insurance may cover the cost of your rhinoplasty if the surgery is being done as a reconstructive or medically necessary procedure. If you are having a rhinoplasty for purely cosmetic reasons, insurance will not cover the cost.

What Is Revision Rhinoplasty?

Revision, or secondary, rhinoplasty corrects deformities caused by a previous operation on the nose. It is a more difficult procedure to perform than primary rhinoplasty because there is less cartilage to work with and there may be scarring or tissue contracture. When performed by a highly skilled plastic surgeon, however, a revision rhinoplasty can improve both the appearance and the function of the nose.

For more information about Rhinoplasty, or to schedule an appointment, please contact our office.

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