What is Rhinoplasty?
Your nose is a prominent feature of your face that gives it its unique character. However, if you are feeling self-conscious about its shape you may be thinking about a “nose job”. Rhinoplasty, or nose surgery, is a cosmetic procedure to reshape the nose to enhance facial harmony. This can be achieved by reducing or increasing the size, removing a hump, changing the shape of the tip or bridge, narrowing the span of the nostrils, or changing the angle between the nose and upper lip. The extent of the transformation, however, is limited by your skin type and the anatomy of your nose.
Sometimes rhinoplasty is combined with septoplasty, a procedure that opens up nasal passages blocked by a bent septum, to address breathing difficulties in patients.
You may also qualify for a non-surgical rhinoplasty in which soft tissue fillers are used to reshape and even out the surface of the nose.
Who is a good candidate?
You are a good candidate for rhinoplasty if:
- You have reached full facial development (typically 16 years of age)
- You would like a change to the aesthetic appearance of the nose
- You want to address breathing problems related to the internal nasal structures
- You have a positive outlook, with a clear and realistic vision of what you want the procedure do for you
- You are otherwise healthy and do not have a serious illness or medical condition that may impair the healing
- You are a Non-smoker or can abstain from smoking for at least three weeks before and after the surgery
The procedure usually takes between one and two hours. If the surgery is complex, it can take longer.
In rhinoplasty, most of the procedure is focused on the cartilage and bone. To get access to the bone small incisions are usually made inside the nostrils (endonasal rhinoplasty) but sometimes also across the base of the nose or at the crease of the nose where it joins the cheek (open rhinoplasty). After the incisions are made the skin is gently pulled up and the cartilage and bone are reshaped.
If your nose needs to be augmented in an area, the extra cartilage may be taken from your ear or deep inside your nose. Sometimes you may need an implant or bone grafting.
Your surgeon will then drape your skin back on the bone structure and suture the incisions. The procedure takes approximately one to two hours under general anesthesia, intravenous sedation or local anesthesia depending on your unique case and your surgeon’s discretion.
After your surgery you may need to wear a nasal splint over your nose for support, your nostrils may be packed with soft packing as well to help align the nasal septum. The packing inside the nose will be removed within four to seven days after the surgery and the splint will be removed within ten days. You may experience pain, headaches, inability to breathe through the nose and facial puffiness. You may need to keep your head elevated and relatively still for the first few days after surgery and use a cold compress to reduce bruising and swelling. Most of the swelling will subside after the first two weeks and unnoticeable minor swellings will disappear within a year.
You can go back to work after a week and may resume most normal activities including exercise within three weeks. Do not blow your nose for at least seven days. You should also avoid activities that could impact the nose or allow it to become sunburned for at least eight weeks.
Like any other surgical procedure, though infrequent, complications may occur and they include Fluid retention or excessive loss of blood and fluids, infection, reaction to anesthesia medications, pigmentation changes (hypo/hyper),
Although Changes in Sense of smell, some skin numbness, and numbness of the upper front teeth are to be expected and are usually only temporary in very rare cases they may persist.
Some other potential complications specific to rhinoplasty include:
- Unsatisfactory nasal appearance that requires revisional surgery
- Poor wound healing or scarring
- Serious nasal blockage caused by swelling inside the nose
- Injury or holes to your septum
- Exposure or infection of the implant (if one is used )