Nose surgery, or rhinoplasty, is sometimes referred to as “nose reshaping” or a “nose job.” It can improve the appearance and proportion of your nose, or correct a breathing problem associated with the nose.
Because the nose is decidedly the most prominent and central facial feature, altering its size and shape can have a tremendous impact on one’s appearance. When performed, rhinoplasty can greatly improve the balance of facial features, helping patients feel happier with their appearance. Depending upon the patient’s desires, the size of the nose can be increased or decreased. The slope of the nose can be changed, as can the shape of the tip. Rhinoplasty can also be used to straighten a crooked nose or even to alter the appearance of the patient’s nostrils.
Nose surgery is divided into two categories: cosmetic and functional. Examples of cosmetic procedures on the nose include reducing a prominent bump on the bridge or refining a bulbous nasal tip. Functional improvements involve opening the nasal airways so that it is easier to breathe.
Most of us notice someone’s nose only when it is not in balance with their face, whether it’s too large, too wide, or misshapen. If you are dissatisfied with the shape or proportion of your nose, you are likely dissatisfied with your overall facial appearance. Nose surgery can improve the way you look at yourself, as well as how others see you.
Many of our nose surgery patients have both cosmetic and functional concerns about their nose. An example would be a severely deviated septum that results in a blocked nasal airway and a visibly crooked nose. Other patients may seek medical treatment for breathing problems, but would also like to improve the cosmetic appearance of their nose. For instance, a patient may have nasal airway obstruction and an unattractive bump on the bridge. There are advantages to correcting both functional and cosmetic problems at the same time.
Rhinoplasty is arguably the most demanding of all facial surgical operations, it demands a thorough understanding of an art and science. Each case has its own challenges and requires a careful evaluation of the problem and a clear understanding of the techniques available for correction.
The actual rhinoplasty surgical procedure typically takes between one and two hours. If you are having reconstructive work done, or you are having a more complicated procedure, the surgery may take somewhat longer. Dr. Webster can tell you what to expect in your particular case. Initially, incisions are made and the bone and cartilage support system of the nose is accessed. Alterations then may be made to increase or decrease the nasal bridge, reduce the size or width of the nose, narrow the nostrils, change the angle between the nose and upper lip, or reshape the tip. The majority of incisions are made inside the nose, where they are invisible. Sometimes a very short incision is made across the vertical strip of tissue that separates the nostrils, called the columella. This technique is called an “open rhinoplasty.” Whatever incisions are used to reshape your nose, they will ultimately be very inconspicuous.
Functional improvements involve opening the nasal airways so that it is easier to breathe. The most common functional problem is a deviated septum (a midline cartilage structure that divides the nose into right and left sides). Impairment of nasal breathing is considered a health problem and is typically covered by health insurance.
The patient may desire a nose which better harmonizes with the rest of their face, or in the case of the drooping nasal tip, a “lifting” of the nose can be performed. In this surgery, more than most, an artistic sense is necessary. The deformity must be corrected while preserving the natural appearance and avoiding the “operated on” look. At the same time, the alterations must put the nose into proper proportion with the rest of the face
Reconstructive Rhinoplasty entails surgical treatment of a nasal injury in an effort to bring the nose back to its pre-injury state. If the nasal injury is very recent (within days), it may be possible to correct or improve nasal deviation without surgery. Reconstructive rhinoplasty may be covered partly or entirely by medical insurance.
Once your rhinoplasty is complete, a splint will be put on your nose to help support the new shape. Packing or soft plastic splints may be placed inside your nostrils to help stabilize the interior structure of your nose.
If packing is placed inside the nose during surgery, it is removed 2-3 days following the surgery. In the immediate days following surgery, you will experience bruising and swelling around the eyes. Cold compresses often reduce the bruising and discomfort. Nasal dressing and splints are usually removed 7-10 days after surgery.
While some results of rhinoplasty can be seen shortly after surgery, the final result of the procedure will typically take 3-4 months. The most subtle changes may take a year or more to see following surgery. After the majority of swelling has subsided, patients will have an initial idea of the final result. The amount of change that occurs following surgery is dependent on the treatments performed.
GOALSImprove nasal appearance or nasal breathing or restore an injured nose to its pre-injury state
ANESTHESIALocal anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia.
LENGTH OF PROCEDUREAny nasal packing is removed after 2-3 days after surgery, dressing and splints are removed after 7 – 10 days.
AFTER PROCEDUREDressings removed after 1 day. Most sutures are removed by day 7.
RECOVERYResume normal activities after a couple of days, return to work in 7-10 days, resume full activity and exercise at 3 weeks