One of the most common plastic surgery procedures, rhinoplasty is performed to reshape, reduce or augment a person’s nose, remove a hump, narrow nostril width, change the angle between the nose and the mouth, or to correct injury, birth defects, or other problems that affect nasal breathing. Results depend on the patient’s nasal bone and cartilage structure, facial shape, skin thickness and age (teenagers should have had their growth spurt). Insurance may cover rhinoplasty if it performed for reconstructive or medical reasons, but likely not for cosmetic purposes.
Revision rhinoplasty, also known as secondary rhinoplasty, is necessary to correct an irregularity in a previously operated nose. Revision rhinoplasty generally is more complex, takes longer to perform, and may have longer healing times associated with it.
Rhinoplasty can significantly enhance a person’s confidence, harmonize facial features, and improve the functionality of the nose. Situated in the center of the face, an appropriately shaped and sized nose adds beauty and unity to a person’s overall aesthetic.
- Can alleviate asymmetry, dorsal hump, deviated septum, nasal airflow and breathing
- Outpatient procedure
- Each procedure specifically tailored to your needs
- Computer generated morphing used to aid in planning
A rhinoplasty takes approximately two to four hours and is performed under general anesthesia with a licensed anesthesia provider. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, and you go home the same day.
Surgeons use one of two techniques: the incision is either made within the nostrils, thus hiding scars after surgery (endonasal rhinoplasty), or across the columella (the vertical strip of tissue separating the nostrils) in an “open” or “external” procedure, where scars are small and hidden on the underside of the base. In both procedures the skin is lifted off of the underlying structures, the bone and cartilage sculpted, and the skin replaced and stitched closed.
After surgery, a cast is worn across the bridge of the nose for five days. For a short time after surgery you may experience puffiness, a dull headache, swelling and bruising, bleeding or stuffiness. Contact lenses can be worn immediately after surgery, but glasses are to be taped to your forehead or propped on your cheeks for up to six weeks. Recovery time ranges from five to seven days.
Strenuous activity, including all “cardio” exercise, is limited for four weeks. Blood thinners such as aspirin, NSAIDS (ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve, Motrin, etc), fish oil, vitamin E, and others are to be avoided for at least two weeks after surgery. Your doctor will give you specific instructions for your individual recovery, and following these instructions can help speed your recovery and reduce the risk of post-operative complications.
Rhinoplasties can straighten a crooked nose, reduce a large hump, or even augment a ‘flat’ nose. Sometimes they can also help restore adequate airflow in order to improve nasal breathing and a sense of smell. Discussion with your surgeon regarding explicit expectations is key to achieving a harmonious end result. Initial results are seen immediately upon removal of the dressing, and will significantly improve as swelling subsides over the two weeks. The nose will continue to become more and more refined over the course of the next three to six months and the healing tissues mature.
Though rare, post-operative complications from any surigical procedure are possible. They may include infection, bleeding, blood clots, and poor healing (including scarring), all which may require further surgery.
Risks specific to nasal surgery also include asymmetry, numbness or parasthesias (tingling or pins-and-needles feeling), change or loss of sense of smell, change or worsening of nasal airflow, and septal perforation.