Rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure that alters the size and shape of the nose. In some cases, nasal cartilage or bone helps to shorten or reshape an overly wide nose. The cartilage is taken from either the patient’s ear or septum and injected beneath the skin on top of the nose to fix width problems.
The procedure is generally performed under general anesthesia by a board-certified facial plastic surgeon. It is advisable to always work with a competent surgeon to avoid problems and ensure a successful outcome.
When looking for a plastic surgeon to perform your rhinoplasty, there are different things to consider. Not only should you look for a surgeon with plenty of experience, but they also need to be a board-certified facial plastic or cosmetic surgeon. It may be beneficial to interview several surgeons before choosing one right for you.
Rhinoplasty surgery generally takes between one and two hours to perform, depending on your desired changes. The incision for a full rhinoplasty is made inside the nose or across the columella (the vertical part of the skin where your nose meets your upper lip). In most cases, the incision happens inside the nose. The skin of the nose is lifted and peeled back to expose the support framework within.
The deviations from a regular shape are corrected by removing or adding cartilage in various places through incisions made inside the nostrils. To ensure a balanced look, both sides of the nose are usually adjusted simultaneously. When the desired changes have been made, the skin and cartilage are stitched back together and allowed to heal.
The best way to prepare for a successful and safe surgery is by consulting with an experienced plastic surgeon. The doctor will discuss your desires and expectations and any medical conditions or factors that could affect your surgery or recovery process. If you wear hard contact lenses, it is advised to switch over to soft lenses three weeks before the procedure.
At least a week before surgery, it is essential to stop taking aspirin and anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen. These medicines may cause excessive bleeding. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery. Bring a list of any medications you are currently taking to the office visit for your surgeon’s review.
After your rhinoplasty, you will be taken into a recovery room. Your vital signs will be monitored, and you’ll receive pain medications to keep you comfortable. The small bandages inside your nose may need to stay in for up to seven days. Small strips of tape also may be applied across the bridge of your nose to reduce swelling.
You’ll be given an ice pack to keep on the outside of your nose for the first 48 hours. You can expect some initial bruising around your eyes, which is normal and gives way within weeks.
The final results of your surgery will not be visible until about three months after surgery when swelling has gone down completely. If needed, you can return to work in about ten days.
As with all operations, there is some degree of risk involved with rhinoplasty surgery. Most complications are mild and can be treated easily within the first 24 hours after surgery. A small number of patients may have more severe complications, such as infection of the nose or imprecise results.
Patients may require corrective surgery to improve symmetry and outcomes in rare cases. In addition, your breathing pattern may be affected if the nasal passage is too narrow or you have a deviated septum that needs repair. It can sometimes be resolved with further surgery.
The outcome of your nose job will be apparent in about three months after the swelling goes down and any bruising fades away. You will gradually feel more comfortable, and your nose may continue to improve over a year or so as you become accustomed to having it. The changes in your nose will be permanent, but the shape and appearance of your nose may continue to evolve.
A nose job can correct or improve the following features:
1. Alignment of the nose with the face often caused by injury, illness, aging, genetics, or heredity
2. Uneven nostrils (most commonly on the nasal tip)
3. A bulbous or droopy tip
4. Hump or bump on the bridge of the nose
5. Wide or flared nostrils
6. Crooked noses that result from injuries
7. Protruding or flat nasal septum (the partition between the two nostrils)
8. Other deformities caused by congenital disabilities, illness, and aging
When is the best time to have a nose job?
The best time to schedule a rhinoplasty is in the spring or summer, when you can wear stylish sunglasses, hats, and scarves to hide any bruising around your eyes.
Some surgeons recommend that your facial bones are fully developed between the ages of 18 and 30. However, you can safely have rhinoplasty surgery at any point in your life if you feel it’s necessary. If you want more information, contact your doctor.
During your appointment with the plastic surgeon, they will examine your nose, noting its shape and any imperfections. They may take photographs, which are helpful to compare with the results you would like to achieve.
Your doctor will also talk to you about the health of your skin and whether or not you smoke. Smoking makes it more difficult for patients to heal properly after surgery and increases the risk for complications such as infection.
Before surgery, your doctor will give you instructions to follow during the days before and after surgery. It may include taking certain medications, eating specific foods, or resting several hours a day.
A nose job can improve your appearance and self-confidence. Rhinoplasty surgery is unnecessary for every patient, but it may be a good option if you would benefit from a straighter, more symmetrical nose.