Rhinoplasty uses surgical techniques to reshape the nose. Relatively low costs and permanent results make this procedure one of the most popular plastic surgeries performed in the United States every year. Rhinoplasty allows patients the opportunity to reshape their noses to a more pleasing appearance, but some procedures can also reconstruct the nasal passages to improve breathing.
Is Rhinoplasty recommended for me?
Individuals who are considering undergoing a rhinoplasty procedure should have a clear idea of the results that they want, while understanding that the surgery has limitations. A consultation with a plastic surgeon will help prospective patients understand the procedure and determine whether they are suitable candidates.
Among the factors a plastic surgeon takes into account are skin type and the size and shape of the nose. Rhinoplasty candidates also undergo an examination of the internal nasal structure, and other procedures may be suggested to create or maintain a harmonious balance among the various facial structures. Patients who are determined to be good rhinoplasty candidates will then develop an individualized surgical plan and set a date for the operation.
How is the procedure performed?
Depending upon the goals of the surgery, there will be some variations in the procedure. Any incisions made are usually very inconspicuous, concealed inside the nose, or in creases. Rhinoplasty incisions allow the surgeon to access the cartilage and bone that form the nasal framework; rhinoplasty to reduce nostril size will often remove small wedges from the base of the nose.
Plastic surgeons remove, add, or reshape existing nose tissue to adjust the size and shape. After the procedure the skin and soft tissues will re-form over the new nasal framework created by the surgeon. Once the surgery is complete, sutures will hold the tissue in place, and the work is often protected by a splint for the first few days. For a rhinoplasty designed to improve breathing, packing is usually placed inside the nostrils.
Recovery from a rhinoplasty procedure occurs in stages and the amount of time required for each stage varies by individual. Bruising around the eyes usually fades within a week although noticeable swelling may last for several weeks. Packing and stitches are removed three to seven days after surgery, and a week to ten days after rhinoplasty, you should be able to return to work.
The skin of the nose after surgery is very sensitive, and sun block is necessary for the first months. Final results may not appear for up to a year, but most patients begin to enjoy their new look within weeks of surgery.
The plastic surgeon should discuss the various aspects of recovery during consultation prior to surgery. Because the procedure is usually highly individualized, each patient's recovery may be slightly different and is best predicted by their doctor.