Rhinoplasty (Nose Surgery)
The nose is one of the most noticeable features of a person’s face. Men and women who are dissatisfied with the size or shape of their noses may improve their appearance through a procedure called rhinoplasty. Nasal reconstruction or rhinoplasty was one of the first cosmetic procedures ever performed and is among those most commonly performed today. Rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure aesthetically enhancing the nose and correcting the form of the nose by removing, rearranging or reshaping bone or cartilage.
There are many reasons patients undergo nose surgery. Some want to improve the angle, reduce the size of the nose or remove a bump. Others may want to restore the function and fix injuries from traumatic injuries to the face. Both frontal face views and profile can be altered through rhinoplasty. This surgery may be performed in conjunction with procedures designed to relieve nasal obstructions. It is usually recommended that the surgery is not performed until a person has reached the mid-teenage years when growth is nearly complete.
Prior to rhinoplasty, a medical history is taken to evaluate the general health of the patient. A careful examination is also conducted. The plastic surgeon and patient discuss together how the nose should look in relation to the patient’s other facial features. It is important for the patient to understand that the realistic goal of the surgery is not to achieve perfection but rather to improve the appearance. Photographs of the nose will be taken to allow the plastic surgeon to evaluate the appropriate procedure to achieve the desired results.
The Rhinoplasty Procedure
Rhinoplasty can be performed in our surgical center under local or general anesthesia. In most cases that involve a reduction in size or shape of the nose, the removal of a hump or the improvement of an angle, incisions are made inside the nose. Working through these incisions, the cosmetic surgeon is able to cut bone and cartilage, the soft, movable tissue inside the nose, to reshape it. To remove a nasal hump, a special chisel is used. A narrower nasal bridge is then formed by bringing together the bones on either side of the face. In patients in whom the size of the nasal tip is too large, cartilage is removed through the inside incision. The angle between the nose and the upper lip can be improved by elevating and trimming the septum, the dividing wall between the two chambers of the nose.
In some cases, it is necessary to narrow the base of the nose. This procedure involves removal of skin from both sides of the nostrils at the center. In order to improve the contour of the noses of some patients, it is sometimes necessary to add tissue. These procedures can last from one and a half to two hours or more depending upon the extent of surgery.
Following rhinoplasty, a lightweight splint is applied to the face to maintain the new shape of the nose. The splint is usually removed within a week. Nasal pads may be inserted at the time of surgery to protect the septum, and this is typically removed within a day or two. Slight pain/swelling, bruising, and discoloration may also follow the procedure.
During the healing process, great care must be taken to protect the nose from any possible injury. Although patients are usually up and around a day or two after the procedure, strenuous exercises, particularly those which might elevate blood pressure, must be avoided for several weeks.