Rhinoplasty – Functional and Beautiful Noses

If you’ve ever had a problem with the shape of your nose, or had trouble breathing, rhinoplasty might be the solution to your problem. A rhinoplasty is simply a surgical alteration of your nose. Just about anything can be changed: the width of your nostrils, the shape of your nasal tip, and any irregularities in your nose shape. The bump in the middle of the bridge of your nose can be eliminated with a minor rhinoplasty.

Rhinoplasty can also rid a patient of breathing problems, like ones that derive from a deviated septum. The septum is the wall in the nose that divides the nostrils. When it deviates, it can cause issues with breathing through the nose. Birth defects like cleft palates may require a rhinoplasty. Injuries such as a broken nose may also create breathing issues that require a surgical solution.

Getting Ready for Rhinoplasty

You may not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery. Try to quit smoking before you go in as well. One of the main reasons for this is because smoking can affect blood flow in the body. This, in turn, can affect the way your body heals. Drinking alcohol the week before surgery can have the same effect.

Go over your medication with your doctor; he may ask you to stop taking certain prescriptions before surgery. NSAIDs, or Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs, are an example. Other substances that may be contraindicated are Vitamin E, Omega 3 fatty acids and green tea. All of these can raise the possibility of increased bleeding. Remember, you must tell your doctor about all of the drugs and supplements you are taking, and never stop taking any medication without discussing it with your doctor first.

Risks of Rhinoplasty

  • Nasal obstruction
  • Touch ups
  • Anesthesia problems
  • Perforation of the septum (a small hole, which causes a whistling sound when talking or singing)
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Death

Different Versions of Rhinoplasty

Open Rhinoplasty is when the incisions are made in the thin strip of skin that separates the nostrils, called the columella. The columella and the soft tissue are lifted off the rest of the nose to allow the surgeon to see more clearly. This is done for major surgery.

Closed Rhinoplasty surgery is has incisions made in the nose. The skin is separated from the bone and cartilage. The latter then can be reshaped or changed in whatever way is needed. Closed rhinoplasty is done for minor reshaping.

Secondary Rhinoplasty, aka revision rhinoplasty, fixes problems from a previous nose surgery. Some may be minor, but many of them are major issues. This makes a secondary rhinoplasty harder to do. This type of surgery can also be done as open or closed.

Filler Rhinoplasty uses injectable fillers to even out irregularities. Fillers can fill in depressions or make a bump less noticeable. This is the only solution that is not permanent.

How Do I Get a Rhinoplasty?

The first step is to see a doctor who specializes in this type of surgery. Your surgeon will take pictures of your nose at various angles. Your surgeon will also make sure that your expectations are realistic.

Feel free to bring in photos of noses that you find attractive. This will help your surgeon establish what you are looking for, and give them an opportunity to show you pictures of people who have similar noses to yours, as well as noses that are similar to what you want. For the sake of balance, you may also want to consider chin augmentation as well.

The Procedure Itself

Rhinoplasty is considered an outpatient procedure. It will take place in a hospital or surgical room. The length of time needed will depend on the type of rhinoplasty chosen. A primary version could take up to three hours, while a filler procedure can take 15 minutes or so.

Your surgeon will use local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia for a primary rhinoplasty. Since a secondary rhinoplasty is more complicated, general anesthesia is often best. For a filler rhinoplasty, a local anesthetic is all that is needed. The surgeon will then perform an open or closed rhinoplasty, and reshape the nose accordingly. The incisions are then closed and the healing begins.

So When Do I See Results?

Results will not be visible right away. It could take up to a year to see the full effects. Right after surgery, your nose will be packed with gauze to reduce bleeding and swelling. Pain medicine will help with the discomfort, and you should be able to control it without medicine within two days. Nausea is also a common side effect of this surgery.

The first few days may involve some bleeding. Cold compresses and elevation of the head can help. After the first three days, you may be asked back so the surgeon can remove your stitches. For the first week, avoid any trauma to the nose, which includes blowing it. Decongestants will help. After this, the cast will be removed, along with the gauze and any other dressings. Splints may be placed around and inside your nose to help it keep its shape. The swelling will be mostly gone within a month. Within a year, all of it will be gone. After a year, you may then consider a secondary rhinoplasty.

THE PURPOSE OF THIS ARTICLE IS TO ENHANCE, NOT REPLACE THE DISCUSSION AND CONSULTATION WITH YOUR PHYSICIAN SO THAT YOU CAN MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION BASED UPON THE RISKS, BENEFITS, AND ALTERNATIVES FOR YOUR SPECIFIC NEEDS AND DESIRES. AFTER REVIEWING THIS ARTICLE YOU WILL BE ABLE TO HAVE A MORE MEANINGFUL DISCUSSION WITH YOUR DOCTOR. PATIENTS NEED TO READ ALL CONSENT FORMS FULLY, AS THEY CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING THEIR TREATMENT.