What is a rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty, or a “nose job,” is a surgical procedure that is used to improve upon various aspects of the nose, it is one of the most common of all plastic surgery procedures and is commonly in the top three of all cosmetic surgeries. During this procedure, enhancements can be made to change the shape, size, and projection of the nose. Rhinoplasty can also relieve breathing difficulties.
The best candidates for rhinoplasty are people who are looking for improvement, not perfection, in the way they look. If you’re physically healthy, psychologically stable, and realistic in your expectations, you may be a good candidate.
Each patient should undergo a full assessment, detailing their concerns, issues and expectations. Clinical photos are taken and the procedure, recovery and risks should be discussed in detail.
Procedures that can be performed on the nose includes:
- Widen or decrease the size of the nostrils
- Smooth out bumps and/or humps on the nose
- Straighten the septum to correct breathing obstructions
- Change the angle between the nose and upper lip
- Change the shape of the tip of the nose
There are two surgical approaches to exposing the underlying structures of the nose to perform the required changes on the nose. These are:
During this procedure, the incisions are made in the vertical strip of skin separating your nostrils (the columella). The the skin and soft tissue is elevated to view the inside of your nose and perform the reshaping. This is the technique used for most major nose surgeries.
During a closed rhinoplasty, an incision is made within the nose. The skin is then separated from the bone and cartilage. The exposed bone and, or cartilage can then be removed, reshaped, augmented or rearranged. The closed technique is used mainly for minor nose surgeries.
What to expect after the surgery?
Patients are expected to stay on the ward overnight after the surgery and nasal packs are usually left in the nostrils after the procedure. The packs are removed the following morning and patients are discharged home.
An external nasal splint is left on for 10-14 days to keep the nasal bones, cartilage and skin in its new position to all optimum healing.
Swelling and bruising of the skin around the eyes and nose is normal and can last between 3-6 weeks.
What are the risk of having a rhinoplasty?
- Difficulty breathing
- Change in skin sensation (numbness or pain)
- Nasal septal perforation (a hole in the nasal septum) is rare
- Additional surgical treatment may be necessary to repair the septum but it may be impossible to correct this complication
- Damage to the lacrimal system causing constant running of tears from the eye
- Unsatisfactory nasal appearance
- Skin discoloration and swelling
- Possibility of revisional surgery
These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It is important that you address all your questions directly with your surgeon.