Nose Surgery (Rhinoplasty)
What is Rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty, or nose surgery, is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures performed today. Nose Surgery includes several different procedures which serve both cosmetic and reconstructive purposes. That means that nose surgery can change the cosmetic appearance and/or improve the function of the nose.
In recent years, our understanding that various cosmetic and functional procedures that can be combined in a single operative session, has given many options to plastic surgeons in improving the function and the cosmetic appearance of the nose. Using the latest techniques as well as tried-and-true methods, our doctors have the ability to “customize” your rhinoplasty procedure based upon your functional anatomy and specific cosmetic needs.
Am I a candidate for Rhinoplasty?
Candidates include individuals who are looking for improvement in the appearance of their nose and their overall facial balance as well. Although the majority of cosmetic nose surgery patients are young adults, teenagers may be given special consideration if they are at least 16 years of age, have completed their facial skeletal growth, and are emotionally mature and stable. The best candidates are those seeking cosmetic rhinoplasty for personal reasons, and not due to pressure from others. It is important for all cosmetic nose surgery candidates to have realistic goals and must realize that improvement, not perfection, is defined as success.
If you have had a previous operation on your nose and are unhappy with the outcome, you may be a candidate for secondary rhinoplasty. You must discuss all previous nose operations, procedures, and traumas that you have had in the past with your doctor. During your comprehensive consultation, your doctor and you will devise a plan for your secondary nose surgery.
What can rhinoplasty do for me?
Nose surgery can achieve all of the following:
• Decrease overall size of the nose to balance the nose with other facial features
• Remove the dorsal “bump” on the bridge improving profile of the nose
• Narrow the width of the nose at the bridge
• Narrow and reshape flaring or wide nostrils
• Refine and narrow a nasal tip that is too large, “boxy,” drooping or upturned
• Add projection to a weak nasal tip
• Improve transition between the nose and the upper lip
• Straighten a crooked nose and correct asymmetry to achieve overall facial balance and harmony
• Straighten a deviated septum (the dividing wall between the air passages) to improve nasal breathing
The Rhinoplasty Procedure
Initial Consultation Prior to Rhinoplasty Surgery
At your initial consultation, your doctor and you will carefully discuss your aesthetic concerns, and define a tailored plan to improve the cosmetic appearance of your nose and face. Your goals and expectations will be carefully considered and clarified. It is important to be specific with your concerns and define what successful outcomes will be. Your medical history will be reviewed in detail, and a physical examination will be conducted. Your doctor will then advise you which rhinoplasty surgery technique is best for you.
Preparation for Rhinoplasty Surgery
Physical and mental preparation is needed for cosmetic and reconstructive nose surgery. Your doctor may request that you visit your private medical doctor and other specialists such as an ENT or allergist for a check-up and for any necessary lab work and radiology exams. Precise preoperative instructions will be reviewed, and all necessary prescriptions will be given to you in advance of your rhinoplasty surgery. You will be instructed to avoid smoking, blood thinning medications, and all aspirin, aspirin-containing products, and anti-inflammatory products (Advil® or ibuprofen, and Aleve®) at least ten days before surgery. In order to promote optimal healing, a complete and comprehensive preoperative instructions will be provided for you, detailing which medications to avoid, and which vitamins , minerals, and homeopathic preparations are ok to take prior to and after cosmetic nose surgery.
Some insurance companies will cover financial expenses for certain parts of rhinoplasty surgery if it is medically necessary. Our office staff will help you, and communicate you’re your health insurance carrier to see if you are eligible for such benefits.
There is ample choice in the various types of anesthesia that can be administered for cosmetic rhinoplasty surgery. Most cosmetic nose surgery procedures are performed under general anesthesia, however, light sedation with local anesthesia may be used in situations where limited work is needed. Your doctor and our Board-certified anesthesiologists will help you make the decision of which type of anesthesia is best for you.
How Do Our Doctors Do the Procedure?
Cosmetic nose surgery is generally performed as an outpatient procedure at our Ambulatory Surgery Facility, or can be done at any local hospital. Most plastic surgeons use one of two techniques when performing cosmetic nose surgery, the closed rhinoplasty and the open rhinoplasty.
In a closed rhinoplasty technique, incisions are hidden within the inside of the nostrils. Using skilled surgical technique, your doctor identifies and exposes the supporting nasal framework of bone and cartilage. Your doctor then sculpts the nose to the desired shape and size before redraping the skin over the new nasal framework.
In an open rhinoplasty technique, an additional incision is made across the columella, or the soft tissue between the nostrils. This scar is very well tolerated, as it is hidden just under the nose. Using this technique, your doctor can sculpt and reshape the nasal framework, define and refine the nasal tip, narrow flared nostrils, and even augment the weak or droopy nose.
If you have a deviated septum, your doctor will perform the septoplasty in addition to the rhinoplasty to improve breathing. During your preoperative consultation, you and your doctor will carefully define the operative plan for your customized rhinoplasty procedure. The entire procedure generally lasts about 1 to 2 hours, but can last longer if combined with other cosmetic surgery procedures.
Recovery and the Postoperative Period
No overnight stay is needed after rhinoplasty surgery. Our cosmetic nose surgery is an outpatient procedure that requires only a short rest in our comfortable recovery suite. After your rhinoplasty is completed, a splint is applied to maintain the new shape of your nose and to limit the amount of postoperative swelling. If a septoplasty was performed, soft nasal splints or packing may be placed in your nostrils to stabilize the corrected septum.
When you are fully alert, you will be able to return home in the care of a responsible chaperon. A private nurse can be provided at your request. You will be encouraged to keep your head elevated for several days, especially during sleep, and to use cold compresses to reduce swelling and bruising as needed. In most cases, there is very little, if any, pain following rhinoplasty surgery. Pain medication is prescribed, although it is usually not necessary.
If nasal packing or internal splints were used, they will be removed after 1 or 2 days. This will make you feel much more comfortable, as the improvement in breathing will be noticeable. The external splint will be removed by the end of the first week. There may be mild bruising and swelling which usually lasts for 1 to 2 weeks. A subtle degree of swelling will remain for several months, and even up to a year.
Most patients return to work and social activities after 1 to 2 weeks. Strenuous physical activity is best avoided for 1 month following rhinoplasty surgery. If you wear glasses, it is important not to allow the glasses to rest on the bridge of your nose for at least 6 weeks after nose surgery.
Results of Cosmetic Rhinoplasty Surgery
The changes in the shape and size of your nose can lead to a dramatic improvement in your overall facial appearance. Using a subtle and delicate approach, your doctor can contour your nose to achieve a more harmonious proportion to the other facial features, and promote a balanced and natural look.
If your nasal airway is obstructed by a deviated septum or nasal turbinates, your doctor can help alleviate your breathing difficulties by performing septoplasty and other reconstructive nasal surgery. Dramatic improvements in the nasal passages can lead to improvement in the quality of life by helping restore deep and refreshing sleep and improving your physical activity level.
How much does cosmetic rhinoplasty surgery cost?
Cosmetic nose surgery costs vary depending on exactly what technique is used and which areas are targeted. Additionally, insurance companies can cover some of the costs for certain parts of rhinoplasty surgery. This will be outlined in detail during your consultation. Financing options are readily available.
What are our patients saying after rhinoplasty surgery?
Our cosmetic nose surgery patients are thrilled with their new noses. Read what they have to say about the benefits of being a patient at Discreet Plastic Surgery.