One of the most popular of all plastic surgery procedures, rhinoplasty is requested by both men and women who wish to balance their facial features and achieve a more attractive facial appearance by reshaping their nose. This surgery is also used to alleviate certain nasal breathing problems that are associated with the nose structure. Rhinoplasty can effectively lift a drooping nasal tip, smooth out a pronounced bump and narrow a wide nasal bridge, among other common revisions. The aesthetic goal of the surgery is to bring proportion to the face without altering a person’s facial identity, creating a look that is markedly more attractive, yet subtle in its transformation.
Since rhinoplasty is a complex procedure to perform, your choice of surgeon can mean the difference between desirable and poor results. Consequently, it is important to select a surgeon who is not only board-certified, but who also has a history of satisfied patients. The plastic surgeons in the Leading Medical Clinics network have been specially selected for, among other things, their proven track record of surgical care and their high patient satisfaction rate. Read on to find out more about the rhinoplasty procedure, including your candidacy and surgical options.
Would You Benefit from Rhinoplasty?
Are you a good candidate for rhinoplasty? The answer may be “yes” if you experience one or more of the following:
- A crooked nose
- A bump on the nasal bridge
- A wide nose
- A nose size that is not proportionate to other facial features
- An asymmetrical nose due to injury
- A bulbous, drooping or enlarged nose tip
- Nostrils that are overly flared or pinched
- Difficulty breathing through the nose
Rhinoplasty patients should also be in good overall health and old enough so that their nose is fully developed (typically between 14 and 17 years of age, depending on the patient). Adolescent rhinoplasty, where an adolescent has had nasal trauma and/or is experiencing breathing difficulties, is the exception to this guideline.
The Different Types of Rhinoplasty Procedures
Reduction rhinoplasty is used to smooth out bumps on the nasal bridge, fix an elongated nasal tip and resize overly flared nostrils. This is accomplished by removing bone, cartilage and/or tissue from the nasal structure to achieve the desired results.
Augmentation rhinoplasty is often the right choice for some that wish to increase their nose size or improve the shape of their nose. This type of rhinoplasty procedure involves harvesting cartilage from the nasal septum, rib or other area of the body and grafting it onto the nose to build up its shape. Synthetic and biological materials may also be used in place of a cartilage graft.
Post-traumatic rhinoplasty is used to straighten the nose and/or correct the nasal septum’s structure after a nose injury.
Reconstructive rhinoplasty is a form of rhinoplasty that is used to build up the nasal structure for patients who have lost all or a portion of their nose due to skin cancer, illness, trauma or another reason. This procedure is often performed in a series of surgeries that use skin grafts and other methods to re-build the nose.
Ethnic rhinoplasty is named as such because it is used to create a more attractive nose without compromising a patient’s ethnic identity. This surgery is most often performed on patients who are of African American, Asian, Hispanic and Middle Eastern descent.
Adolescent rhinoplasty is a nose reshaping procedure used for teenage patients who have undergone a nose injury or who have breathing problems caused by their nasal structure.
Aging rhinoplasty is used to correct nasal problems that occur as a result of aging; these problems can be aesthetic (such as a drooping nasal tip) or functional (such as constricting nasal passages that lead to breathing problems).
The Two Surgical Methods
Closed rhinoplasty (or endonasal rhinoplasty) uses incisions made in the nostrils to access the nasal framework during surgery. This surgical method causes no noticeable scarring, as all incisions are hidden inside the nostrils. For this reason, some surgeons prefer this surgical method over open rhinoplasty. Other surgeons prefer open rhinoplasty because they feel it provides better visibility of the nasal structure during surgery and allows them to perform complex modifications (like reshaping the nasal tip) with more precision.
Open rhinoplasty (or external rhinoplasty) uses a few incisions in the nostrils as well as a small incision across the columella (the cartilage connecting the nostrils). The skin is then lifted, revealing the underlying nasal structure. This surgical method results in a small, though imperceptible, scar on the underside of the nose. Some surgeons prefer the open surgical approach because (when compared to closed rhinoplasty) it provides better visualization and access to the underlying nasal framework.
More on the Rhinoplasty Procedure
Rhinoplasty is an outpatient procedure that typically takes between one and two hours to complete (though, depending on the anatomy and needs of the patient, it could take several hours). Once the nose has been reshaped and/or restructured to the desired degree, sutures (typically dissolvable) are used to close the incisions. Splints and gauze bandages are placed on the nose to protect and support the nose while it heals.
Your Rhinoplasty Recovery Period
You will need to keep your nasal splint and dressings in place for the first week of the recovery period. It is normal to have a small amount of nasal drainage (mucus and blood) for the first two or three days, and your nasal passages will be swollen. To help alleviate the swelling, sleep with your head elevated. Your doctor will prescribe pain medication to help alleviate any discomfort, though you should avoid aspirin and anti-inflammatory medications as they cause excessive bleeding. Actions that involve bending over and lifting heavy objects should be avoided for the first two weeks after your rhinoplasty procedure. You should be sufficiently healed so that you can return to work after a week, though this time period may be extended based on your healing rate.
What to Look for in a Plastic Surgeon
All of the plastic surgeons who are members of the Leading Medical Clinics of the World® network meet the highest criteria of medical excellence, as they are all:
- Well-respected by peers
- Positively reviewed by patients
- Ranked as a top medical practitioner in their field
- In good standing with their medical board(s)
- Operating from a clinic that upholds the highest level of healthcare standards
- Would I be a good candidate for rhinoplasty?
- Which type of rhinoplasty method (open or closed, or both) do you offer? Which will you recommend for me?
- Will having rhinoplasty improve my nasal breathing?
- How many rhinoplasty procedures have you performed?
- What kind of scarring will I have?
- What are the risks and/or side effects associated with rhinoplasty?
- How common are the risks/side effects?
- How much time will I have to take off of work for recovery?
- What types of limitations (driving, exercising, etc.) will I have after surgery?
- Can you provide me with any more information (whether print or digital) to help me better understand the procedure?
- How long do the results of rhinoplasty last? Will I need another surgery?
- Do you offer evening or weekend appointments?
- How much does rhinoplasty cost?
- What financing options are available to me as your patient?
- Will my insurance cover my surgery?
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