Rhinoplasty, is also known as plastic surgery of the nose or a ‘nose job’. This surgery is intended at making changes in the bony and cartilaginous framework of ones nose to change its appearance in consideration with the rest of the facial structures. Achieving overall balanced and symmetric facial features is the goal of this operation.
Nose is the most prominent area of the face and its deformities are usually a major concern for many people. Such deformities can alter person’s performance all around, due to lack of self-confidence. Most of these deformities are developmental though a few of them may be acquired following trauma or injury.
The aesthetic improvements that a rhinoplasty surgeon can make include:
- Decreasing or increasing the length
- Altering the tip or bridge of the nose
- Narrowing/changing the shape of the nostrils
- Treatment of nasal blocks due to septal deviation
- Altering the width of the nose
- Correction of irregular dorsum e. g. Humps/ deviations
The common questions one has about rhinoplasty have been answered below. These are general answers and every individual is different. The individual problems and solutions to them, specific variations in the standard procedure required as per the deformity can only be discussed during consultation. This is just an attempt to give you an overall idea about this procedure.
What is rhinoplasty (nose job)?
Rhinoplasty is a surgery aimed at reshaping the nose to a more desirable form. Most of these procedures are cosmetic. In small number of cases it can be combined with correction of structural defects responsible for breathing difficulty.
Who are good candidates for rhinoplasty?
Healthy adult with realistic expectations from the surgery are good candidates for this procedure. The goal of surgery is to improve the nose aesthetically, making it harmonize better with other facial features.
Skin type, ethnic background, and age are important factors to be considered in discussions with your surgeon prior to surgery. Before the nose is altered, a young patient must reach full growth, usually around age fifteen or sixteen. Exceptions are cases in which breathing is severely impaired.
Before deciding on rhinoplasty, ask your facial plastic surgeon if any additional surgery might be recommended to enhance the appearance of your face. Many patients have chin augmentation in conjunction with rhinoplasty to create a better balance of features.
- Preparing for rhinoplasty surgery
- The surgeon would first like to know what do you want? Probably you would be asked to stand in front of a mirror and point out the changes you expect. So prepare yourself, and see what all modifications do you want?
- A brief medical history and examination of the nose will be conducted
- Photographs of the face have to be taken to assess the relationship of different parts of the face with each other and for comparison postoperatively
- Smoking and use of drugs that contain aspirin will have to be stopped about 2 weeks prior to surgery. CT scan of the paranasal sinuses will be ordered and an otolaryngologist (ENT) opinion will be sought if there are functional problems or sinus pathology
- About the rhinoplasty procedure
- Rhinoplasty usually takes 2 – 3 hours, though complicated procedures may take a little longer. During surgery the skin of the nose is separated from its supporting framework of bone and cartilage, which is then sculpted to the desired shape. The nature of the sculpting will depend on your problem and the surgical technique. Finally, the skin is re-draped over the new framework
- This surgical procedure may be performed either from within the nose or by making a small incision on the columella (the vertical strip of tissue separating the nostrils). The resulting scars from an open procedure are barely noticeable after a few months after the surgery
- When the surgery is complete, a splint will be applied to help your nose maintain its new form and to help reduce the swelling. Nasal packs or soft plastic splints also may be placed in your nostrils to stabilise the septum (the dividing wall between the air passages)
How is the postoperative period?
Following the operation, you can experience mild pain and discomfort. Beginning on the first day and continuing for several days after, you can expect swelling and bruising to increase. Black eyes are not unusual especially after bony reshaping. Applying cold compresses around, but not directly to, the nose will help reduce swelling. Most patients report that the pain is not as bad as the facial appearance may make it seem.
What are the risks and benefits of nose surgery?
Rhinoplasty carries the same risks as any other surgery. Bleeding, infection, and reactions to medications or anaesthesia are possible side effects of rhinoplasty surgery. Rarely one might need a revisionary second procedure at some point in the future to rearrange the tissues this is especially true in cleft deformities corrected at younger age.
How long will be the recovery period?
The recovery takes a couple of weeks. Swelling of the nose may stay a few weeks longer. Most people can resume their daily activities in a couple of days and resume office work in a week. There are small paper tapes over the nose to keep the changes in shape. Splint may be used if bony changes are made. There is always some stuffiness of the nose when work has been done on the nasal septum. Pain is minimal and is controlled with medications. Bruising occurs around the eyes if bones are rearranged but will fade within a few days. Discolouration usually disappears in 2 weeks.