Nose Surgery (Rhinoplasty)
Nose surgery, also known as “rhinoplasty,” is a procedure designed to improve the size and shape of the nose.
A septoplasty which is often performed in conjunction with a rhinoplasty is used to correct a deviated septum and improve breathing problems associated with the nasal passage. As the central feature of the face, the nose plays a significant role in determining overall facial harmony. Rhinoplasty helps create a nose that is in balance with the rest of the face by repairing deformities from an injury or correcting a birth defect.
How can rhinoplasty improve my nose?
Rhinoplasty is one of the most popular procedures in all of plastic surgery because of its ability to enhance facial harmony. Nose surgery can effectively achieve the following:
- Reduce the overall size of the nose in relation to facial balance
- A more desirable nose profile by smoothing out bumps and/or depressions on the bridge of the nose
- Narrow the nose at bridge of the nose or decreasing with width or repositioning the nostrils
- Reducing the size of a bullous nose tip or reshaping and reposition a drooping or upturned tip
- Adjust the angle between the nose and upper lip
- Straighten the septum to improve breathing
How do I know when I’m ready for a rhinoplasty?
- Are physically healthy and do not smoke?
- Your facial growth is complete and you have a positive outlook with realistic goals as to what a rhinoplasty can do?
- It is normal to be self-conscious about your appearance and can be difficult to discuss but you must be open with your surgeon about your desires and goals for surgery.
- Performed under general anesthesia
- Incision is made across the columella under the nose
- Allows the most visibility for the surgeon during the procedure
- Performed under either intravenous sedation or general anesthesia
- Incisions are made on the inside of the nose
- Shorter surgical and recovery time
The Rhinoplasty Process
Once you fill out the online questionnaire, you will be contacted to confirm an appointment for a one-on-one consultation with the surgeon. You may also provide photos through our HIPAA compliant system and during your visit your surgeon can provide a personal 3D simulation using your own photos. This tool is a powerful education tool that helps identify what can and cannot be performed.
This appointment also includes an analysis of your health history, any medications you are taking, and what you desire to achieve with the procedure. Please have all of this information with you when you come to your appointment. All of which can be submitted electronically through our HIPAA compliant patient portal.
The physical exam is used to determine what changes need to be made and how the thickness of your skin or the strength of the cartilage at the end of your nose, may affect your results. The physical exam is also critical for determining the impact of rhinoplasty on your breathing.
For people with small chins, a chin augmentation may be discussed. Since a small chin creates the illusion of a larger nose. Although not required to have chin surgery in these circumstances, it may be a good option to balance the facial profile.
Your surgeon will review in detail all of the information you need to know prior to surgery.
Generally, patients should avoid nicotine products six weeks before surgery and stop taking anti-inflammatory medication (e.g., aspirin and ibuprofen) for at least two weeks before surgery. Some vitamins and supplements may also cause problems during or after surgery, so it is best to avoid them or to talk to your surgeon about potential side effects.
You may be asked to bathe using an antibacterial soap before your procedure.
Eating and drinking restrictions include:
- 8 hours before the procedure – stop eating heavy meals or foods, such as meat, fried foods, or fatty foods.
- 6 hours before the procedure – stop eating light meals or foods, such as toast or cereal.
- 6 hours before the procedure – stop drinking milk or drinks that contain milk.
- 2 hours before the procedure – stop drinking clear liquids.
Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home and care for you for the first 48 hours after your procedure.
During the Procedure
Rhinoplasty surgery is performed with general anesthesia, in a surgery center, and takes approximately four to six hours to complete. An IV will be inserted into one of your veins. Based on the techniques agreed upon during your consultation, the surgeon will place the incisions as described above. Incisions are closed with absorbable sutures. Cartilage to make changes to your nose is used and it is obtained from the septum or from the ear. If this cartilage is not adequate, cartilage from your rib or processed and sterile cadaveric products can be used.
After surgery, your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and blood oxygen level will be monitored until you leave the surgical center. You may continue to receive fluids and pain medicines through an IV. Internal dressings stay in place for up to one week and may cause congestion. Tapes and an external splint is used for protection, support and to help with swelling and also removed in about one week.
Expect minimal pain, some bruising, and tenderness for which you will be provided pain medications as needed.
For the first few days after surgery you will need to get plenty of rest. Rest with your head elevated and take pain medication as recommended. Apply cold compresses to relieve swelling
Avoid exposing your incisions to excessive pressure or motion. Avoid blowing your nose and not wearing glasses. As your incisions heal, you might experience itching and numbness, which will likely lessen over time. Your surgeon will give you more detailed information about what you can expect during your recovery.
Q. Will I have any pain or discomfort during the rhinoplasty procedure?
A. No. Anesthesia is administered throughout the entire procedure, so patients do not have to worry about feeling any pain or discomfort during surgery.
Q. How long does nose surgery take to complete?
A. Nose surgery generally takes two to three hours to perform, although the exact amount of time needed for surgery will depend on the specific corrections that need to be made.
Q. Will I be able to go home after the surgery is complete?
A. Rhinoplasty is usually performed on an outpatient basis. However, because you will still be under the effects of anesthesia after surgery, you will need someone to drive you home.
Q. Will rhinoplasty leave scarring?
A. Surgical procedures that require incisions generally leave some extent of scarring. However, incisions will be placed inside of the nose or on the columella between the nostrils to ensure scarring is as inconspicuous as possible.
Q. How long does it take to recover from rhinoplasty?
A. Most patients will need about one week of downtime to recover from rhinoplasty, after which time they generally feel good enough to return to work. However, strenuous exercises and physical activities should be avoided until after your surgeon determines that your nose has healed properly at a follow-up appointment.
Q. When can I expect to see results?
A. The results of nose surgery will become more evident as swelling goes down over the coming weeks and months. It may take up to a year to see the final results of your rhinoplasty.
Q. When will the stitches be removed?
A. Stitches are typically removed six or seven days after surgery.