Rhinoplasty enhances facial harmony and the proportions of your nose. It can also correct impaired breathing caused by structural defects in the nose.
Rhinoplasty surgery can change nose size in relation to facial balance, nose width, nose profile, nasal tip, enlarged nostrils, and nasal symmetry.
If you desire a more symmetrical nose, keep in mind that everyone’s face is asymmetric to some degree. Results may not be completely symmetric, although the goal is to create facial balance and correct proportion.
Rhinoplasty can also be done to correct a deviated septum in order to improve an obstructed airway. This requires careful evaluation of the nasal structure in terms of airflow and breathing. Correction of a deviated septum, one of the most common causes of breathing impairment, is achieved by adjusting the nasal structure to produce better alignment.
Rhinoplasty costs may include:
- Anesthesia fees.
- Hospital or surgical facility costs.
- Medical tests.
- Post-surgery garments.
- Prescriptions for medication.
- Surgeon’s fee.
When rhinoplasty is performed to improve breathing function, the cause is most commonly an obstructed airway. This procedure, whether performed alone or in conjunction with cosmetic rhinoplasty, is considered reconstructive and may be covered by insurance. This requires a detailed examination to verify the cause of your breathing impairment and prior authorization from your insurer.
You may be a good candidate for rhinoplasty if:
- Your facial growth is complete.
- You are physically healthy.
- You don’t smoke.
- You have a positive outlook and realistic goals in mind for the improvement of your appearance.
In preparing for rhinoplasty surgery, you may be asked to:
- Get a lab test
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
- Stop smoking
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding
Rhinoplasty may be performed in an accredited office-based surgical facility, a licensed ambulatory surgical center or a hospital. Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.
Rhinoplasty Procedure Steps:
Rhinoplasty surgery includes the following steps:
1. Step 1 – Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.
2. Step 2 – The Incision
Rhinoplasty is performed either using a closed procedure, where incisions are hidden inside the nose, or an open procedure, where an incision is made across the columella, the narrow strip of tissue that separates the nostrils.
Through these incisions, the skin that covers the nasal bones and cartilages is gently raised, allowing access to reshape the structure of the nose.
3. Step 3 – Reshaping the Nose Structure
An overly large nose may be reduced by removing bone or cartilage. Sometimes surgery of the nose may require the addition of cartilage grafs.
Most commonly, cartilage from the septum, the partition in the middle of the nose, is used for this purpose. Occasionally cartilage from the ear or rarely a section of rib cartilage can be used.
4. Step 4 – Correcting a Deviated Septum
If the septum is deviated, it can be straightened and the projections inside the nose reduced to improve breathing.
5. Step 5 – Closing the Incision
Once the underlying structure of the nose is sculpted to the desired shape, nasal skin and tissue is redraped and incisions are closed. Additional incisions may be placed in the natural creases of the nostrils to alter their size.
6. Step 6 – Results
For a few days splints and gauze packing will likely support the nose as it begins to heal. Get more information about rhinoplasty results.
During your rhinoplasty recovery, a splint and/or packing will likely be placed inside your nose and a splint or bandages placed on the outside to support and protect the new structures during initial healing. While initial swelling subsides within a few weeks, it may take up to a year for your new nasal contour to fully refine. During this time you may notice gradual changes in the appearance of your nose as it refines to a more permanent outcome. Swelling may come and go and worsen in the morning during the first year following your rhinoplasty surgery.
You will be given specific instructions that may include:
- How to care for the surgical site.
- Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection.
- Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health.
- When to follow up with your plastic surgeon.
Rhinoplasty Risks and Safety Information:
Rhinoplasty surgery risks include:
- Anesthesia risks.
- Bleeding (hematoma).
- Poor wound healing or scarring.
- 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.
- Difficulty breathing.
- 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 plastic surgeon.