Rhinoplasty is the medical term for surgery on the nose. Some patients seek this procedure to correct breathing difficulties caused by structural defects of the nose, although most people undergo rhinoplasty to improve their appearance. Some of the most common reasons for wanting plastic surgery on the nose include:
- Nose size is too large in relation to facial balance.
- To achieve a more desirable asymmetry of the nose.
- The width of the nose at the bridge is too large.
- To correct the position and size of the nostrils.
- Nostrils have a large upward slope.
- Nostrils are too large or wide.
- The tip of the nostril is enlarged, bulbous, upturned, or hooked.
One thing that is important to realize is that every person’s face has some degree of asymmetry. The goal of rhinoplasty is to create facial balance and correct the proportions of the nose to make the entire face as symmetrical as possible.
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Western Maryland Medical Arts Center
12052 Willowbrook Road, Suite 460
Cumberland, MD 21502
Hours of Operation:
Tuesday and Thursday 8 am – 5:30 pm
Friday 8 am – 12 pm
Surgical Steps Involved in Rhinoplasty
After ensuring that the anesthesia has taken effect and that the patient is comfortable, the plastic surgeon makes an incision using either a closed or open procedure. With a closed rhinoplasty, the incision scars from the procedure are hidden inside of the patient’s nose. In an open procedure, the incision goes across the narrow strip of tissue on the patient’s nose that separates the nostrils. The medical name for this strip is columella.
With either type of incision, the surgeon then proceeds to raise the skin that covers the cartilage and nasal bone. This provides access to reshape the structure of the patient’s nose. It is at this point that the surgeon corrects structural damage for patients who have a deviated septum.
The surgeon closes the incision area to complete the surgery. This involves redraping skin and tissue after sculpting the nose to the desired shape and size. Some patients require additional incisions in the nostril’s natural creases to change their size.
Recovery from Rhinoplasty
The plastic surgeon places a splint on the patient’s nose immediately after closing the incisions. The small splint remains in place for approximately one week to protect the nose while it is healing. Nasal packing placed inside of the splint helps to further reduce bruising and swelling. The patient will return to the office to have their packing removed a couple days after surgery.
Nausea and mild to moderate discomfort are both common for the first 48 hours following a rhinoplasty. Prescription painkillers and anti-nausea medication are normally enough to keep both issues under control. The feeling of having a stuffed up nose is common as well. Patients need to avoid blowing their nose for at least the first week or two, which can be quite a challenge. However, using decongestants as directed can help to avoid stuffiness in the first place. It is also important to avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and aspirin since these could increase the risk of post-surgical bleeding.
Some patients develop one or two black eyes after the rhinoplasty due to bruising and swelling. Applying a cold compress under the eyes helps to relieve the discomfort. Keeping the head elevated and sleeping flat on the back help to promote healing as well. Patients who wear glasses will need to get a prescription for contact lenses to wear for at least the first three weeks after surgery.
It is vital to avoid possible trauma to the nose while recovering from rhinoplasty. Patients must avoid all contact sports and exercise caution around pets and children who might move suddenly and throw them off balance. Exercising caution while washing the face is also important. Most rhinoplasty patients are ready to return to work two weeks after the procedure.