Nose Surgery (Rhinoplasty)
One of the most common of all plastic surgery procedures is Rhinoplasty, or surgery to reshape the nose. Alterations may be made to increase or decrease the nasal bridge, reduce the size or width of the nose, narrow the nostrils, or reshape the tip. It may also correct a birth defect or injury, or help relieve some breathing problems. The best candidates for this procedure are people who are looking for improvement, not perfection, in the way they look. The goal of rhinoplasty is a nose that looks natural and blends harmoniously with your other facial features.
The nature of the sculpting will depend on your focused concern and the doctor’s recommended technique. In many instances, all of the incisions will be placed inside your nose, where they will not be visible. If the base of the nose is narrowed or the nostrils reduced, small wedges of skin at the base of the nostrils will be removed. Incisions are hidden in the natural crease where the nostril joins the cheek. Sometimes a very short incision is discreetly made across the vertical strip of tissue that separates the nostrils, called the columella. This technique is called an “open rhinoplasty.” Through these small incisions, work is done on the cartilage and bone that form the framework of your nose.
Sometimes, the position of certain bones may need to be altered slightly in order to make your nose look narrower and straighter. If your nose needs to be built up in some areas, this can be done using nasal cartilage, or perhaps bone or cartilage from another site. The skin and soft tissues are then sculpted to the desired shape and redraped over the new framework.
Depending on the surgical technique used, a splint may be applied to help your nose maintain its new shape when the surgery is complete. This splint will protect your nose while sleeping and shield it from accidental bumps. Nasal packs or soft plastic splints also may be placed in your nostrils to stabilize the septum, the dividing wall between the air passages.
Swelling and bruising around the eyes is not uncommon following this surgery. It will increase at first, reaching a peak after two or three days, though most of the swelling and bruising should disappear within two weeks or so. Most rhinoplasty patients are up and about within two days, and able to return to light work within a week or ten days following surgery. It will be several weeks, however, before you’re entirely up to speed. Within a week or two, you’ll no longer look as if you’ve just had surgery. Still, healing is a slow and gradual process. Some subtle swelling may be present for months, especially in the tip.
The final results of rhinoplasty may not be apparent for a year or more. You are likely, however, to begin enjoying your new look within weeks of your surgery. If your nose has always caused you to feel self-conscious about your appearance, then the subtle changes of rhinoplasty may help boost your confidence!