Rhinoplasty (RIE-no-plas-tee) is surgery that changes the shape of the nose. The motivation for rhinoplasty may be to change the appearance of the nose, improve breathing or both. The upper portion of the structure of the nose is bone, and the lower portion is cartilage.
What is rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty, sometimes referred to as a "nose job" or "nose reshaping" by patients, enhances facial harmony and the proportions of your nose. It can also correct impaired breathing caused by structural defects in the nose. Rhinoplasty is one of the most common types of plastic surgery.
Cosmetic Surgery for the Nose (Rhinoplasty)
People get rhinoplasty to repair their nose after an injury, to correct breathing problems or a birth defect, or because they’re unhappy with the appearance of their nose. If your rhinoplasty is being done to improve your appearance rather than your health, you should wait until your nasal bone is fully grown. For girls, this is about age 15. Boys might still be growing until they’re a bit older. However, if you’re getting surgery because of a breathing impairment, rhinoplasty can be performed at a younger age.
Nose surgery that's done to improve an obstructed airway requires careful evaluation of the nasal structure as it relates to 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.
What rhinoplasty can treat
- Nose size in relation to facial balance
- Nose width at the bridge or in the size and position of the nostrils
- Nose profile with visible humps or depressions on the bridge
- Nasal tip that is enlarged or bulbous, drooping, upturned or hooked
- Nostrils that are large, wide or upturned
- Nasal asymmetry
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 be done in a hospital, a doctor’s office, or an outpatient surgical facility. Your doctor will use local or general anesthesia. If it’s a simple procedure, you’ll receive local anesthesia to your nose, which will also numb your face. You may also get medication through an IV line that makes you groggy, but you’ll still be awake.
With general anesthesia, you’ll inhale a drug or get one through an IV that will make you unconscious. Children are usually given general anesthesia.
Once you’re numb or unconscious, your surgeon will make cuts between or inside your nostrils. They’ll separate your skin from your cartilage or bone and then start the reshaping. If your new nose needs a small amount of additional cartilage, your doctor may remove some from your ear or deep inside your nose. If more is needed, you might get an implant or a bone graft. A bone graft is additional bone that’s added to the bone in your nose.
The procedure usually takes between one and two hours. If the surgery is complex, it can take longer.
Recovery from Rhinoplasty
After surgery, your doctor may place a plastic or metal splint on your nose. The splint will help your nose retain its new shape while it heals. They may also place nasal packs or splints inside your nostrils to stabilize your septum, which is the part of your nose between your nostrils.
You’ll be monitored in a recovery room for at least a few hours after surgery. If everything is okay, you’ll leave later that day. You’ll need someone to drive you home because the anesthesia will still affect you. If it’s a complicated procedure, you might have to stay in the hospital for a day or two.
To reduce bleeding and swelling, you’ll want to rest with your head elevated above your chest. If your nose is swollen or packed with cotton, you might feel congested. People are usually required to leave splints and dressings in place for up to a week after surgery. You might have absorbable stitches, meaning they’ll dissolve and won’t require removal. If the stitches aren’t absorbable, you’ll need to see your doctor again a week after surgery to get the stitches taken out.
For a few days after your surgery, you might experience drainage and bleeding. A drip pad, which is a piece of gauze taped below your nose, can absorb blood and mucus. Your doctor will tell you how often to change your drip pad.
You should be able to return to work or school in a week.
Rhinoplasty can affect the area around your eyes, and you might have temporary numbness, swelling, or discoloration around your eyelids for a few weeks. In rare cases, this can last for six months, and slight swelling could persist even longer. You can apply cold compresses or ice packs to decrease discoloration and swelling.
Although rhinoplasty is a relatively safe and easy procedure, healing from it can take a while. The tip of your nose is especially sensitive and can remain numb and swollen for months. You might be fully recovered in a few weeks, but some effects can linger for months. It could be a whole year before you can fully appreciate the end result of your surgery.
How much does rhinoplasty cost?
Costs vary according to the reason for the surgery and its complexity. Factors influencing cost include:
- Whether you are undergoing new or revision surgery
- Expected duration of the operation
- Location where surgery takes place
- If the procedure requires rib or ear cartilage grafting
For more information, please contact us.