What to Know About Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty is a surgery performed on the nose to improve its function or alter its shape. Often referred to as a nose job, rhinoplasty can be done for cosmetic reasons, such as to change the nasal appearance and shape. It can also be employed for purposes such as correcting disfigurement resulting from congenital problems or trauma and fixing breathing problems related to the nose.

Rhinoplasty is among the top five most common cosmetic surgery procedures done in the United States, with over 220,000 procedures performed annually.

The upper section of the nasal structure is made up of bone, and the lower part is cartilage. A nose job can alter the skin, bone, cartilage, or all three. Consult your surgeon about what this procedure can achieve and whether it is appropriate for you.

Why it’s Done

Rhinoplasty can alter the proportions, size, or shape of your nose. It can be done to improve breathing difficulties, repair deformities from an injury, or correct a congenital problem.

Ideal Candidates

Most of the individuals who undergo rhinoplasty are discontented with the appearance of their noses and would like to enhance their facial features and proportions. Some nose job candidates are patients dealing with breathing difficulties or discomfort because of previous nose injuries or structural abnormalities. An ideal rhinoplasty candidate should be in good general health, have realistic expectations of the procedure, and understand the risks associated with surgery.

A good rhinoplasty candidate may have:

• Breathing problems caused by irregularities with the internal structure of the nose, such as a deviated septum
• An off-center or crooked nose
• A nose that he or she feels is too small or too large compared with the other facial features
• A bulbous tip
• A wide nose
• Excessively pinched or flared nostrils
• An asymmetrical nose because of injury
• An enlarged, protruding, or drooping nasal tip
• A bump on the bridge of the nose

The Rhinoplasty Procedure

Since there are so many types of rhinoplasty procedures with different aims for the treatment, the surgery differs depending on the individual. But, some steps are common to all nose job surgeries.

Doctors perform rhinoplasty using two methods of sedation:

IV sedation: The doctor numbs your face using local anesthesia and then administers a strong intravenous sedative. You will experience a twilight sleep and will not remember much about the procedure when the medication wears off.
General anesthesia: This is administered with an IV or mask, and it puts you ultimately to sleep.

Your doctor will work with you to determine the most suitable type of anesthesia to administer.

After you are sedated, the doctor makes tiny incisions on the columella or inside the nostrils. He or she then lifts the skin to access the underlying cartilage and bone. The doctor can then graft or remove tissues as required. Usually, the doctor uses conservative techniques to reduce the impact on the surrounding tissues while still achieving the needed results. After reshaping the nose, the doctor restores the skin to its position over the new nasal contours and closes the incisions.

Recovery after Rhinoplasty

After a nose job, it is crucial to preserve the changes to the nasal tissue. After closing the incisions made during the surgical procedure, your doctor will usually place a splint to help keep the shape of the nose. Sometimes, the doctor may also place splints inside the nostrils. These materials help keep the septum in place and reduce bleeding.

Expect to wear splints on the outside and inside of your nose for about a week after surgery to protect the nasal cartilage and bones. Some patients experience mild or moderate discomfort, but you can relieve this with medication. Avoid strenuous activities such as swimming or jogging for two weeks after surgery.

Schedule Your Consultation

Your nose is a complex structure made up of fragile bone and cartilage. A minor alteration to one part of its anatomy affects the rest of your nose. Thus, rhinoplasty needs to be performed by an expert to achieve natural and functional results. If you’ve been thinking of undergoing a rhinoplasty procedure, book an appointment with Drs. Papel, Kontis, and Brown of the Aesthetic Center at Woodholme by calling (844)-638-1141.

Dr. Ira D. Papel is certified in Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Papel earned his B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and his M.D. from Boston University of Medicine. He completed a residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and a fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Dr. Papel is considered an international expert in rhinoplasty, revision rhinoplasty, and facial aesthetic surgery.