What is Rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty is literally defined as shaping of the nose. It is a plastic surgery procedure which can reshape the nose in a variety of ways. The overall size can be reduced or increased, a hump can be removed, the span of the nostrils can be narrowed, the tip or bridge of the nose can be reshaped, or the angle between the nose and upper lip can be changed. Some breathing problems can also be alleviated with rhinoplasty.
Individuals who are looking to improve the appearance of the nose may be good candidates for rhinoplasty. Some people are looking to improve the nose they were born with while others are dissatisfied with changes that have occurred through age or injury. As with all surgery, patients should also be in good health and be realistic in their expectations for the outcome. It’s generally advised that rhinoplasty be postponed on younger patients until the nose has reached its full growth, typically around the age of fifteen or sixteen. During your consultation, Dr. Donath will help you to decide if rhinoplasty is right for you. He will take certain factors into account like your age, skin type and ethnic background and he may recommend additional surgery, such as chin augmentation, to help you achieve your desired look.
The Nose Surgery Process
Local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia may be used for the rhinoplasty surgery. Dr. Donath will begin by making incisions, most of which are located on the inside of the nostrils though it may be necessary to make an additional small incision on the skin between the nostrils. Working through the incisions, the doctor will achieve the desired shape by removing, adding to or rearranging certain amounts of bone and cartilage. Once the new shape is achieved, the incisions will be closed and a splint will be applied to the nose. Nasal packing, or soft absorbent material, may also be applied to the inside of the nostrils. While surgical times will vary, rhinoplasty usually takes one to two hours to complete.
Nasal packing, if used, is typically removed the next day while the splint will be removed after about six to seven days. The face will likely feel puffy and patients may experience some discomfort which can be managed with prescription medication. Swelling and bruising are common with the majority of swelling fading within two weeks. Absorbable sutures are commonly used and these do not need to be removed. Most patients are able to return to work within one to two weeks after their rhinoplasty procedure though rigorous activities and sun exposure will be prohibited for several weeks.