Nose Surgery – Rhinoplasty

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Are you considering Rhinoplasty to correct your nasal septum? Or do you simply want a slimmer, more proportionate nose? Rhinoplasty is one of the most popular forms of plastic surgery, with over 200,000 Americans opting for nose jobs (Rhinoplasty) every year. Before going for the treatment it is important for you to consult your doctor about exactly what you can expect from the surgery. Here we will give you a brief overview of the procedure, how it is conducted and the steps you can take to ensure a successful recovery after the surgery.

What is Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty, colloquially known as a ‘nose job’, is a type of surgery performed to alter the shape and structure of the nose. It can improve the overall appearance of the nose and help the face appear more symmetrical. In most cases, it is performed to correct any birth defects, injuries or unappealing nasal shapes.

There are two types of Rhinoplasty surgery that is mainly observed – reconstructive surgery and cosmetic surgery. Reconstructive Rhinoplasty surgery is used to correct birth defects such as cleft palates, a damaged or broken nose due to an injury or any other deformity that impedes breathing and limits physical activity. Reconstructive surgery may often be recommended by your doctor to help you breathe better. On the other hand, cosmetic Rhinoplasty surgery is performed where the nasal shape is altered primarily for aesthetic reasons. Patients normally choose to go for cosmetic Rhinoplasty to enhance their facial features so that they look and feel more attractive.

Typically Rhinoplasty involves separating out the nasal tissues and skin, correcting the shape by adding, removing and replacing cartilage where required, replacing the tissues and then stitching the nose back into place. Rhinoplasty is conducted by highly skilled plastic surgeons that help you understand exactly what the surgery can do for you in terms of fixing any structural defects or improving the aesthetic quality of your nose.

The ultimate goal of Rhinoplasty is to alter the nasal and facial structure keeping the patient’s desired outcome in mind. For this reason, every surgery is tailored to meet the specific needs of the patient.

Why is it best?

There are several reasons that make Rhinoplasty surgery so popular –

  • It easily corrects any deformation in the nasal structure that can be an outcome of a sudden accident or a birth defect such as a cleft palate.
  • It addresses breathing difficulties, such as those caused by a deviated nasal septum, and helps you breathe easily and exercise without trouble.
  • The surgery readjusts any prominent deformities in the nose shape, including visible bumps, hooked tips, excessively large nostrils or bulbous nose tips.
  • It can correct and improve the aesthetic appearance of the nose, thus boosting your confidence and self-esteem.
  • Any healthy adult can undergo this surgery and the procedure is customized specifically to what there need are.
  • The recovery period for Rhinoplasty is only one or two weeks and you can go back home the same day when the surgery is executed.

Patient Analysis Before Rhinoplasty

Before conducting any form of Rhinoplasty, it is important for you and your doctor to clearly discuss what the expected outcomes of the surgery are and whether you are medically fit for the surgery or not. Things that need to be considered before going for a Rhinoplasty surgery involves –

A pre-surgery check-up

A pre-surgery check-up includes both general tests and a detailed examination of the nose. General check-ups such as blood reports help determine the overall health and find out whether the patient is fit to undergo surgery or not. A thorough examination of the nose is also critical to evaluate any physical factors that might affect the outcome of the surgery, including any potential impact on your ability to breathe. Your doctor will typically assess your facial features, the strength of your nose cartilage and the thickness of your skin.

A full medical history

Your doctor will ask for full details of any past surgeries you have undergone and any existing medical conditions you may have. This is necessarily important as certain conditions could prevent the patient from undergoing Rhinoplasty. For instance, if the patient tends to bleed excessively, then the doctor may decline to perform surgery on him.

Photographs

This step helps the doctor to decide the best way to surgically modify the nose so as to achieve the desired results. The patient will typically be required to visit the clinic, where a technician will photograph the nose and face from various angles. The doctor will then run the images through editing software to show the possible ‘before-and-after’ outcomes. Many clinics nowadays do a 3D imaging of the post-surgery nose so that the patient can know exactly what he/she will look like afterward.

Discussing your expectations

It is crucial that the patient and the doctor have open discussions about exactly why Rhinoplasty surgery is required and exactly what results one should expect. While you may feel shy about sharing your personal motivations – especially if your reasons for getting Rhinoplasty done relate to fashion or vanity – it is important for you to be clear about what you want so that your doctor can explain to you exactly how Rhinoplasty can work for you.

How To Prepare For Rhinoplasty?

Before your scheduled Rhinoplasty date, it is important for you to take extra care of your health so that you are in top shape during the surgery. Your doctor may prescribe specific medications and lifestyle changes depending on your individual requirements – however, there are few things you can do to keep in shape and recover faster after the surgery.

  • Quit smoking if you are a chain-smoker. Smoking impairs the healing process following surgery and increases your risk of catching an infection.
  • Avoid taking over-the-counter health supplements and herbal/alternative medicines.
  • Medications, where the active ingredient is ibuprofen or aspirin, increase the risk of bleeding. Hence, one should avoid taking these for at least two weeks before and after the Rhinoplasty.
  • After coming out of the anaesthesia, you may experience some slowing of thought processes and blurred memory for a few days. To help you readjust to normal life, ask a friend or family member to stay with you after your surgery until you recover.

What To Expect In Rhinoplasty?

The main point to remember about Rhinoplasty is that each operation is tailored entirely to the individual. Your doctor will evaluate the best way to operate for the surgery based on your specific nose structure, cartilage thickness, facial structure, and other factors. Moreover, even subtle changes to your nose have a big impact on the way you look – so the doctor will need to tailor an extensive plan of action to make sure there aren’t any errors.

The typical procedure to perform a Rhinoplasty surgery is as follows:

  • Depending on how complicated your surgery is the doctor may administer either a local or general anaesthesia. In the former case, your faculties are impaired but you remain awake through the surgery. In the latter, the anaesthetic makes you unconscious and your doctor attaches a breathing tube to you. The doctor may either make a small cut at the base of your nose for the surgery to work entirely inside the nose.
  • Typically, the doctor will readjust the amount of cartilage and the shape of the nasal bones based on the outcome the patient has agreed upon. The doctor may take extra cartilage from the ear or even from the ribs to make these modifications.
  • After the Rhinoplasty surgery is complete, the doctor will replace the tissues and stitch the skin of the nose back in place.

Post-Care After Rhinoplasty

Most patients are able to go home the same day they undergo their Rhinoplasty surgery. In certain cases, if the patient is experiencing nausea or excessive bleeding from the nose, the clinic may keep the patient under observation for one night.

While you are likely to recover completely within a week, it is important to keep certain post-surgery tips in mind to take care of yourself and avoid infection and/or bleeding. Here are a few things that everyone should remember.

  • The doctor will typically place splints inside the nose to support and protect it. This could lead to some congestion inside the nose, so it is necessary that the patient should remember to sleep with the head raised above the chest to avoid bleeding.
  • The patient may experience some slight bleeding or mucus flow, which is normal. Hence, the doctor may tape a piece of gauze under the nose to capture this flow. Remember to change this gauze as per the doctor’s instructions. Do not fiddle with the gauze or tape it too tightly.
  • Avoid any pressure on or movement of the nose as far as possible. Do not try to blow the nose, and avoid smiling or laughing too much as this will strain the nose. Do not pull clothes over your headwear items that fasten or button in front.
  • Avoid taking showers, as the dressing on the nose should not come into contact with water.
  • Do not perch spectacles or sunglasses directly on the nose for at least a month after surgery – instead, tape the glasses to your forehead or use cheek rests.
  • Remember that the swelling from the surgery may persist for several weeks, so the final shape of the nose after surgery will become evident only later. Consult the doctor if the swelling enhances or if you experience any pain/discharge/bleeding.