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Rhinoplasty, also known as nasal reconstruction, is a surgical procedure able to improve the appearance of the nose and sometimes correct breathing problems. The nose may be reshaped by reducing or increasing the overall size, removing a hump, changing the angle between the nose and upper lip, narrowing the span of the nostrils, or changing the shape of the tip or the bridge of the nose. The goal of rhinoplasty is to improve the appearance of the nose while achieving better harmony between the nose and the other facial features. Good candidates for rhinoplasty include men and women who are physically healthy, realistic in their expectations and interested in improving the appearance and sometimes the function of the nose. It's best to postpone rhinoplasty until the nose has completed its growth, which is around the age of 14 or 15 for girls and a bit later for boys.
Rhinoplasty typically takes between one and two hours to complete and may be performed in an outpatient surgical center, or a hospital. The surgery may be performed with either a combination of local anesthesia and sedation or with general anesthesia. The incisions may be confined to the inside of the nose, which is referred to as closed rhinoplasty. Other times an additional small incision is made on the underside of the nose between the nostrils, which is known as open rhinoplasty. Once the incisions are made, the skin of the nose is lifted from the underlying bone and cartilage. The bone and cartilage are then sculpted to a more pleasing shape, the skin is pulled back down, and the incisions are closed.
Once the surgery is completed, a splint is applied to the nose and a small piece of gauze is placed in each nostril. The face will feel puffy at first, and the nose and head may ache. Prescription pain medication can help to control any discomfort that patients experience. Some bleeding may occur, as well as swelling and bruising around the eyes. Most of the swelling should fade within two weeks though some subtle, unnoticeable swelling can remain for as much as a year. Nasal packing is generally removed within a few days and the splint and stitches will be removed within one week. Patients are typically able to return to work within one to two weeks. However, more strenuous activities will need to be postponed for two to three weeks and patients should avoid hitting the nose or sunburn for eight weeks.
Is Rhinoplasty Right For You?
As with all types of surgery, there are potential complications that can occur with rhinoplasty and these may include the following: adverse anesthesia reactions, incomplete improvement, infection, small burst blood vessels, and the need for additional surgery.
Every year over half a million people who are interested in improving the appearance of their nose seek consultation with facial plastic surgeons. Some people are unhappy with the noses they were born with, and some with the way aging has changed the appearance of their nose. For others, an injury may have distorted or changed the appearance of their nose, and the primary goal of surgery is to improve breathing.
But one thing is clear: Nothing has a greater impact on how a patient looks than the size and shape of their nose. Because the nose is the most defining characteristic of the face, a slight alteration can greatly improve one's appearance. The ideal goal in rhinoplasty is to improve the nose esthetically making it harmonize better with other facial features so that it has a more natural normal appearance. This way the nose will blend better with the face rather than be the dominant or obvious feature. A computerized imager is used during the consultation to assist in the process to determine if the patients expectations are realistic.
To determine if a patient is a good candidate for rhinoplasty, Dr. Boyce would recommend a consultation utilizing the computerized imager in a complete facial analysis. Successful facial plastic surgery is the result of a good rapport between the patient and the surgeon. Trust, based on realistic expectations and exacting medical expertise, develops in the consulting stages before surgery. Dr. Boyce can answer questions related to your specific needs. For questions or additional information, patients are welcome and encouraged to call.
Click for more information about Rhinoplasty from the AAFPRS.