Aesthetic nasal surgery, or rhinoplasty, involves reshaping the nose to improve its appearance. Typical steps include removing a nasal hump, reducing an enlarged tip or improving a poor angle between the nose and the upper lip. Reconstructive rhinoplasty is performed to correct birth defects and disfigurement resulting from injury. It may also be done in conjunction with techniques to relieve nasal obstruction due to an internal deformity such as a deviated septum. (The septum is the partition between the right and left nasal airways.)
The earliest recommended age for rhinoplasty is the mid-teenage years when the nose has attained its anticipated growth and form.
The degree of improvement depends upon the extent of the corrective work undertaken and the basic structure of your nose and skin. An obviously disfigured nose will show dramatic results following surgery. On the other hand, correction of a slight bump may offer more subtle results. It is common for relatives or friends to report that they don't see a major difference after surgery. Do not consider such reactions to be an indication of failure. The intention, after all, is not to create a nose that draws undue attention, but rather one that blends subtly into the overall appearance of your face.
It is important that your nose fit in with the general configuration of your face and profile. It is for this reason that your surgeon may also advise an alteration of your chin at the time of nasal surgery.
Most nasal surgery incisions are made inside the nose to provide access to the cartilage and bone which will be altered to reshape the nose. Another approach, called the "open tip" technique, allows a direct view of these structures and will be advised if your situation warrants it. This requires a small additional external incision but the resulting scar is usually minor and considered a worthwhile exchange for the improved contour.
This procedure usually takes from one to two hours to perform, depending upon its extent. Following surgery, a small plaster splint is applied to the nose to secure the bones and cartilages in their new position. Nasal packs are often required for a short period of time.
Either an outpatient or inpatient approach is suitable for rhinoplasty. Which approach is most appropriate will be discussed with you at the time of your consultation. This procedure is most often carried out under general anesthesia.
Nasal surgery produces moderate discomfort which can be controlled by medication. You will be asked to keep your head elevated and apply cold compresses to your eyes to reduce postoperative bruising and swelling. After about one week, the splint is removed. Much of the swelling and discoloration will have disappeared by that time but the duration of these factors varies. The early results of this surgery are evident in two to three weeks and are usually quite gratifying. However, you will continue to notice an improvement in the contour and form of your nose for six to twelve months as the last remnants of the swelling disappear.
Read our Rhinoplasty FAQ for more information.
Find out about a Non-Surgical Nose Job.
Find out more with our Facial Procedure FAQ.
Manor Care Post-Operative Recovery
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to view Nose Reshaping (Rhinoplasty) before and after photos.