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.
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Nose Reshaping Questions
What is rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty (commonly called a nose job or nose reshaping) is a surgical procedure in which all or part of the patient’s nose is reshaped to attain a desired look. Considered cosmetic surgery, rhinoplasty can be performed on anyone who is unhappy with or seeks to improve the shape of his or her nose. Currently, rhinoplasty is one of the most common cosmetic surgeries performed in the United States.
How are rhinoplasty decisions made?
For rhinoplasty to be a success, it is important that you and Chicago Plastic Surgeon Dr. Otto J. Placik work together to ensure that your reshaped nose has proper function, fits with your bone structure and with the rest of your face, and aligns with your preferences while still being realistic. During initial appointments, Dr. Placik will examine the basic structure of your nose and face, and he will carefully consider how your desired results might best be achieved considering your particular facial features.
Who makes a good candidate for rhinoplasty?
Almost anyone can make a good rhinoplasty candidate, but the best candidates are fully grown, psychologically stable, and accept that improving one’s physical appearance does not mean achieving complete perfection. Typically, candidates feel that their noses are too large or too long, overly thick in places, crooked or off-center, and have unwanted bumps or ridges.
What can I expect during the procedure?
During rhinoplasty, you will be sedated using general anesthesia. Dr. Placik will then make small incisions in and around the nose before lifting the skin on the bridge of the nose. Once this is done, Dr. Placik will sculpt the cartilage in your nose until it matches up with the desired shape you and Dr. Placik agreed on during earlier consultations. During surgery Dr. Placik ensure that the nasal passages remain intact and that the nose functions as well as (or better than) it did before surgery.
What can I expect after the procedure?
After undergoing surgery, you might have black eyes, a sore nose, and a swollen face for a few days. However, bruising around the eyes should go away within a four to five days, and swelling eventually diminishes over the course of a few weeks. Dr. Placik will place a splint over your nose to ensure that your nose retains its new shape, and you will likely have stitches that Dr. Placik will remove (along with the splint) a few days after the surgery. Generally, patients can return to work or school within four to five days post-surgery.
When you visit Dr. Otto J. Placik, you will receive the best possible care and attention. If you would like to schedule a private rhinoplasty consultation, please send our plastic surgeon an email or call us at (847) 398-1660.