What is Rhinoplasty?
Nasal Surgery (Rhinoplasty) or “nose job” involves changing the bone and cartilage framework of the nose in order to improve its outside appearance. Patients often seek this type of surgery due to concern that their nose is out of harmony with the rest of their face. The nose may be excessively large (or small), crooked, or may contain an unwanted hump or other deformity. Generally speaking, an attractive nose is one that draws attention to the person’s eyes, rather than to the nose itself.
Rhinoplasty is a delicate operation, and requires careful planning and meticulous technique. The end result, however, can be extremely gratifying for both patient and surgeon.
In many cases the rhinoplasty can be performed with no external incisions. If the nose requires advanced tip sculpting, or reconstruction of the middle third of the nose, you may be a candidate for “Open Rhinoplasty.” The open approach involves making a short incision along the bottom part of the nose which allows direct visualization of the nasal components. This open rhinoplasty incision generally heals with an imperceptible scar which is of no concern to the patient. Experienced rhinoplasty surgeons are equally comfortable with an “open” or “endonasal” approach, and will choose whichever approach best suits your nose.
The rhinoplasty procedure may take from one to three hours, and is usually performed on an outpatient basis in an outpatient surgicenter. Anesthesia for the surgery is usually a general anesthesia or IV sedation, depending on patient preference and length of the procedure.
Upon awakening from surgery, your nose will be covered with a firm external splint, which functions to hold the nasal bones in place and to protect the nose. The splint will remain in place for one week. While pain is normally quite minimal, all patients receive pain medication, as well as a brief course of antibiotics and medication to reduce swelling. Breathing is generally stuffy the first week. On postoperative visits, the nose will be cleaned of mucus and debris. You should then be able to breathe comfortably.
Many patients are able to return to work or school after two to three days, however most prefer to take a week of vacation around the time of surgery. While you should expect some post-surgery swelling and occasional bruising after rhinoplasty, your nose will be very presentable at one week. Bruising can usually be covered with make-up at this time. Post-operative swelling or edema will largely resolve over the first month, however you may notice subtle changes for up to 3 months and occasionally up to one year after surgery.