WHAT IS Rhinoplasty?
Nose reshaping surgery, or Rhinoplasty, is a procedure performed to improve the appearance and function of the nose. At CU Facial Aesthetic Surgery, we can perform this surgery in either an ‘open’ (external) or ‘closed’ (endonasal) manner, depending on what needs to be done. Closed rhinoplasty employs only incisions inside the nostrils, but is somewhat limited in what can be accomplished. Open rhinoplasty utilizes a small incision between the nostrils, and allows for more versatility. There are many aspects of the nose that can be changed including:
- Wide or droopy nasal tip
- Wide nasal bridge
- Nasal tip too bulbous
- Nasal tip too projected
Whatever the reason for the procedure, both the form and function of the nose are always considered. Maintaining or improving breathing through the nose is always a goal of Rhinoplasty. In every surgery, the ultimate goal is to achieve a natural and aesthetically pleasing look, while preserving or improving the breathing function of the nose.
Is it right for me?
The two common reasons to have a rhinoplasty are to make the nose more attractive or to improve breathing (or both). Appropriate candidates for rhinoplasty are willing to undergo a procedure to improve the qualities of their nose. It is impossible to give you someone else’s nose. Rather, the goal of Rhinoplasty is to improve the nose that you have and yet maintain a natural appearance. To have this procedure patients must be healthy enough to undergo general anesthesia.
Understanding the Surgery
There are many approaches and techniques that may be performed in rhinoplasty. The specific techniques that are chosen by our doctors depend on the unique requests of each patient. Regardless of what approach is taken, all Rhinoplasty incisions are extremely well hidden, either inside the nose or on the skin between the nostrils. Often the desired changes to the nose can be made by reshaping the cartilage skeleton of the nose and then redraping the skin over the new nose. Our doctors often use the patient’s natural tissues to support the desired changes, but in some cases a small amount of synthetic material is used.
Depending on the specific changes that are requested by the patient, rhinoplasty can be performed under general anesthesia or under sedation. Of course, the type of anesthesia chosen is ultimately the patient’s choice. In both cases, the comfort of the patient during surgery is the highest priority. In every case, the surgical plan is discussed in great detail with the patient so that there is a clear understanding about what will be done and what is desired.
The benefits of Rhinoplasty begin with the improvement in the appearance of the nose. Fortunately, a better looking nose also works better, too. Often patients notice that after Rhinoplasty they are not only able to breathe better, but they also smell aromas and taste foods better! The benefits of breathing better through the nose include better sleeping and a better ability to exercise.
Rhinoplasty is a very complex surgery that should only be performed by experienced surgeons. In the past, rhinoplasty was performed in ways that would lead to collapse of the nose and breathing problems years later. Surgical techniques have been improved since then to prevent this catastrophic complication. Modern training in Facial Plastic Surgery bears this in mind. This allows the surgeon to safely change the shape and function of the nose for the life of the patient. As with any procedure, bruising, infection and need for further procedures are risks as well.
What to expect after surgery
Rhinoplasty is generally very well tolerated. After the procedure, the patient can expect to have a stuffy nose for several days. The discomfort after rhinoplasty is generally minimal and related mostly to the swelling in the nose. There is very little bleeding in general and our doctors do not use “nasal packing.” You will have a small cast on the nose for 1 week. For this reason, we recommend that patients take off 8-10 days from work, including the day of surgery.
Case Study A
This woman desired changes to the nose, including hump reduction and changes to the nasal tip, but also wanted a more prominent chin. Adding a chin implant during rhinoplasty surgery can improve the overall balance of the facial profile. This before and after shows our beautiful and natural result 3 months after surgery.
Case Study B
A prior rhinoplasty left this patient with a nose twisted to the left and also with difficulty breathing through the nose. She saw our surgeons and underwent a revision open rhinoplasty. These before and after photos demonstrate successful straightening of the nose and a symmetric, natural nasal tip.