Nose surgery – rhinoplasty
What is rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty is one of the most common of all plastic surgery procedures. Aesthetic rhinoplasty (from Greek “rhinos” – nose) can alter the shape and/or size of the external nose, change the angle between the nose and the upper lip or the shape of the nostrils. The goal of the surgery is not only to change the nose shape, but also to improve the patient’s appearance as a whole.
As with any plastic surgery, good health and realistic expectations are prerequisites. Rhinoplasty can enhance your appearance and your self-confidence, remove birth defects or restore the nose distorted by an injury. Nose shape or size can be changed for cosmetic reasons the way you feel comfortable about. For many people nose surgery can mean the beginning of a new, better life.
Before the surgery
Before the surgery a patient is carefully examined by a surgeon who shall evaluate the structure of the nasal bones and the cartilage, the shape of the face and expectations from the procedure. It is also the best time to discuss anesthesia and outcomes of the surgery including possible risk factors and side effects. In many cases rhinoplasty is the most difficult facial procedure to recover from and it’s very important to understand the situation before the start.
Is hospitalization necessary?
Usual term of patient’s stay in a hospital after this surgery is 2-3 days. Sometimes the surgery may be performed on an outpatient basis.
Rhinoplasty requires anaesthesia either local or general depending on the complexity of the procedure. It usually takes one or two hours but more complicated procedures can take more.
The surgery can be performed in two ways: closed rhinoplasty means that incisions are made inside the nose where they are invisible; however in some cases open rhinoplasty is necessary, which requires additional small incisions at the base of the nose. Through the incisions the bone and cartilage system of the nose is accessed and reshaped to achieve the desired result.
Finally the tissues are redraped over the new nose frame and the incisions are closed. A splint is applied to the outside of the nose to help it maintain its new shape. Absorbent material may be used inside the nose to stabilize the dividing wall between the air passages.
Are there any cicatrices after the operation?
At our center we mainly perform closed functional rhinoplasty. If closed method of the surgery is used, there is only one incision made in each nostril. They are not visible from the outside and after a time will be barely noticeable even during medical examination. Even in case of the open surgery the incisions are very small and are made at the base of the nose where they are virtually invisible.
After the surgery
Immediately after the surgery your face will feel puffy, your nose will ache and you may have a headache. Pain medications can be prescribed for the first few days. You may also experience bruising and swelling in the eye area, which will gradually disappear in the next week or two. Cold compresses are recommended to make you feel and recover better. Swelling improves in 1-6 weeks following closed rhinoplasty and 1-6 months following open
rhinoplasty. Best advice for minimizing this time will be sleeping with your head elevated for several nights. Nasal dressing and splints are usually removed in six or seven days following the surgery.
Most patients can return to sedentary work in about a week but their appearance will still be a limiting factor. Exercise may be resumed in 3-4 weeks. Sun exposure, exertion, and risk of injury must be avoided for a few weeks. You can wear contact lenses any time but wearing glasses requires special arrangements so that they do not rest on the bridge of your nose.
You may get impatient about seeing the result and achieving the look you’ve expected. Don’t worry, healing is a slow process but day-by-day your nose and face will look better and your mood will be improving. The final result may be apparent in 3-6 months or may take up to two years.
What complications may occur after rhinoplasty?
Such complications as infection, delayed healing or severe hemorrhage are very rare and can be prevented by quality preparation for the surgery, which depends on the patient as well. Details of preparation are discussed during preliminary consultation.
If you have more questions about a rhinoplasty, feel free to contact us.