When correctly performed and without complications, rhinoplasty can correct or improve shape, enhancing the harmony of the face and the proportions of the nose. It can also correct impaired breathing caused by structural defects in the nose.
Rhinoplasty surgery can change:
- size of the nose
- width, size and position of nostrils
- profile of the nose with visible bumps or dents on the bridge
- tip of the nose
If you want a more symmetrical nose, you should be aware that no face is perfectly symmetrical and therefore you might have a result that is NOT completely symmetrical; the goal is to create new facial harmony and improve the proportions and shape of the nose.
Rhinoplasty to correct a deviated septum
Nose surgery to improve obstructed airways requires careful evaluation of the nasal structure, as it relates to airflow and breathing. Correction of a deviated septum, one of the most common causes of respiratory failure, is achieved by adjusting the nasal structure to produce a better alignment.
You may be a good candidate for rhinoplasty if:
- you are fully grown
- you are physically healthy
- you don't smoke
- you have a positive attitude and realistic goals
Recovery after a rhinoplasty
During recovery from rhinoplasty, a swab will probably be placed inside the nose and a splint or bandages will be placed on the outside to support and protect the new structures during the initial healing phase. The initial swelling will disappear within a few weeks, but it could take up to 1 year to see the final results of your new nasal profile.
Consultation for rhinoplasty
The consultation is an opportunity to discuss:
- surgical objectives, both in terms of appearance and breathing
- illnesses, drug allergies, and previous medical treatment
- medicines, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco, and drug use
- previous surgeries
The surgeon will:
- evaluate your general state of health
- evaluate any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
- evaluate the options available
- examine and measure the proportions of the face
- take photographs
- discuss nose surgery options
- recommend a treatment cycle
- discuss possible outcomes of nose surgery and any potential risks or complications
How to take care of the treated area after rhinoplasty
Your doctor will recommend which medications to take orally to help you heal and reduce the risk of infection.
It will be essential to schedule check-ups after the operation.
The results of rhinoplasty
The results of rhinoplasty surgery will be long-lasting. Ageing is a natural process and therefore can always bring gradual changes to both the face and nose.
A healthy lifestyle and the use of constant sun protection over time will help to prolong the results.
Rhinoplasty: steps of the procedure
Rhinoplasty includes the following phases:
Choices include intravenous sedation or general anaesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice.
Rhinoplasty is performed either using a closed procedure, where the incisions are hidden inside the nose, or an open procedure, where an incision is made through the columella, the narrow strip of tissue separating the nostrils. Through these incisions, the skin covering the nasal bones and cartilage is slightly raised, allowing access to reshape the structure of the nose.
Reshaping the structure of the nose
An excessively large nose can be reduced by removing bone or cartilage. Sometimes nose surgery may require the addition of cartilage. Most often, cartilage from the septum, the partition in the middle of the nose, is used for this purpose.
Correction of a deviated septum
If the septum is deviated, it can be straightened and the protrusions inside the nose reduced to improve breathing.
Closing the incision
Once the underlying structure of the nose is sculpted into the desired shape, the skin of the nose and the tissue are then closed.
Additional incisions can be placed in the natural folds of the nostrils to change their size.
Seeing the results
For a few days splints and gauze pads are used to support the nose during healing.
The risks of rhinoplasty
The decision to undergo plastic surgery is an extremely personal one. It will have to be decided whether the benefits match the objectives and whether the risks and possible complications of rhinoplasty are acceptable. The plastic surgeon will explain in detail the risks associated with the surgery.
The risks of a rhinoplasty surgery include:
- anaesthesia risks
- bleeding (haematoma)
- wound healing or scars
- changes in skin sensitivity (numbness or pain)
- perforation of the nasal septum is rare. Additional surgical treatment may be necessary to repair the septum but it may be impossible to correct this complication
- difficulty breathing
- skin discolouration
- possible need for revision surgery
These and other risks will be fully discussed before the procedure.
It is very important to understand all aspects of rhinoplasty and to have realistic expectations before undergoing the surgery.