What is rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty enhances facial harmony and the proportions of your nose. It can also correct impaired breathing caused by structural defects in the nose.
Rhinoplasty surgery can change:
- Nose size in relation to facial balance
- Nose width at the bridge or in the size and position of the nostrils
- Nose profile with visible humps or depressions on the bridge
- Nasal tip that is enlarged or bulbous, drooping, upturned or hooked
- Nostrils that are large, wide, or upturned
- Nasal asymmetry
If you desire a more symmetrical nose, keep in mind that everyone’s face is asymmetric to some degree. Results may not be completely symmetric, although the goal is to create facial balance and correct proportion. Rhinoplasty can correct a deviated septum. Nose surgery that’s done to improve an obstructed airway 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 breathing impairment, is achieved by adjusting the nasal structure to produce better alignment.
Rhinoplasty surgery steps
Rhinoplasty surgery includes the following steps:
- Anesthesia – Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.
- The Incision – Rhinoplasty is performed either using a closed procedure, where incisions are hidden inside the nose, or an open procedure, where an incision is made across the columella, the narrow strip of tissue that separates the nostrils.Through these incisions, the skin that covers the nasal bones and cartilages is gently raised, allowing access to reshape the structure of the nose.
Open Rhinoplasty Incision across the columella
- Reshaping the Nose Structure – An overly large nose may be reduced by removing bone or cartilage. Sometimes surgery of the nose may require the addition of cartilage grafs. Most commonly, cartilage from the septum, the partition in the middle of the nose, is used for this purpose. Occasionally cartilage from the ear or rarely a section of rib cartilage can be used
- Correcting a Deviated Septum – If the septum is deviated, it can be straightened and the projections inside the nose reduced to improve breathing.
- Closing the Incision – Once the underlying structure of the nose is sculpted to the desired shape, nasal skin and tissue is redraped and incisions are closed. Additional incisions may be placed in the natural creases of the nostrils to alter their size.
- See the Results – For a few days splints and gauze packing will likely support the nose as it begins to heal.
Preparing for rhinoplasty
In preparing for rhinoplasty surgery, you may be asked to:
- Get a lab test
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
- Stop smoking
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding
Your plastic surgeon will also discuss where your procedure will be performed. Rhinoplasty will be performed in an accredited hospital. Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.