What is a Rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty, also called nose surgery or nose job, is one of the most frequently performed plastic surgery procedures. During rhinoplasty, the nose is reshaped, reduced or augmented to improve its appearance. Rhinoplasty may be performed to correct a birth defect or repair an injury such as a broken nose. It is also often performed strictly for cosmetic reasons.
For a patient with a deviated septum, it is often performed along with septoplasty, a procedure that corrects a deviated septum. In such cases, rhinoplasty effectively treats health and breathing problems, in addition to improving the patient’s appearance.
Rhinoplasty with Dr. David Altamira
Am I a good candidate for Nose Surgery?
A good candidate for a nose surgery has finished their facial growth. Girls should typically be at least 15 or 16 years old; boys should be at least 17 or 18. Patients considering rhinoplasty should be in overall good health and not smoke. It is important that candidates have realistic expectations about what rhinoplasty can do.
Although undergoing rhinoplasty may boost self-confidence, it should not be viewed as a cure-all for personality or relationship issues, and should not be the result of social pressure.
What to expect with nose surgery
There are several goals of rhinoplasty; they include facilitating breathing as well as improving appearance. During rhinoplasty, the surgeon may attempt to do one or more of the following:
- Remove a hump
- Modify the bridge
- Reshape the tip
- Reshape or resize the nostrils
- Repair an injury
- Open breathing passages
- Increase or decrease size
Rhinoplasty can involve modifying bone, skin or cartilage, or all three.
The Rhinoplasty procedure takes from 1 to 2 hours and is usually an outpatient procedure performed under sedation or general anesthesia. Two techniques are typically used. In closed rhinoplasty, incisions are made within the nostrils. In open rhinoplasty, an incision is made across the columella, the tissue between the nostrils. With both methods, the soft tissues covering the nose are gently lifted, and the bone and cartilage are sculpted to the desired shape.
If additional cartilage is needed to augment the nose, it is frequently taken from the patient’s nasal septum. This may be surgically removed from the ear or other parts of the body, if larger sections of tissue are required. If the patient has a deviated septum, the septum and inner structures of the nose are adjusted to improve breathing. The tissues are then redraped and stitched closed. If necessary, nostrils are reshaped in the final stage of rhinoplasty.
Nose Job Surgery Before and After
What to expect after surgery?
Immediately after surgery, the patient’s nose and eye area are usually bruised and swollen. A splint may need to be worn across the bridge of the nose for the first week after surgery. During this period, the patient may experience some nasal pain or a dull headache, as well as some bleeding and drainage from the nose. Most patients feel like themselves within a few days and are able to return to regular activities in about a week.
Rhinoplasty recovery time
Most of the swelling resolves within two weeks, and the rest tends to go away within a month. Although the patient usually looks “normal” a week or two after surgery, minimal swelling may be present for as much as a year.
Complications associated with rhinoplasty are rare and, when they occur, usually minor. Surgical risks, in general, include infection or adverse reaction to anesthesia. In the case of rhinoplasty, specific risks include the following:
- Recurring nosebleeds
- Difficulty breathing through the nose
- Permanent numbness in or around the nose
- Persistent pain
- Discoloration of skin on the nose
- Perforation of the nasal septum
Schedule a consultation
If you are interested in Rhinoplasty surgery and would like to see if you are a good candidate, call (713) 271-9000 to schedule a consultation. Dr. Altamira has plastic surgery offices located in Houston and Sugar Land, Texas.