Rhinoplasty, or nose surgery, is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures performed today. It can reshape, reduce or augment a person’s nose to achieve facial harmony and boost self-confidence. It may be performed as a reconstructive procedure to correct a birth defect or an injury such as a broken nose. Rhinoplasty may be performed for functional rather than cosmetic reasons as well. Combining nose reshaping with septoplasty can effectively treat certain breathing problems, such as those caused by a deviated septum.
The Goals of Rhinoplasty
Rhinoplasty is an excellent procedure for achieving the following:
- Balance the size of the nose with the other facial features
- Modify the width of the nose at the bridge
- Improve the nasal profile, including removing humps or depressions
- Contour a nasal tip that is too large, “boxy,” drooping or upturned
- Change the angle between the nose and the mouth
- Narrow and reshape the nostrils
- Correct asymmetry or deviation
Candidates for Rhinoplasty Surgery
The best candidates for rhinoplasty:
- Are at least 13 years old and have finished facial growth
- Are healthy
- Do not smoke
- Are seeking rhinoplasty for personal reasons, not pressure from others
- Have realistic goals for the procedure.
The Rhinoplasty Procedure
Rhinoplasty is usually an outpatient procedure performed under IV sedation or general anesthesia. It can also be performed in Dr. Monasebian’s fully accredited outpatient surgical facility. Dr. Monasebian will employ one of two techniques when performing nose surgery. In a closed rhinoplasty incisions are made within the nostrils. In an open rhinoplasty the incision is made across the columella, the tissue between the nostrils. With both methods, Dr. Monasebian gently lifts the soft tissues covering the nose. He then sculpts the bone and cartilage to the desired shape. Any additional cartilage needed to augment the nose can often be taken from the septum. If the patient has a deviated septum, Dr. Monasebian will also adjust the septum and the inner structures of the nose to improve breathing. Then the tissues are re-draped and stitched closed. If the patient desires nostril reshaping, this is done as the final stage of rhinoplasty. The entire procedure generally lasts one to two hours.
Recovery and Results
For a short time after surgery, patients may experience puffiness, nose ache or a dull headache, some swelling and bruising, bleeding or stuffiness. Most patients feel like themselves within two days and return to work in about a week. The results of rhinoplasty become gradually apparent as the days pass after surgery and swelling recedes. Swelling may reappear from time to time in the first year after the procedure. It is typically more noticeable in the morning and fades during the day. Contact lenses can be worn immediately, but glasses may need to be taped to your forehead or propped on your cheeks for up to six weeks. Patients with realistic goals for rhinoplasty are generally very happy with the new shape of their nose. The exact results depend on the patient’s nasal bone and cartilage structure, facial shape, skin thickness and age.
Revision or secondary rhinoplasty corrects deformities caused by a previous operation on the nose. It is a more difficult procedure to perform than primary rhinoplasty because there is less cartilage to work with and there may be scarring or tissue contracture (tightening). Dr. Monasebian has, however, performed revisional rhinoplasty with excellent results to improve the function and appearance of the nose.
Septoplasty is a surgical procedure to correct defects or deformities of the septum. The nasal septum is the separation between the two nostrils. In adults, it is composed of both cartilage and bone. The nasal septum has three functions: support the nose, regulate air flow, and support the mucous membranes of the nose. A number of medical conditions may indicate a need for the procedure including nasal air passage obstruction, a deviated septum, tumors, chronic and uncontrolled nosebleeds, or the presence of polyps, etc. Additionally, a septoplasty may be performed in conjunction with a rhinoplasty in order to ensure that the reshaping of the nose does not result in a reduction of the amount of breathing space.
Patients who receive septoplasty can usually return home the same day or the morning after surgery. Risks or complications are relatively rare. During recovery, patients may experience bleeding, swelling, bruising, or discoloration.