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What is Rhinoplasty: How It Works, Types, Safety and Side Effects

What is Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty, or nose job, improves the appearance and proportions of your nose. It is a nose surgery that can also help with impaired breathing that’s caused by structural deformities in your nose.

Rhinoplasty is a popular cosmetic procedure; it was the third-most common plastic surgery procedure in 2017. It can improve your facial harmony, and can treat:

  • The size of the nose in relation to your face
  • The width of the nose at its bridge or the position and size of your nostrils
  • The profile of the nose if it has depressions or humps on the bridge
  • A nasal tip that is bulbous or enlarged
  • Nostrils that are wide, large, or upturned
  • Asymmetry of the nose

This guide details what rhinoplasty is, how it works, safety, side effects, and more.

How Rhinoplasty Works

Rhinoplasty surgery can make a new shape for your nose or correct breathing issues with several procedures. There have been several advancements in nose job surgeries in recent years to reduce pain and improve recovery times.

Below are the common forms of the surgical procedures.

Open Rhinoplasty

This surgical procedure opens the nose and provides your surgeon with as much access as possible to the nasal region. The surgeon will make the incision under the nose between your nostrils to help him access the cartilage and nasal bone during the procedure.

With this type of rhinoplasty, the nasal skin flaps are lifted off your nose to help the surgeon work more efficiently. The plastic surgeon will inject local anesthesia into the surgical site before the procedure and into the nasal septum. Next, they’ll do specific tasks on the nose related to your goals and needs.

Common reasons for an open rhinoplasty are to reshape the nasal tip, straighten the nasal septum or bridge, or remove a hump to alter the shape of the nose.

A deviated septum is usually treated with a septoplasty; this is where the middle of the nasal septum goes to one side or is off-center.

Open rhinoplasty may also involve breaking nasal bones to give them a new shape.

Closed Rhinoplasty

This procedure doesn’t leave visible scars because they are inside the nose as the septum, cartilage, or nasal bone is altered. An advantage of this procedure is there usually is less swelling.

Close rhinoplasty surgery also may be referred to as endonasal surgery because the plastic surgeon works via your nostrils to correct nose problems.

The procedure involves making incisions in the nasal lining that allows the surgeon to access the nasal bones without being as invasive as the open rhinoplasty.

However, note that closed rhinoplasty only has specific applications; the nasal skin will be stretched significantly, but there are limits to how much the skin and the nasal tip can be changed. This procedure isn’t usually a good option if you need revision surgery.

Closed rhinoplasty usually has less swelling and no visible scars, but the surgery is more limited because your surgeon doesn’t have complete access to the nose structure.

Endoscopic Rhinoplasty

This procedure involves a small tube with a camera and light that’s attached. It helps your plastic surgeon to see inside your nose as he corrects the problem.

Endoscopic rhinoplasty is a viable plastic procedure that usually leads to less swelling than open rhinoplasty. It’s debated among surgeons whether the method provides better results than open rhinoplasty, but talk to your surgeon to determine if it’s a good option for you.

Rhinoplasty Recovery

It can take as long as a year for the swelling from rhinoplasty to entirely subside. However, most patients will notice a gradual change over the first month as tissues heal and swelling fades.

Nose tissues usually swell longer than other body areas so that you will see a difference after a few weeks, but it could take months for the final shape to appear.

Rhinoplasty Side Effects and Risks

Rhinoplasty is a safe procedure, but some of the side effects can include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Anesthesia risks
  • Infection
  • Septal perforation
  • Skin sensation changes
  • Skin discoloration

Rhinoplasty Ideal Candidate

You could be an ideal candidate for this procedure if you are:

  • Healthy with no major illnesses or health problems
  • Do not smoke or can stop smoking for several months
  • Have reasonable goals for your nose’s appearance

What You Can Expect

If you think you want rhinoplasty, it’s essential to understand the entire process:

  • Consultation: Your plastic surgeon will go over your rhinoplasty goals during your first meeting. He’ll want to know why you want the procedure, what you don’t like about your nose, and what your goals are.
  • Procedure: The rhinoplasty procedure your surgeon chooses depends on your specific case. See the options mentioned above to learn more.
  • Aftermath: After your rhinoplasty, your surgeon will bandage and splint the nose for a few weeks. He also will prescribe pain medications as needed.
  • Recovery: Most rhinoplasty patients have swelling and bruising for several months, but it will subside over time. It can take up to a year to obtain your final result.

Questions and Answers

How painful is rhinoplasty?

Patients may experience tightness or pressure in the nasal area, with swelling and bruising around the nose and eyes. Post-operative pain is typically described as mild to moderate discomfort, not severe.

How long does rhinoplasty last?

Rhinoplasty brings lasting structural changes to your nose, with results generally enduring a lifetime. While natural aging may cause some gradual changes in appearance, most improvements from rhinoplasty tend to be relatively permanent providing you with the facial balance and facial features that you desire.

What is the best age to get rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty isn’t advisable for children as their noses are still growing. It becomes safe and effective once growth stops. Typically, girls may consider rhinoplasty around age 15 or 16, while boys can wait a year or two longer.

How often do nose jobs go wrong?

In the event your initial rhinoplasty falls short of expectations, you can explore revision after a year of healing. The rate of botched rhinoplasty is relatively low, affecting only around 5 to 10 percent of cases.

Is non-surgical rhinoplasty better than surgical?

Nonsurgical nose procedures are great for subtle alterations or to preview nose changes. For significant and enduring transformations, traditional rhinoplasty is often the better choice and is also an outpatient procedure.

What Types Of Anesthesia Are Used During A Rhinoplasty?

The administration of anesthesia for a rhinoplasty procedure can be tailored to the scope of the surgery and the patient’s choice, with options including local or general anesthesia. The surgery itself can take place in a surgeon’s office, a hospital, or an outpatient surgery center.

Request a Rhinoplasty Consultation

Are you interested in rhinoplasty to enhance the appearance of your nose? Dr. Smita R. Ramanadham can help you improve your facial appearance with this cosmetic surgery procedure.

In your consultation, Dr. Ramanadham will review your rhinoplasty options with you, goals, and more to determine if you’re an ideal candidate.


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