The nose is the most prominent facial feature, which is why a rhinoplasty—also known as a nose job—is such a popular surgical procedure. Patients looking to present the most balanced face they can choose rhinoplasty so they can “take control” of their nose and determine its size and shape for themselves.
A patient may also desire a nose job to correct a medical issue that impacts his or her ability to breathe freely and clearly.
Just as the nose is a critically important part of the face, the right doctor is a critically important element of a rhinoplasty. Such an obvious and key piece of facial anatomy demands a talented and experienced professional, so making the choice for a trained and licensed plastic surgeon is imperative.
What Does Rhinoplasty Address?
While a patient dissatisfied with his or her nose may see the problem merely as one of size, a rhinoplasty is not a simple reduction surgery. The nose is a complex structure, and its size and shape impact the entire face.
A rhinoplasty may involve any of the following:
- reducing the size of the nose as a whole
- altering the nose’s width at the bridge
- creating smoother, straighter lines for a cleaner profile
- increasing nasal symmetry
- addressing a less-than-ideal nasal tip
- changing the size or shape of the nostrils
- correcting challenges to unobstructed breathing, such as a deviated septum
What Does a Rhinoplasty Involve?
A rhinoplasty is a straightforward surgery, even though it may consist of one or all of the items on a list of features to address. Specific details vary from person to person, but patients can generally expect a nose job to include:
1) the administration of an anesthetic, either local or general.
2) the doctor making an incision in a place selected to offer the greatest access while hiding any scarring.
3) lifting the skin of the nose to reveal the structures underneath.
4) surgical work performed to add or remove cartilage as necessary. This is also the rhinoplasty step during which the doctor will correct a deviated septum, if needed.
5) the closure of the incisions.
What Comes After Rhinoplasty Surgery?
Patients who receive a rhinoplasty will need to be sure that the new shape of their nose stays protected while it heals. The doctor may use a splint on the inside and/or outside to provide the structure with support. Patients may also find that outer bandages and inner packing are necessary after a nose job.
Swelling may last for several weeks after a nose job, so results from this surgery are not necessarily immediately visible. In fact, the nose may heal slowly after the procedure. Swelling may subside and then return during the recovery period, which can make mornings a particular time to pay attention to the healing nose, as a patient’s head will have typically been horizontal throughout the previous night.
Over the course of a year, the swelling will fade and eventually not return as the nose area continues to heal.
Rhinoplasty patients should also be sure to follow their doctors’ guidelines to ensure the best outcome. Important instructions include maintaining proper facial hygiene, taking any prescribed medications as instructed, watching for infection symptoms and other signs of a developing medical issue, and scheduling and attending follow-up visits.
Making the Choice for Rhinoplasty
A rhinoplasty at the hands of a licensed plastic surgeon can offer a dramatic shift in the overall shape and character of a face. People seeking a nose job should be sure to select a doctor they connect with and trust due to that professional’s reputation and demonstrated ability to perform a quality surgery. Proper planning and selection in advance will yield long-term results that reward patients for the rest of their lives.