Rhinoplasty and Septoplasty (Nose Reshaping)
Precision surgery takes precision planning.
Rhinoplasty is, in many ways, the most technically precise operation that we perform in plastic surgery (with facelift and eyelid lift surgery following closely behind). A one-millimeter difference one way or the other can have a significant effect on the postoperative result. This is where experience and technical expertise are vital. It is important to properly reshape the nose so that it appears perfectly natural and blends in seamlessly with the rest of the facial features. After surgery, you want your nose to appear as though Mother Nature got things right the first time around. Far too often I see cookie-cutter nose jobs that can be easily pointed out. In the vast majority of rhinoplasty cases, if you can easily tell that surgery has been performed, then the plastic surgeon has missed the ideal mark in my opinion.
A well-performed rhinoplasty must also improve, when required, the functional aspects of the nose. This includes properly straightening the septum and opening up the airway passages so that breathing is improved. Both aspects can be treated at the same time.
Subtle ethnic differences (e.g. thick skin, wide bridge, flatter tip, etc.) often require even greater precision and artistry on the part of the plastic surgeon in order to obtain a beautiful nose that ‘fit its face’. An ideal Anglo-Saxon nose would not appear natural on someone of a different ethnic background, and yet it is not uncommon for surgeons to use similar approaches on very dissimilar cases.
Are You a Good Candidate for Rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the nose. The specific features that may be addressed include:
- The size and width of the nose in relation to facial balance
- The nasal profile, such as humps, bumps, or depressions
- The shape of the nasal tip, which may be enlarged, drooping, upturned, or hooked
- Nostrils that are large, wide, or upturned
- Nasal asymmetry or crookedness
In some cases, the nasal contour may not be the only factor contributing to facial imbalance. Other facial features, especially a small chin (which can be corrected with a chin augmentation) and weak (flat) cheeks, may also contribute to facial imbalance. In these cases, rhinoplasty may be performed in conjunction with placement of facial implants or other procedures to achieve the desired appearance. When performed to improve breathing function, an obstructed airway is most often the cause. Correction of obstructed breathing is considered reconstructive and may be covered by insurance and requires a detailed examination to verify the cause of your breathing impairment. Whether you have a personal desire to improve your appearance or you seek to improve breathing function, surgery is best performed when facial growth is complete, starting around age 15.
The Nose Reshaping Procedure
Cosmetic nasal surgery is an individualized procedure that takes into account the specific characteristics that contribute to the overall appearance and relation to other facial features. Appropriate techniques may include:
- Alteration and reshaping of the nasal bridge
- Altering the shape or width
- Reshaping the nasal tip
- Reducing the width or size of the nostrils
- Adjusting the angle between the nose and upper lip
The goal of most rhinoplasties is to improve facial balance and proportion. Surgery to improve an obstructed airway is also an individualized procedure. It requires careful assessment 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 gain better alignment.
Nasal surgery is performed either by using a closed procedure or an open procedure. In a closed procedure, the incisions are hidden inside the nostril, whereas in an open procedure the incision is made across the columella (the narrow strip of tissue that separates the nostrils). Through these incisions, the soft tissues that cover the nasal skeleton will be gently raised, allowing access to reshape the structure of the nose. Surgery can reduce or augment nasal structures with the use of cartilage grafted from other areas of your body.
Once the underlying structure of the nose is sculpted to the desired shape, nasal skin and tissue is re-draped and incisions are closed. Most likely, splints and packing will support the nose as it begins to heal.
Recovery After Rhinoplasty
Initial healing may include some common conditions such as: swelling, bruising, headache, and discomfort that can be controlled with medication and a cold compress. You will be instructed to keep your head elevated at all times until initial swelling has subsided and to keep any nasal packing in place. Any packing or internal splints will most likely be removed after the first week, although you may need to wear the external splint for an additional week or two. The healing process will continue for several weeks as swelling continues to dissipate and the improved appearance begins to come apparent. You must also protect your nose from injury during any physical activity for the next four to six months. The outcome of the surgery will appear gradually over time. At a minimum, a year is considered normal for the outcome of a nose reshaping to fully refine. Generally, the results are permanent; however, the main supporting structure of the nose, cartilage, is continually growing and moving tissue that may change the outcome over time.
Rhinoplasty Cost and Post-Procedure Care
The expense involved in a nose job varies depending on the patient’s condition and desired outcome. DeLuca Plastic Surgery works with several financing companies to offer payment options, including CreditCare.com. Because a superlative rhinoplasty result requires superlative post-procedure care, the surgeons and staff members of DeLuca Plastic Surgery will be available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have until you are fully recovered.
Every rhinoplasty patient is required to see Dr. DeLuca the day after their operation to assure that everything looks exactly as it should. Patients then typically come in for their post-op checkups one week, one month, six months and one year after the nose job. Some patients prefer to come in more often while others less. Some patients have lots of little questions while others have only a few. How you approach your recovery from rhinoplasty is entirely up to you. At DeLuca Plastic Surgery, there is no charge for any post-op visits and they will open up their schedule to see you anytime following your surgery.
Before and After Photos
You will see various photos of rhinoplasty procedures. Feel free to browse through the images so that you may have a photographic idea of what to expect from your rhinoplasty surgery.
Rhinoplasty (Nose Surgery)
A cosmetic rhinoplasty is a surgery that reduces and repositions tissue in the nose for better aesthetics. This often involves straightening the dorsal profile, reducing dorsal humps, and reshaping the tip.