Designed to improve the cosmetic appearance or functionality of the human nose, rhinoplasty is an invasive surgical procedure that can have long-lasting effects on self-esteem. This type of surgery is usually performed by a plastic surgeon that specializes in otolaryngology or head-and-neck operations. Ensuring your doctor is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery is a great start in reducing post-op risks, complications, and scarring.
Is Rhinoplasty for You?
Patients seeking nose reconstruction should be in their mid-to-late teens at the very least. This ensures the nasal bones have matured enough and the shape of the nose is stabilized. Be sure to discuss your final expectations with your surgeon. He or she will be able to tell you what is viable and possible with your existing nose and face shape.
Making the Decision for Rhinoplasty
If you are considering rhinoplasty surgery, the first step is to consult with a surgeon in your area. He or she will evaluate whether you are a good candidate for this type of cosmetic procedure. They will also outline the process, risks, and cost. This is the time to ensure your expectations, questions, and concerns are heard and addressed.
Not all plastic surgeons are created equal. It is important you find a doctor you trust and that is board-certified. Once a doctor passes his state and specialty training exams, he is considered as such. However, there are a number of medical and certification boards created by and for plastic surgeons. They are not all equal. State medical licensure does not limit a physician to only practicing the specialty they were trained in. Research your surgeon and ensure he is board-certified with the American Board of Plastic Surgery. That means he or she has passed the highest competency exams in the area of plastic and reconstructive surgery.
Understanding Nasal Surgery
This procedure is usually performed in two main ways: open or closed. Variations between the two mainly include where the incisions are placed and, in turn, where healing or scarring will take place. Other than that, the process is essentially the same. Whether incised inside the nostril or along the bottom septum, skin and soft tissue will be separated from bone and cartilage. Scalpels or chisels will be used to remove bony humps of cartilage or transplant materials may add support and shape.
Rhinoplasty surgery may also be classified as primary, secondary, functional, or reconstructive, depending on if it is the first time surgery has been performed on the nose and what the overall purpose of the surgery is. Primary reconstructive rhinoplasty is the most common cosmetic procedure selected by men and women to improve the overall aesthetic appearance of their nose. Secondary procedures refer to any sort of post-operative revision.
As with any invasive surgery, rhinoplasty operations come with a similar set of potential side effects and risks. Negative reaction to anesthesia, hematoma formation, seroma formation, blood clots, bleeding, infection, asymmetry, irregularities, extended healing, or wound dehiscence may all occur. Most of these risks are very rare and highly dependent on the skill and experience of the surgeon performing the operation. As such, it is important to thoroughly research the physician you trust your nose with and ensure you find someone that is highly skilled. Maximizing positive results from the surgery also involves outlining your expectations, questions, and concerns from the onset. A good surgeon will be able to openly and candidly address your concerns and ensure you are fully prepared for the pre- and post-operative periods.
What to Expect After Nose Surgery
Recovery from rhinoplasty usually involves wearing a metal splint taped to the nose for at least one week. A small amount of pain, redness, swelling, bruising, or inflammation may be present and is a normal part of the healing process. However, these should all gradually subside over a week or two. Be sure to report any increase in pain or swelling to your doctor immediately. Other temporary side effects may include loss of sense of smell or nasal whistling. Both may recover spontaneously as the septum heals or may require further post-operative revision to correct the problem. Of note, rhinoplasty has the most number of post-operative revision surgeries of any cosmetic procedure performed in North America. This high revision rate speaks to how important it is to find a surgeon you trust and who can give you a realistic idea of what to expect with your new nose.Call us at (315) 299-5313