Rhinoplasty – Meaning
Rhinoplasty, commonly known as a “nose job,” is a surgery to change the shape of the nose by modifying and changing the bone or cartilage. It is one of the most common types of plastic surgery.
Rhinoplasty – Reasons
People usually get rhinoplasty surgery to repair their nose after an injury, to correct the problems in breathing or a birth defect, or just because people are unhappy with the appearance of their nose.
Possible changes to be made by the surgeon to the nose through rhinoplasty include:
- a change in size
- a change in angle
- straightening of the bridge
- reshaping of the tip
- narrowing of the nostrils
Rhinoplasty conducted for improving the appearance rather than the health then the candidate should wait for the nasal bone to be grown fully. For girls, the age of the nasal bone to be fully grown is about age 15. Boys might still be growing the nasal bone until they’re a bit older. However, if surgery is being done because of a breathing problems, rhinoplasty can be performed at a younger age.
Rhinoplasty – Risks associated
Some risks are carried in all surgeries, including infection, bleeding, or a bad reaction to anesthesia. Rhinoplasty may also increase the risks that are:
- breathing difficulties
- Bleeding nose
- a numb nose
- an asymmetrical nose
Sometimes the patients aren’t satisfied with their surgery. For a second surgery to be conducted and operated again the nose needs to be fully healed from the first surgery which may take a year.
Rhinoplasty – Preparation
An appointment with the surgeon is made in order discuss the eligibility for rhinoplasty i.e. if it is suitable or not. The discussion with the doctor will include the reason for getting the surgery and the desired results expected from the surgery.
Medical history and any current medications and medical conditions will be examined by the doctor prior to the surgery. If the candidate is having hemophilia, a disorder that causes excessive bleeding, the surgeon may not recommend any elective surgery.
A physical examination will be conducted by the surgeon, looking closely at the skin on the inside and outside of your nose to determine what kind of changes can be made. The surgeon might require blood tests or other lab tests.
Additional surgery option will also be taken into account by the surgeon if the additional surgery would be required at the same time.
This consultation will include the photographing the nose from different angles. These shots will be used for analyzing the long-term outcomes of the surgery and may be referred to during the surgery.
The costs of your surgery should be understood clearly. If the rhinoplasty surgery being done is for cosmetic reasons, it’s much less likely to be covered by insurance.
Painkillers containing ibuprofen or aspirin for two weeks before and two weeks after your surgery should be avoided. These medications reduce the blood-clotting process and can make the bleeding more. The surgeon should be informed about any medications or supplements being taken, so that they can advise about whether or not to continue them.
Smokers experience more difficulty in healing from rhinoplasty, as cigarettes slow the process of recovery. Nicotine compresses the blood vessels, resulting in less oxygen and blood getting to the healing tissues. Quitting smoking before and after rhinoplasty surgery can help the healing process.
Rhinoplasty – Procedure
Rhinoplasty surgery can be conducted within in a hospital, in a doctor’s office, or an outpatient surgical facility. The doctor will use anesthesia which can be local or general. If the procedure is simple, the doctor will give local anesthesia to the nose, which will also numb the face. Medication through an IV line can also be given that makes the patient groggy, but still be awake.
With general anesthesia, a drug is inhaled or will get one through an IV that will make the patient unconscious. General anesthesia is usually given to children.
The surgeon will make incisions between or inside your nostrils once numbness or unconsciousness occurs. The doctor will separate the skin from your cartilage or bone and then start the reshaping. If the newly shaped nose needs a small amount of additional cartilage, the doctor may remove some from the ear or deep inside the nose. If more cartilage is required, the patient might get an implant or a bone graft. A bone graft is an additional bone which is added to the bone in the nose.
The surgery usually takes between one and two hours. But if the surgery is a complicated one, it can take longer.
Rhinoplasty – Recovery
After the rhinoplasty surgery, a plastic or metal splint is placed by the doctor on the nose. The plastic or metal splint will help the nose in retaining its new shape while it heals. The doctor may also place nasal packs or splints inside the nostrils to stabilize the septum, which is the part of the nose between the nostrils.
A few hours after surgery, the patient will be monitored closely. If everything is okay, the doctor may ask the patient to leave later that day with the help of someone to drive home because the anesthesia effects may still be present. If the procedure is complicated, a hospital stay for a day or two will be required.
To decrease the bleeding and swelling, the head should be elevated above your chest in order to rest. If the nose is swollen or packed with cotton, congestion may be felt. People are usually asked to keep the plastic or metal splints and dressings in place for up to a week after surgery. The stitches might be absorb-able, meaning that the stitched will dissolve and won’t require removal. But if the stitches aren’t absorb-able, to get the stitches out, a visit to the doctor should be made in a week after the surgery.
Common effects of the medications used for the surgery can include Memory lapses, impaired judgment, and slow reaction time. If possible, a relative or a friend might need to do a night stay at the hospital.
For a few days after the surgery, drainage and bleeding can be experienced. A drip pad is attached, which is a piece of gauze taped below the nose, can absorb blood and mucus. The doctor will instruct on how often to change the drip pad.
One might get headaches and the face feeling puffy. Pain medication might be prescribed by the doctor.
The following would be advised by the doctor to avoid for a few weeks after the surgery:
- running and other demanding physical activities
- nose blowing
- excessive chewing
- facial expressions that require lots of movement
- pulling clothing over your head
- resting eyeglasses on the nose
- vigorous tooth brushing
Sun exposure should be managed carefully. Too much sunlight could permanently discolor the skin around the nose.
Rhinoplasty surgery can affect the area around the eyes, and might give temporary numbness, swelling, or discoloration around your eyelids for a few weeks. In very few cases, this can last for about six months, and slight swelling could persist even longer. Cold compresses or ice packs can be applied to decrease discoloration and swelling.
After rhinoplasty surgery, follow up care is vital. Be sure to follow the doctor’s instructions and keep appointments.
Rhinoplasty – Results
Although rhinoplasty surgery is a comparatively safe and easy procedure, healing from it can take a while. The tip of the nose is more sensitive and can remain numb and swollen for months. The complete recovery can be in a few weeks but some of the effects main still remain for months. It could be a whole year to completely appreciate the final outcome of the surgery.
The outcome of the surgery could be very slight changes to the structure of the nose which is often measured in millimetres can make a big difference in how the nose is looking. Most of the time, an experienced surgeon can get the results in which the outcomes are satisfactory to both the surgeon and the patient. But in some cases, the changes that are slight are not enough, and a second surgery for further changes might be decided by the surgeon and the patient. If the second surgery has to be done then the patient must wait for at least a year, because the nose can go through changes during this time.