Rhinoplasty, also known as a nose job or nose reshaping surgery, is a popular cosmetic procedure designed to change the shape of the nose and enhance the facial features. A skilled rhinoplasty surgeon can increase or decrease the size of the nose, reshape the tip, narrow the nostrils, or repair a deviated septum to improving breathing. For patients who are considering rhinoplasty surgery, understanding the basics of the procedure can help with their decision. Here you’ll find information on how rhinoplasty is performed and how patients can have a successful surgery.
Preparing for Surgery
The first part of rhinoplasty surgery begins long before the procedure date, in a consultation with your licensed physician. Open communication with your plastic surgeon about your specific needs and wants regarding rhinoplasty is vital to having a successful surgery outcome. During this initial consultation, your rhinoplasty surgeon will develop a treatment plan for you and answer any questions that you may have.
In the days prior to surgery you will receive instructions from your physician in regards to preparing for surgery. This may include starting a vitamin regimen that will promote faster healing, eliminating certain foods from your diet the day before surgery, and arranging post-operative care.
Rhinoplasty is an outpatient procedure that is typically performed under general anesthesia, although some cases may only require a local anesthetic. It is important to discuss your medical history with your surgeon to determine the best anesthesia option for you. Rhinoplasty can be performed as an open or closed procedure, the main difference being where in the nose the incisions are made. In closed rhinoplasty, incisions are made inside the nose, eliminating the appearance of scarring. With open rhinoplasty, an additional incision is made across the columella- the thin strip of tissue that separates the nostrils. While this may leave behind a small mark, it gives your surgeon greater access to the nasal tissue and is ideal when extensive changes are being made to the nose.
Video: Rhinoplasty Surgery
"Nose reshaping surgery, or rhinoplasty as its known, is a welcome option to those who, for one reason or another, are simply not happy with the shape of their nose."
Video Transcript We're sorry, the transcript for this video is not currently available, but we're working on it.
Closed rhinoplasty surgery is generally the preferred procedure for patients because all surgical incisions are made within the nose, eliminating external scarring. Although the incisions are made inside the nostrils, this still leaves the great opportunity for the surgeon to reshape the nose.
Open rhinoplasty allows the surgeon the least restricted access to the cartilage and bone of the nose but is also more likely to cause scarring. The incision across the columella makes it possible for the doctor to lift the skin off the tip of the nose and shape the cartilage very precisely. When healed, the incision leaves a very small, almost unnoticeable scar on the underside of the nose. Despite this drawback, some surgeons feel that the open nose job procedure is the best option in many cases.
In the initial days following rhinoplasty surgery, it is important to preserve the changes that have been made to the nasal tissue. After closing the incisions made during surgery, your surgeon will place a splint to help retain the new shape of the nose. In some cases your surgeon may also place nasal packing – pieces of gauze that fill-the nostrils. Nasal packing is used to keep the septum in place and reduce bleeding. Nasal packing may cause additional discomfort, but is typically removed within a few days of surgery, and goes a long toward maintaining the results of surgery.
Visit the DocShop gallery to view rhinoplasty before and after photos.
Photo credit: Minas Constantinides, MD, FACS, PC
Many Patients Want to Know …
Is nose reshaping surgery painful?
Most of the time, the patient will be unconscious under general sedation during the nose job procedure itself. In some cases, only local anesthetic will be used, but either way the goal is to ensure that the patient experiences minimal discomfort and pain while the surgery is underway. Most patients experience some mild to moderate discomfort after rhinoplasty for a few days. This pain can usually be dealt with using normal analgesics. If the patient experiences more intense discomfort, the rhinoplasty surgeon may be able to offer other means of overcoming it. Learn more about the risks and side effects of rhinoplasty surgery.
Contact a Surgeon
Contact a local plastic surgeon to find out if you are a good candidate for rhinoplasty.