Rhinoplasty (Nose Surgery)
The goal of rhinoplasty is to reshape your nose so that it compliments you other facial features. One of the most common plastic surgery procedures, rhinoplasty is performed to reshape, reduce or augment a person's nose, remove a hump, narrow nostril width, change the angle between the nose and the mouth, or to correct injury, birth defects, or other problems that affect breathing. Results depend on the patient’s nasal bone and cartilage structure, facial shape, skin thickness and age (teenagers should have had their growth spurt).
Who are good candidates for Rhinoplasty (Nose Surgery)?
The earliest recommended age for rhinoplasty is the mid-teens, when the nose is near full development. The best candidates for rhinoplasty are generally in good health, do not smoke, and have realistic goals for the procedure. As long as you are in good health, there is no upper age limit for nose reshaping.
How is a Rhinoplasty (Nose Surgery) performed?
Rhinoplasty is usually an outpatient procedure performed under either local or general anesthesia and lasts one to two hours unless more extensive work needs to be done. Dr. Conkright uses one of two techniques: the incision is either made within the nostrils, thus hiding scars after surgery; or across the columella (the vertical strip of tissue separating the nostrils) in an "open" procedure, where scars are small and hidden on the underside of the base. In both procedures the skin is lifted, the bone and cartilage sculpted, and the skin replaced and stitched closed. The resulting scars fade and ultimately should be barely visible.
Your nose can be reduced or built up by adjusting its supporting structures. This is done by either removing or adding bone and cartilage. Your skin and soft tissues will assume their new shape over this “scaffolding”.
If you have breathing problems because of irregularity in the internal structures of your nose, adjustments can be made to improve your nasal airway. This can be done at the same time as alterations to the external appearance of your nose.
What is recovery like for Rhinoplasty (Nose Surgery)?
After surgery, some discomfort, swelling and bruising can be expected. You may be instructed to wear a nasal dressing for a week or longer. You can begin wearing cosmetics as soon as it is removed. Your routine will be severely restricted for only a day or two, but it will be a few weeks before you can resume bending, lifting, and exercise. As long as your job does not involve activities that raise your blood pressure, you should be able to return to work within 10 days. Minor swelling of your nose may persist up to a year, but most likely this will not be noticeable to others.
What are the risks / complications associated with Rhinoplasty (Nose Surgery)?
Many patients complain of runny noses after rhinoplasty surgery--some over two years after their procedure. Most of the excess mucous production ceases after nine months, but can continue well after that. For now Dr. Conkright can only advise you to carry more Kleenex, around as it may persist for several more months.
Possible side effects include: temporary swelling, bruising around eyes, nose and headaches and some bleeding and stiffness.
Complications are rare and, when they occur, minor. These may include infection, nosebleed, reaction to the anesthesia and small burst blood vessels resulting in tiny, permanent red spots.