Rhinoplasty also called “Nose job” is the surgical reshaping of the nose. With the nose being the centerpiece of the face it has a tremendous impact on how you look. Some lucky individuals have a well-shaped and sized nose that compliments the rest of the face. This is, however, not a privilege everyone can enjoy. Some people have oversized noses while others have weirdly shaped noses both of which end up hurting how you look. Rhinoplasty has been used to correct such problems through conservative alterations of the underlying tissues and bone structure to give the patient his/her desired look. This surgery can change several factors about your nose such as its width, the position, and size of your nostrils, reducing any visible humps, depressions or bumps, and altering the overall size of the nose.
Rhinoplasty is not just a cosmetic operation. It has also been used to treat functional problems of the nose. People can have the malfunctioning of the nose either due to an injury or a heredity issue. Whichever the cause is, with an experienced surgeon any patient can have these problems addressed through the nasal surgery.
Preparations for Rhinoplasty
Rhinoplasty just like any other surgical procedure requires the patient to pay attention to the details leading up to the day of the operation. The right preparation for this operation will go a long way towards ensuring that the procedure is not just safe and prosperous, but the healing process afterward is as smooth as possible.
If you are considering undergoing this operation, the first thing you should be aware of is that you will most probably not go under the knife on your first visit. During the first consultation, the surgeons try to collect as much information as possible about your type of skin, medical history and expectations of the operation. All these are details critical in determining just how successful the operation can be. They also help to give the surgeon an insight of what kind of approach he should use because there are several Rhinoplasty techniques all of which are tailored to address specific problems.
During these consultation sessions, the physician will also ask you to avoid smoking at least three weeks prior to the operation. Smoking increases the chances of complications during healing. Nicotine that’s present in tobacco can affect blood flow around your skin. This will become a concern after the operation because lack of sufficient blood flow in the skin also means that skin cells are receiving insufficient oxygen. This will not only slow down the healing process but also exposes you to possibilities of contracting infections, and the death of skin cells is even possible.
Drinking of alcohol is also discouraged because it has the same effect as smoking. The doctor will ask you to stop drinking one week before undergoing surgery.
Another important measure that you may have to take is stopping any medications that can interfere with the operation. This is why it is so crucial to be fully open with your surgeon about any medications you are using. Some anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, for example, may cause excessive bleeding during or after the surgery. The doctor may ask you to stop using any medications that cause thinning of blood because they also increase the chances of bleeding.
Some herbal and vitamin supplements can also result in bleeding.
The best way to counter this complication is to make sure that you are thorough during consultations with your surgeon. He/she will come up with a better strategy on how you can stop using some of these drugs without affecting your health. Some surgeons can also prescribe certain steroids and homeopathic therapies that will help to reduce swelling and bruising after the surgery.
Another critical factor that you will have to go through with your surgeon is the final expectations of the surgery. This sounds like a minor thing, but it is what stands between you and regrets after the surgery. One thing that you should understand as a rhinoplasty patient is that it is hard to replicate your favorite Hollywood star’s nose 100%. Any experienced surgeon will stay away from issuing such promises because creating a mirror replica is extremely difficult and the results disappoint patients in most cases. Your expectations should be realistic the and achievable otherwise most doctors will avoid operating on you.
Types of Rhinoplasty
Nasal surgery can be conducted using different techniques. The surgeon after identifying the problem and listening to your intended outcome of the operation will choose the best method that will deliver the expected results. The conventional nasal surgery techniques used include:
- Open Rhinoplasty (External Rhinoplasty)
This is the best nasal surgery technique usable when straightening of the nose is necessary or when grafting of the cartilage is required. In this method, a tiny incision is done at the columella (the vertical skin strip that separates the two nostrils on the outside). This incision will expose the nasal anatomy giving the surgeon access to the tissues that are being reshaped. The doctor can also use this incision to add cartilage graft to achieve the desired shape.
- Closed Rhinoplasty (Endonasal Technique)
The endonasal technique is used when the nose requires minimal reshaping. The method is widely used, and one of the reasons for it is because the operation does not cause a visible external scar. With this approach, the incision is made within the nose. The doctor then separates cartilage and bone from the nasal skin enabling the reshaping, rearrangement, removal or augmentation of the cartilage and bone tissue until the results are achieved. This technique is also a favorite because there is always minor swelling caused.
Closed rhinoplasty can deliver results on its own, but in most cases, a complimentary open nasal surgery will have to be done for more natural and even results.
- Secondary Rhinoplasty
This is a revision nasal surgery that is conducted to correct any faulty results or effects caused by another operation. This is the standard remedy for patients who did not achieve the needed results in the initial operation or ones that have experienced significant complications due to a poorly done nasal operation. Secondary rhinoplasty can either be open or closed depending on the problem being corrected. It also requires the services of a well-experienced surgeon to avoid escalating the complication even further.
- Filler Rhinoplasty
In this approach, the doctor will add fillers to even out results instead of removing excessive or weirdly shaped born or skin tissues. Some of the fillers used in this operation are Radiesse, Restylane, and Juvederm. These are soft injectable fillers that have been used for years to smoothen nose irregularities. They are efficient but their results are never permanent, and hence you will need to go for a filler injection at given intervals. Filler rhinoplasty helps to smoothen sharp angles, fill depressions, restore symmetry and alter the edge of your nose tip.
Septoplasty and Rhinoplasty
Septoplasty refers to the reshaping of the nasal septum that may be damaged due to an injury or as a congenital disability. The septum is the wall inside the nose that separates the two nostrils. A crooked septum can block the nasal passageways resulting in difficulty in breathing. In most cases when the septum is damaged due to the accident then the nasal skin and bone tissues are also probably hurt too. This operation can be carried out in conjunction with rhinoplasty for both cosmetic and functional purposes. Septoplasty can also be successfully carried out without necessarily doing rhinoplasty.
Damaged septum, when accompanied by nasal fractures, can also be corrected through reconstructive septoplasty.
Rhinoplasty is performed under general anesthesia or deep intravenous sedation anesthesia. This operation takes around 2 hours subject to the scope of surgery and is usually done on an outpatient basis. If it’s a filler rhinoplasty, the procedure will only take 15 minutes.
To reduce the chances of complications most hospitals will operate with the patient on an airway. Endotracheal tube or laryngeal mask airways are the commonly used. This helps to increase the safety of the operation and to improve the overall results.
Potential Rhinoplasty complications
It is always important to understand all possible complexities related to surgery before committing yourself. On the right hands, very few issues can arise after this surgery. A few of the reported adverse effects include:
- Nasal obstruction
- Septal perforations, i.e., a hole in the septum
Rhinoplasty patients are allowed to leave the hospital 1-2 hours after the surgery. After this time you will be discharged from the hospital with a splint on your nose. The splint prevents movement of nasal bones and also helps to cover incisions from infections. The splint can be removed after seven days. The recovery time ranges from patient to patient depending on the type of surgery done and the extent of changes made. Any bruising left behind heals after 10-12 days. Some patients also use light makeup to cover these bruises.
It’s also recommended that you stay away from eyeglasses for three weeks and any strenuous exercises such as running should be avoided for one month.
Rhinoplasty Insurance Details
Some insurance carriers offer reimbursement for nasal surgeries that involve correction of nasal deformities and fractures and for septoplasty operations. Your doctor can help you to determine whether your specific rhinoplasty procedure meets the requirements for reimbursement with your insurance carrier.